• website hero
Countdown to Show!
  • Days

  • :
  • Hrs

  • :
  • Min

  • :
  • Sec

Transforming Airports with Envision: A Journey Towards Sustainability and Resilience

A Blog by RS&H

The importance of sustainability - optimizing economic, social, and environmental performance - in today's world cannot be overstated. For airports, embracing sustainability has become a critical objective to reduce their carbon footprint, create more resilient facilities, and increase equity and social responsibility in host communities.

Envision® can apply to different airport project types. RS&H is working on Envision® projects at 10 different airports across the nation, ranging from small general aviation airports to large hub international airports. Many common strategies implemented in projects utilizing the Envision® framework include:
  • Implementing improvements to safety beyond what is minimally required by FAA or other regulatory requirements
  • Developing long-term maintenance plans for airfield pavement or stormwater controls
  • Considering ways to implement renewable energy technologies or alternative fuels during the construction or operations phases of a project
  • Collaborating with the contractor to identify ways to improve construction safety
  • Reducing construction waste, water use, and energy consumption
  • Conducting public engagement activities to understand stakeholder concerns and incorporating feedback into the design
  • Incorporating LED lighting and other measures to reduce long-term maintenance and cost

How Airports are Using Envision®

Airfield Projects | Terminal Facilities | Transportation | Water | Vehicle Facilities | Support Facilities

These strategies are widely accepted and implemented due to their alignment with a triple bottom line approach. These actions not only improve environmental and social outcomes for the surrounding community, but they also lead to cost savings for the airport client, including reduced maintenance and longer lasting materials, lower construction costs, and decreased liability from safety incidents.

While there are numerous opportunities to integrate Envision® into airport improvement projects, obtaining Envision® verification continues to pose unique challenges compared to typical municipal infrastructure projects. Restricted public access, along with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards contribute to these challenges. Without careful consideration, airfield projects can struggle to achieve the same level of sustainability as other infrastructure projects. Recognizing this difficulty, the ISI initiated a committee in collaboration with consultants in the AEC industry to develop solutions to integrate sustainability more seamlessly into airport projects. RS&H serves as a member of this committee to improve ISI’s understanding of airports and drive increased interest in Envision® among airport clients.

As a result of these difficulties, airports have begun to take a programmatic approach to sustainable infrastructure. For example, RS&H has developed sustainable design and construction guidance for airports to streamline integration with capital improvement programs. RS&H is also supporting airports with integrating sustainability principles and programs such as landscaping policies or construction requirements into sustainable master or management plans to meet ambitious sustainability goals. Rather than creating new policies or documentation for each individual project, the programmatic approach enables airports to efficiently navigate the Envision® process, while elevating innovation and achieving goals more quickly and economically. One application of Envision® at the programmatic level occurred at the Tampa International Airport (TPA). Read more about how we achieve Envision verification for clients at https://www.rsandh.com/resources/insights/transforming-airports-with-envision-a-journey-towards-sustainability-and-resilience/.