The Sunset/Heathfield Pump Stations and Force Main Upgrade (Sunset/Heathfield) is a project of the King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD), consisting of planning, design, and construction to retrofit two pump stations that convey wastewater originating in Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau to the Eastgate Trunk in the Eastgate area of Bellevue. The project will upgrade the pumps and ancillary support equipment, and install a larger force main bringing wastewater to the facilities.
The project team’s vision is to successfully demonstrate how integration of sustainability adds value to WTD projects. To implement that vision, WTD is using this project to pilot an innovative new rating system called Envision™, which was developed specifically to measure sustainability performance for civil engineering projects. In parallel, WTD will still complete a Sustainability Infrastructure Scorecard, which is required for King County projects not eligible for LEED and is similar but not identical to Envision.
Through the King County GreenTools program, O’Brien & Company assisted the project with evaluation of LEED eligibility, an assessment of the viability of Envision, and facilitation of a sustainability charrette to kick off planning for Envision. The initial LEED assessment determined that LEED was not applicable and suggested Envision as an alternative since it aligns well with the team’s vision and goals for the project. The results of the preliminary Envision assessment were positive, and the WTD project team decided to reach out to the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)—who created and support the Envision rating system—about participating in the program. ISI was impressed with the project and asked WTD to make Sunset/Heathfield an Envision demonstration project.
O’Brien & Company, GreenTools, and the WTD project managers worked together on an integrative process for reaching their sustainability goals; this included four introductory segments at project meetings, preliminary drafting of goals and values, and a 5-hour eco-charrette with over 40 stakeholders participating. The eco-charrette resulted in agreement on the overarching project goals and a substantive list of potential strategies for achieving them, as well as for satisfying the credits of the Envision rating system (and WTD sustainability scorecard). Priority strategies focused on ease of operations and maintenance, reducing water and energy use, and being a good neighbor—all key performance areas in Envision. O’Brien staff prepared a summary report of the eco-charrette process, results, and next steps, and is now working with WTD to develop a tool for tracking strategy implementation, linked to Envision credits. Even by the high standards of King County, the Sunset/Heathfield project stands out as a comprehensive, integrated planning process focused on adding value to a project through sustainability objectives.
See a recent Daily Journal of Commerce article by King County’s Adé Franklin and O’Brien & Company’s Justus Stewart on the benefits of Envision for infrastructure projects.