Wonder whatever happened to the students who won awards at the science fair every year? No doubt some of them grew up to be researchers at places like the EPA, and are now discovering ways to make the environment healthier. Some are working at SSOE on projects that support the EPA by improving their facilities.
The mission of the EPA’s Ecosystems Research Division in Athens, Georgia is to protect human health and the environment. The research includes analyzing our drinking water, developing better ways to clean up contaminated land in nearby neighborhoods, and identifying exactly what is leaking out of fuel tanks and into the ground at your local filling station. In Athens, as in many other EPA locations nationwide, SSOE focused on making their facilities more energy efficient, secure and environmentally friendly. As part of assessing the current condition of their facilities, we estimated the cost of implementing improvements and provided a phased implementation plan.
Meanwhile SSOE is analyzing the EPA’s facilities nationwide, and between our firm and our consultants we’re providing master planning services to address each facility’s needs. We will also help the EPA plan for the next 10 years by space planning existing and future laboratories and ensuring that each site’s master plan aligns with their strategic goals. These national efforts are being supported through SSOE’s offices across the U.S. and coordinated, appropriately enough, by our Washington, D.C. office.
The University of South Carolina (USC) is also leading the way in researching ways to improve and safeguard our environment. Their federally funded projects are exploring hydrogen fuel cell development. USC scientists are also working with the Department of Energy to research methods for producing hydrogen from nuclear power and ways of capturing harmful greenhouse gases like CO2.
SSOE is in the process of providing mechanical and electrical services (as a consultant to WTS Architects) for USC’s “Next Energy Center.” The center will perpetuate USC’s focus on alternative energy sources. As a show of their commitment to environmentally friendly initiatives, the center’s goal is to obtain a LEED™ certification of Silver, indicating the building has minimal environmental impact on its surroundings, is constructed in an environmentally sound manner, and is a safe and healthy working environment.