roads and railways series #4, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wwworks’s photostream

Most of you reading this blog have heard of the LEED ratings system which certifies buildings as being “green.” Now there’s a new ratings system that will verify civil engineering projects as being sustainable. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure is a joint project of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Public Works Association.

The ratings system uses a Triple Bottom Line criteria. TBL (also known as “people, planet, profit”) takes into account the economic, environmental and social impacts of projects. The ratings goal is to have civil infrastructure projects “Doing the right thing” as in:

– Pathway Contribution: “Doing the right thing” with the community as the common denominator
– Performance Contribution: “Doing things right” or engineering high-performing projects

This is the first ratings system of its kind for civil engineering. Now, there can be an objective comparison and evaluation of civil infrastructure projects. Perhaps it can even be used as a tool to insure that there isn’t another proposal to pay for a “Bridge to Nowhere.”

You can read more about this new infrastructure rating system here.