May 2021: Sustainability
May 11, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT
Registration is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Registration discounts are available when registering groups and for the entire annual series.
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The Business Case for Sustainability: Maximizing the Economics of Your Infrastructure Investments
Speakers: Steph Larocque, James Patteson
The principles of sustainability ask designers to consider the three E’s – Environment, Equity, and Economics. This presentation focuses on how public works professionals can evaluate program choices considering comprehensive life-cycle costs to best serve their communities. Too often, sustainable approaches are not pursued due to a misconception that these features are “cost plus” nice-to-haves. The discussion is, “I’d like to do more and know it’s the right thing to do, but I don’t have the budget….” Decisions are made to pursue compliance minimums, while a better thought-out, high-performance approach, would provide a better long-term solution. The manufacturing, retail, and construction industries have learned this lesson and actively incorporate sustainable practices to gain market advantage. Google, Walmart, and the US Navy all embrace smarter, more resilient investments. They have learned that sustainability spurs innovation, creates consumer trust and brand loyalty, improves employee attraction and retention, and reduces cost. This session will use local government case studies to show how to apply design tools to evaluate more sustainable solutions and conduct comprehensive life-cycle economic analysis. “How-to” tips will be provided on tools like Envision, LEED, and other practical applications. Lessons learned will be shared on how to effectively engage staff, the community, and elected officials to inform and educate them on sustainability.
Proficiency Level: Applied
1. Analyze and communicate the benefits of sustainability that accrue to a community considering improved equity, environment, and with a focus on the financials
2. Educate governing bodies and advocate for higher performance, more resilient practices and policies based on evidence-based research and data
3. Utilize economic tools to analyze innovative approaches to deliver public works projects in a manner that serves the community in a more sustainable way
Public Agencies Can Save the World!: Steps Public Agencies can Take to Address Climate Change
Speakers: Katie Harrel, Josette Descalzo
Climate change discussions are becoming more and more necessary as changes to weather patterns and coastal communities are observed. California has experienced larger and more severe fires. The southeast has been impacted by stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Glaciers in Alaska are melting. Everyone is experiencing more extreme seasons. Public agencies are in a position of strength, as they are able to identify, plan, and implement policies, programs, and projects that can address climate change, as every initiative counts towards the greater good and future generations. This presentation includes a panel of engineers, public works directors, and elected officials that can discuss the process of identifying and implementing initiatives to address climate change. Climate change projects come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from light bulb replacement to green infrastructure to the creation of a new power source. Come hear how you can make a difference in your community’s future.
Proficiency Level: Applied
1. Initiate policies, programs, and projects that will address the impacts of climate change, ranging from light replacement to green infrastructure implementation, all of which provide a level of resistance to the changing climate
2. Establish working groups that can lead the way in creating programs and policies that can be used to address climate change, starting at the city and levels
3. Present ideas to address climate change to elected officials, who can then help raise the awareness of the general public to gain support on climate change initiatives
C4S Roundtable: Envision Better Projects
Public agencies increasingly use the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system to approach project planning, design, and construction with the triple bottom line in mind, there is a lot to learn from infrastructure owners and project teams who’ve used it and had their project verified. Envision v3 builds upon previous versions of the rating system to help project teams address climate change impacts, consider life-cycle costs, and advance social equity and community resilience. Hear from project teams that have used Envision about the challenges they’ve encountered, the lessons they’ve learned and the benefits they’ve seen, whether using Envision as a planning and design tool or pursuing project verification. Presenters will also address the verification process and discuss how they might approach the next project. This session is supported by the APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S).
Proficiency Level: Applied
1. Explore Envision v3 categories, credit requirements, and the verification process by engaging in robust conversation with experienced users
2. Compare and contrast the approaches of different teams to project planning, design, and construction using Envision
3. Examine the keys to successful Envision verification