October 2018 – Region 9 Reports

Go Back


Region 9 Sustainability Committee & Envision v3 Update

By Mark R. Norton, P.E., LEED AP, ENV SP
Chair, ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee

 Exciting events are coming to California! Recently, Los Angeles was selected as the site for the ASCE 2019 International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI). The site selection was proposed by Cris Liban, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), who also serves as the ASCE Committee on Sustainability Chair. He showed that with more than $14B in infrastructure that is currently under construction just by the City and County of Los Angeles and the LA Metro and another $140B planned expenditure in sustainable infrastructure over the next 40 years, Los Angeles is a leader in sustainable infrastructure development.  Further, with Los Angeles being cited as the location for the 2028 Olympics, early planning is underway to ensure that all infrastructure needed for the Olympics is reflective of the LA goal of resiliency and sustainability as defined in their “Resilient Los Angeles” Strategic Plan released in early 2018.

To assist Cris in this major endeavor, I have accepted the role as the Chair for 2019 ICSI event. It has been my pleasure to work with sustainability leaders across the country as well as members of the ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee in preparations for this major event. Unlike past conferences, this event is planned as a game changer in connecting civil engineers, infrastructure managers, architects, policy makers, technology experts, and related professionals and providing a showcase for the latest developments and advancements in design, construction, technology, policy and education related to sustainable and resilient infrastructure.  Conference topics will cover a broad array of contemporary issues for professionals involved in the development of sustainable infrastructure. Concurrent seminars will be organized in tracks including: Society and Urbanization, Finance and Management, Practice and Policy. Crosscutting themes will include: Resiliency and Disaster Recovery, Disruptive Technologies and Practices, Education, Workforce Development, Outreach, and Diversity, and Climate Change and Extreme Events.

What is particularly exciting to me is a new feature at 2019 ICSI Los Angeles called “Let’s Connect…in LA”. This will be a special forum to be held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel to identify business opportunities and promote discussions about specific opportunities between owners – public/private and suppliers – consultants, designers, contractors, constructors, investment/finance entities, and small businesses with engineers. We hope this whets the appetites of those who have longed wanted to see real and tangible marketing benefits from participation and sponsorship at conferences as well as for infrastructure owners who will be given opportunities to talk to firms that can help implement what they desire to plan for the future.

Another arena of sustainability that I am excited about is the EnvisionR Version 3 that was just released by the institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). For those who may not be aware, the Envision infrastructure rating system is a tool first established in 2010 by a non-profit organization called the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), by three founding organizations, ASCE, American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).  Similar to LEED, which is a sustainability rating system predominantly for buildings under the U.S. Green Building Council, Envision was established to serve as a sustainability rating system for infrastructure that supports our communities.  It is used by a wide array of respected organizations involved in infrastructure design, construction, and operation.

Envision allows individuals to increase the level of personal impact they can have on a project’s sustainability—and in the process, increase their value not only to their organization but to the broader community as well.  Individuals also have the opportunity, once they have been trained in the use of Envision, to be credentialed by ISI as an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP).  Individuals who have successfully completed the Envision credential training course and exam, demonstrate their expertise with the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) designation.

This new version of Envision, v3, incorporates emerging industry trends and continues to push the leading edge of sustainable practices. Key highlights of this version include 1) reorganization/revision of credits, 2) expanded scope credits to account for lifecycle economic evaluation, equity and social justice, and sustainable community planning, 3) new construction-focused credits such as Improve Construction Safety, Minimize Construction Impacts, Reduce Construction Waste, Reduce Construction Energy Use, Reduce Construction Water Use, 4) an improved manual format, and 5) new Verification process pathway. Also new, ISI is implementing a credential maintenance program for the ENV SP designation. Maintaining an active credential demonstrates continued relevance to the sector and strengthens the meaning of “ENV SP”.

To assist getting trained on the new Envision V3 system, ASCE Region 9 will be sponsoring an Envision Training Workshop in San Diego on Thursday, March 28th, the day prior to the ASCE Region 9 (California) Infrastructure Symposium set for March 29, 2019. Registration for the event will be on the same website as the Infrastructure Symposium so watch for notices of these exciting events in your email Inbox.

So why are such conferences and training workshops so important to attend? Because today’s civil engineer must be vigilant in attaining the expertise and education necessary to successfully design and implement today’s infrastructure, recognizing that all infrastructure designed today must be “sustainable” infrastructure.  Fortunately, with ASCE and ISI as strong partners to civil engineers in this field, we have the support and tools we need to achieve this.

