Our Philosophy

HELM endeavors to help advance both the sustainability and resiliency of land connected infrastructure through the practice of Holistic Engineering, which utilizes the principles of Holistic Management. Holistic Management is founded on simple testing questions used as a decision making guide. These testing questions promote a bundling of benefits and can be implemented throughout the duration of an engineering project. Holistic engineering promotes systems-based, rather than prescriptive, design measures that balance environmental, social, and economic realities – the triple bottom line.

HELM also incorporates the teachings of Envision Certification developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. As a planning and design guidance tool, Envision provides industry-wide sustainability metrics for all infrastructure types to measure how projects achieve a triple bottom line outcome. Envision promotes sustainable choices in infrastructure development by providing a flexible framework of criteria and performance objectives. HELM uses this framework to assist decision makers in identifying sustainable approaches during the planning, design, construction, and operation phases of a project.

HELM’s culture of continually questioning “how” and “why” land connected projects can evolve to work with nature is prompted by a deep desire to achieve holistic sustainability for all types and sizes of civil infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, airports, dams, levees, landfills, pipelines, water treatment systems, and other elements that make up civil works. HELM believes that holistic sustainability is vital because infrastructure performance is maximized when decision makers are able to come together to begin to bundle benefits – for example, drainage infrastructure that promotes flood protection, water quality, and water conservation. Holistic Management and Envision are the tools that can be used by decision makers to overcome constraints while taking full advantage of the resources within multiple departments and multiple agencies..

A Holistic Engineering approach to projects provides our clients the following: reduced adverse impact on a community’s triple bottom line; cost savings for owners, especially over time; long-term viability of a project by focusing of function and resiliency; healthier and more efficient management and stakeholder collaboration; and increased public support as a result of projects that bundle benefits.