You may know what infrastructure is – defined as “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (such buildings, roads, or power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise” – but do you know what it means for infrastructure to be sustainable?
The concept refers to the design and subsequent implementation of elements in a manner that does not negatively impact the processes necessary to maintain a healthy balance of equity and functionality within a community.
To put it simply, society would be unable to go on without transportation systems, power-generation facilities, or sanitation networks that balance functionality with preservation of the ecosystem. As a whole, sustainable infrastructure protects the environment, facilitates the healthy development of a nation’s economy, and improves the quality of life of its citizens.
Because engineering firms design and develop critical infrastructure systems, it is important that they meet certain sustainability specifications or certifications. KC strives to abide by a number of such regulations to guarantee minimal environmental impact when designing a project.
In addition to regulations followed during design, KC’s inspectors are experienced in observing required environmental protections in the field. Amendments put forth in 1972 to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act mandate that firms identify a project’s potential pollutants before engaging in any stormwater work (since harmful chemicals can accumulate when stormwater is drained from an area) and devise ways to prevent those pollutants from being released.
These methods are called Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs), and must also include an emergency spill response proposition with a list of procedures to follow in the event of a release.
After preparing the SWPPP, KC ensures that it is in place and that environmental permitting is adhered to. Additionally, KC applies for and ensures compliance with environmental permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), and other agencies to protect the streams, wetlands, and environments surrounding various projects.
Making sure infrastructure is sustainable equates to a better world, one in which everyone works together to help the planet thrive, and KC is proud to play an active role in that effort.
Visit these links to learn about some of the “green” services that KC has performed in the past:
- Design Services for Kingston Connectivity, Kingston, NY
- Design Services for Green Infrastructure Bowery Bay, NYCEDC
- Design Services for Region 8 Bridge Replacement Design-Build, Ulster County, NY