LA Expo Line Phase 2 certified “green”

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The Los Angeles County MTA (LACMTA) Expo Line Phase 2 LRT extension has become the first transit project to receive Envision™ Platinum certification from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

Representatives of construction and development firm Skanska, which was part of the extension’s design-build team, say the extension—valued at more than $700 million and completed by the Skanska-Steve P. Rados Construction joint venture in spring 2016—holds the largest contract value of any project to receive Envision certification.

Envision certification, commonly compared to LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for building construction, provides a “holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental and economic benefits of all types of infrastructure projects,” Skanska explains.

“This is a significant milestone for every stakeholder involved in this project,” said Elizabeth Heider, Skanska USA Chief Sustainability Officer. “As the global green community converges in Los Angeles for Greenbuild, Expo 2’s Envision certification shows that, no matter what you’re building, it can be built green. The potential to combine well-accepted green standards like LEED for buildings with Envision’s rubric for infrastructure opens the door to district-level green planning like never before. Like LEED for buildings, Envision provides a language and a metric for infrastructure intended to inspire and reveal sustainable performance. This Platinum award is a testament to the ambition and commitment of LA Metro and the entire Expo 2 team and their commitment to put a green spotlight on their work.”

Within the criteria required to become Envision-certified are factors such as a project’s effects on the local environment, technical aspects, materials and processes, and other considerations regarding a project’s total lifecycle, officials say.

The Expo Line extension brings LACMTA light rail service from Culver City to Santa Monica. Officials say the project was considered for certification in part due to efforts made by Skanska to enhance the quality of life of those near the project site, hire locally for craft labor, source regional materials to meet the Envision program’s highest standards, and for linking the new line with other means of transportation.





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