SOA’s own office building is a testament to our commitment to wise resource stewardship: it is ranked the most energy efficient office building in Columbia by Columbia Water & Light, and it is the only commercial building in Columbia to harvest rainwater for irrigation and sewage conveyance.

A misconception that ‘green’ buildings cost more than their less sustainable counterparts contributes to skepticism. Our job is to educate our clients on the initial investment, as well as the life-cycle costs, of their options. In many cases, clients are surprised by the relatively quick payback period, and even more motivated by the long term savings, associated with energy efficient building features. We provide clients with the information and expertise needed to create a design that fits their sustainability goals.

What makes SOA’s approach to Sustainability unique?

SOA has three basic approaches to sustainable design, that usually proceed in the following order:

Provide Passive & Practical Solutions

With four LEED Accredited Professionals and 30 years in business, SOA brings a breadth of experience developing designs with both economic and environmental benefits. To us, ‘good’ design, not just ‘green’ design, should contribute creative and down-to-earth solutions from a project's inception.

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Enable Informed Decision Making

We believe it is the architects duty to provide clients with the data they need to make informed decisions. Many critical decisions affecting a buildings energy and water efficiency are made from the Pre-Design phase through Design Development, when different heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and plumbing systems are selected. SOA works with engineering consultants to provide the client with a range of options, including their costs and benefits, for any given decision.

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Promote Sustainable Practices

Buildings can serve as a powerful tool for educating the public on environmental solutions. SOA believes buildings that employ sustainable practices should be recognized, be that through educational signage, tours, media attention, or local awards. And for clients that desire it, SOA has successfully navigated the LEED Certification and Energy Star Rating systems.

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