Engineering News-Record (ENR) has named William A. (Bill) Wallace, a chemical engineer and member of GeoEngineers’ Board of Directors, a “Top 25 Newsmaker” for his work as the primary designer of the Envision™ Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System. The editors of ENR select honorees based on news stories the magazine has published in the last year. There are no applications or interviews for the honor. The magazine’s editors select the recipients they believe have made the biggest impact on the industry and the public over the previous year.
The Envision system was developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), a nonprofit founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and American Public Works Association (APWA). ISI also has a close partnership arrangement with the Zofnass Program for sustainable infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
In addition to designing the rating system, Wallace also developed and delivered the accreditation training courses for Envision assessors (ENV SPs) and verifiers. Currently, there are more than 1,500 ENV SP-accredited professionals.
“Envision was created to change the way engineers design and deliver infrastructure projects,” Wallace said. “Today, the US is using up resources and ecological system services as if we had five planets to work with. We are now seeing the negative effects of that overuse, and infrastructure is the major culprit”
Released in 2012, the system is still in its infancy but growing steadily in use among public works departments and engineering professionals.
“At this time, ISI has made awards to two infrastructure projects, a total constructed value of more than $100 million. A dozen more projects are in our awards pipeline, and we estimate that another hundred project teams are using Envision to guide their project designs,” Wallace said. “We have also learned that some municipalities are using the system to plan their infrastructure programs, and others are issuing RFPs (requests for proposal) for projects that stipulate an ENV SP be part of the team.”
Beyond his work on Envision, Wallace operates a consulting practice on sustainable engineering from his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He also teaches a graduate distance-learning course for the University of Florida, and is working with ASCE to design and deliver their sustainable engineering courses. ENR will honor Wallace, along with the other top 24 newsmakers, this April at its annual gala in New York City.