Simple Solutions for Construction Waste

An estimated 40% of landfill waste comes from construction sites.  However, that statistic can be reduced, at least in part, by some fairly simple practices. When Boone County Government decided to renovate their main building and create an Annex from an existing nearby structure, they set a goal to recycle 50% of the project’s construction

Deciding to Renovate or Rebuild

What is now Columbia College’s 10th Street Center, housing flexible office and meeting spaces, was once a strip mall. SOA conducted a feasibility study and found that the pre-engineered metal building could easily be ‘adaptively reused’ from retail space to academic and administrative spaces. SOA’s design for 10th Street Center transformed the building’s image and

Green Roofed Restroom: Small and Sustainable

The mission of Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), which operates Shaw Nature Reserve southwest of St. Louis, is “To discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Because environmental stewardship education is central to their work, it was important to MBG that even a small restroom facility be

Selecting Building Systems

Sometimes clients hire an architect knowing exactly what they want in a building, but that is rarely the case. We believe most clients come to an architect so they can be informed of the options that exist for a particular decision, along with the costs and benefits of those choices. When it comes to long-term energy expenses,

Leading through Example and Education

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. While these environmental efforts are an economic boon for

Missouri Hall: Certified LEED Silver

What was once a 1920’s dormitory is now a ‘one-stop-shop’ for admissions and student services at Columbia College. For the renovation of Missouri Hall, SOA and Columbia College set a target of achieving LEED Silver Certification, but without adding to the construction cost. The concept of retaining a historic structure, but adapting it for efficient 21st

Novel Ways to Approach Necessities

Culverts, basins, drainage boxes: these are the utilitarian civil engineering components that perform the very critical environmental task of slowing and filtering storm water runoff. However, they don’t always look that great. For tight sites, or projects with certain aesthetic goals, these storm water measures are sometimes hidden underground entirely, at no small cost. The University

Master Planning for Maximum Benefit

The beginning of a project is a critical time. As our architectural services timeline shows, initial decisions are the most costly to un-do.  While a building’s carpet, windows or mechanical system can be replaced, changing the building’s roof design to install solar panels is not really practical. So, when a client like the Friends of the Farm approached

Picking the Right Pavement

The design for the North Quad at Columbia College presented a unique challenge: How to improve fire lane access without an excessive amount of concrete? After working with the City and the Fire Department, it was determined that ‘Cougar Drive’ should extend further into the heart of campus, and also include a T-shaped turn around


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