Finally, consider the importance of getting trained and attaining the ENV SP credential. As we observe from our own ASCE leaders today such as our 2017-2018 ASCE Society President Kristina Swallow as well as our ASCE Society Executive Director, Tom Smith, both have taken the time to become certified and have their ENV SP credential listed alongside their PE credential.  They are leading by example. Why not you? Now is the time to become a certified ENV SP and to add this credential after your name!  Go to www.sustainableinfrastructure.org to learn how to become an ENV SP.


For more information contact Mark Norton, Chair, ASCE Region 9 Sustainability Committee, at mnorton@sawpa.org


Region 9 Younger Member Forum (YMF) Committee Update

by Guy Hopes, P.E., M. ASCE Chair, ASCE Region 9 YMF Committee

Hello again from the Region 9 YMF Committee! The Region 9 YMF committee comprises leaders from each Sections in Region 9 (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento), and the committee meets regularly to update each other on multiple topics including: ongoing activities, communications with universities, ASCE strategic initiatives, and opportunities for collaboration.

ASCE membership provides many benefits and opportunities to its members in all the membership classifications (student, associate, member, fellow, etc.).  Younger Members (members at and under the age of 35) are a significant part of ASCE, and many Sections and Branches have set up Younger Member Forums (YMFs) to encourage younger member involvement within each Region.  During my eight years of experience with the YMF in Region 9, I have had countless opportunities to meet leaders from around the globe, and be a part of many impactful projects and initiatives that help the engineering community.  I also travel a great deal for work, and I am fortunate to have a whole network of young professionals in many of the cities I travel to for projects.  Our role in ASCE as Younger Members (YMs) is vital to the future of ASCE, and the Region 9 YMF Committee’s goal is to help improve overall communications among younger members, and to promote collaboration.  As Chair of the committee, I hope to help further these goals in Region 9.

Taking a look back at last year, the committee completed and submitted a draft Best Practices Guide that has the following topics for YMs around Region 9:

— Guidance for Traveling Younger Members and Connections to Nearby Groups;
— Communications to Universities and Recruitment;
— Championing National and Region 9 initiatives to the Community; and
— A checklist of Best Practices for each Younger Member Group.

The committee has been meeting regularly and has been focusing on communications between Region 9 and the YMs, some of the goals we are continuing to foster are:

— Providing a link between 12 Younger Member Groups and the Region 9 Board of Governors;
— Facilitating Student Transition within the Region; and
— Serving as a resource for traveling/relocating YMs in the Region.

When the Best Management Guide is finalized in the coming year it will be distributed it to the members, the National database and then publicized at the upcoming large ASCE conferences.  Additionally, the Committee plans to reach out to multiple Student Groups and promote formations of email address, and even officer position creation, to be able to foster consistent communication to YMF’s. As we grow as professionals, let us continue to reach back and help the others around us as they come up, much like the professionals who have helped us.

Whether you attend meetings every now and then, or are a Board Member of your local YMF (wearing multiple hats and taking on multiple projects), your input is important.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any additional ideas to help improve Region 9 YMFs.


For more information contact Guy Hopes, Chair, ASCE Region 9 YMF Committee, at ghopes@sierra-west.net






ASCE Region 9 invites nominations for one Region 9 Governor from the Sacramento Section and one Region 9 Governor from the San Francisco Section for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2019.  To be considered for this position, you must be a Society member in Good Standing and have an Address of Record within the Region being represented.  It is encouraged that nominees also have prior service as a Branch, Section or Technical Group officer, member of a Section or Branch committee, or a member of a Society-level Committee with demonstrated leadership skills.  These are elected positions under the election procedures and rules of ASCE.

To apply for either one of these positions, submit the following documents by the deadline of December 1, 2018, to 1) Yazdan Emrani, P.E., Region 9 Nominating Committee Chair, at YEmrani@sfcity.org and 2) Patricia Jones, Managing Director, Executive and Board Operations, ASCE, at PJones@ASCE.org :

— A Letter of Intent to apply for this elected office
— Signed Governor Commitment document (contact Yaz Emrani for form)
— Biographical Statement, not to exceed 200 words
— Vision Statement, not to exceed 200 words
— Any endorsements
— Color head shot photograph

Nominees will be requested to attend an interview before the Region 9 Board of Governors on January 25, 2019, in Los Angeles, CA, at a time and specific location to be set. For questions, please contact Yaz Emrani via email or at (818) 898-1222.


Go Back