Student Housing Business Article: “Georgia Tech Residence Uplifts College Experience Off Campus”

SSOE’s Laura Morton, AIA, NCARB, Senior Architect, recently authored a Student Housing Business article where she details how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of student housing. As students enjoyed the freedom and comfort of living in a variety of housing options while enrolled in college coursework, a unique new project at Georgia Tech in Atlanta was taking flight. Georgia Tech, with help from SSOE’s designers, incorporated a furnished apartment complex for students directly adjacent to campus yet apart from the university system, reflecting desirable student housing ideals.

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SSOE Group Announces Solar and Battery / EV Project Delivery Expert Perlita Schorfheide Has Joined Firm as Vice President, Program Manager

TOLEDO, Ohio, March 14, 2024 – SSOE Group, an architecture and engineering firm ranked the #2 Manufacturing Design Firm by industry-leading Engineering News-Record, is excited to announce that Perlita Schorfheide, PE, CCM, PMP, has joined the firm as Vice President, Program Manager. Schorfheide officially joined the company on March 4, 2024, reporting to Senior Vice President Scott Bussell in the firm’s Complex Projects Division. Read more

SSOE Group Architects Appointed to 2024 American Institute of Architects Toledo Board

TOLEDO, Ohio, January 29, 2024 SSOE Group, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is proud to announce the recent appointment of three architects—David Johnson, Tim Swartz, and Ashley Hathaway—to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Toledo Board. Read more

SSOE Group Acquires Integrated Engineering Services (IES)

TOLEDO, Ohio, October 16, 2023 – SSOE Group, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is delighted to announce the successful acquisition of Santa Clara, California-based Integrated Engineering Services (IES), effective October 13, 2023. This strategic move marks a significant step forward for both organizations, ushering in a new era of expanded capabilities and enhanced service offerings for our valued clients.

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SSOE Group’s Randall Holmes Appointed to AIA Greater Columbia Board

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, September 27, 2023 – SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is proud to announce that Randall Holmes, AIA, Associate Architect, has been named a board member of the American Institute of Architects of Greater Columbia (AIAGC). Read more

Lab Manager Article: “Project Profile: Georgia Southern Center for Engineering and Research”

SSOE | Stevens & Wilkinson’s Georgia Southern Center for Engineering and Research project was recently featured in Lab Manager. The new 140,000 SF facility, which was completed in January 2021, houses all engineering programs on campus containing state-of-the-art laboratories for mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, and manufacturing engineering, among others. The building is designed to facilitate academic and institutional partnerships throughout the region and produce the next generation of highly trained engineers prepared for 21st century professions.

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SSOE Group Welcomes Business Leader David Willoughby to its Building Design Group

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, July 7, 2023 — SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is excited to announce the hiring of David Willoughby, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, as Architectural Business Leader within the firm’s Building Design Group. Willoughby will be based in SSOE’s Birmingham, Alabama, office and will report directly to Robby Aull, AIA, ACHA, Senior Vice President and Division Manager of the Building Design Group. Read more

SSOE Group Interior Designer Brenda Dietz Makes Move to World Headquarters in Toledo to Better Support Midwest-Based Clients

TOLEDO, Ohio, June 15, 2023 – SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is excited to announce that Brenda Dietz, RID, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, Senior Associate and Senior Interior Designer, has recently relocated from the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia, office to SSOE’s World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio. The move signifies SSOE’s dedication to providing additional support to its healthcare, K-12, higher education, cultural arts facilities, and corporate office clients in the Midwest U.S. Read more

Darla Moore School of Business Building Earns LEED Platinum

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, January 12, 2017, SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm is proud to announce The University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business building has earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Championed by Darla Moore, for whom the school is named, the building opened in August 2014. It is the first public building in South Carolina to earn LEED Platinum. The Moore School joins business schools at Harvard and Stanford universities among a few U.S. business schools to earn the exceptional rating.

“I’m very proud that the Darla Moore School of Business has earned LEED Platinum certification,” said Moore School Dean Peter Brews. “This places the Moore School among an elite group of buildings earning the highest possible certification for sustainability – a goal that the school set early on in the design and construction of our new building.”

In addition to enhancing the school’s teaching and research activities, the building and its green design has played an important role in the recruitment of students and faculty. Student ambassadors give tours every week that showcase the facility’s many green features.

The USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program is the nationally accepted standards for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are four LEED certification levels: certified, silver, gold and the highest, platinum.

LEED certification is based on a point system in seven categories that include water efficiency, energy, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources and innovation in design.

The school was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Net-Zero Energy Initiative (Commercial Building Partnership Program), to partner with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other national energy labs to incorporate the latest energy-saving technologies into the building’s design. The U.S. DOE chose to partner with the Moore School for its commitment to incorporate sustainability into its teaching and research and for using its building to make the business case for sustainability.

The Moore School is the third LEED Platinum certified building for the architectural firm Rafael Viñoly Architects.

“We are honored that the Darla Moore School of Business received the highest green building commendation in the United States,” said Viñoly, lead designer and founder of the architectural firm. “It is a gratifying achievement to meet the university’s goals for academic excellence and a forward-looking vision for partnership with the community, all while setting a benchmark in terms of design and sustainable use of resources.”

The Viñoly team said some the biggest green design challenges were the building’s cantilevered and glass design to maximize natural light and minimize heat gain, the outdoor terrace and roof garden spaces and balancing individual user control with overall building cooling efficiencies in office, classroom and conference spaces.

The building was designed with energy and future use in mind. The green roofs capture storm water for reuse and irrigation, and the building was designed for the potential addition of photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight to energy. Specially designed walls and raised floors allow the school to adapt and reconfigure space to meet future use and needs.

Keith Branham, who served as SSOE’s chief engineer on the Moore School building, said the project required high-level collaboration and involved many of the university’s engineering graduates who are particularly proud of the hybrid heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

“The building’s hybrid HVAC systems incorporate under-floor air, active chilled beams and variable air volume systems, all designed to reduce the amount of power needed to move air for heating and cooling,” said Branham whose team designed a separate HVAC system for the W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall to ensure quiet air conditioning without affecting the acoustics of the hall. The performance hall serves as a 500-seat lecture hall as well as a performance space for the university’s School of Music. An intensively used space day and night, the hall represents a novel partnership between the business and music schools.

David Dewar, senior project executive with Gilbane Construction, said designing and constructing a building at LEED Platinum standards is “intrinsically complicated” and required a detailed trickle-up approach from crew to management to ensure that procedures and documentation were followed.

Dewar says his favorite green feature is the drinking fountains.

“All drinking fountains in the Moore School include a bottle filler that enables students to fill their reusable water bottles. By using a water bottle, less water is purchased in disposable plastic bottles, which reduces the environmental impact by eliminating plastic products in landfills,” said Dewar who adds the Moore School as the first LEED Platinum building to his many Gold and Silver-level projects.

Led by former dean Hildy Teegen and former university sustainability director Michael Koman, with the involvement of the business community, faculty, staff and students, the Moore School building is the most ambitious green building project in the university’s history.

The university has been a leader in collegiate sustainability for more than a decade. To date, the university has more than 10 LEED certified buildings, of which four – the Honors Residence, the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, Patterson Residence Hall the Rice Athletics Building – have earned Gold status. Five buildings have earned Silver, and six buildings are pending LEED certification.

The university ushered in an era of building green in 2004 when it opened Green (West) Quad, the state’s first public LEED building and the first green residence hall in the United States. It has been a major driver of South Carolina’s building green success, having played a pivotal role in building the state’s infrastructure for green construction through the training of building professionals, including architects, contractors and engineers, and spurring a green-product market in the Southeast.

# # #

*News release published by the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business

Darla Moore School of Business LEED Certification Fact Sheet: The U.S. Green Building Council administers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program, which sets forth the nationally accepted standards for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are four LEED certification levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum.

Moore School LEED Award: LEED Platinum in the category of New Construction: Building Design and Construction (BD+C). The building was officially certified Dec. 12, 2016.

About LEED Platinum in BD+C:

Certification criteria                                         Moore School / Maximum possible score

  • Sustainable sites                                         23 / 26
  • Water efficiency                                          10 / 10
  • Energy & atmosphere                                 22 / 35
  • Material & resources                                   6 / 14
  • Indoor environmental quality                    10 / 15
  • Innovation design                                        6 / 6
  • Regional priority credits                              4 / 4

Total:                                                                  81 / 110

LEED certification levels:

Certified               40 – 49 points
Silver                    50 – 59 points
Gold                      60 – 79 points
Platinum              80+ points

Platinum facts:

  • South Carolina has 15 LEED Platinum buildings, nine of which are private residences.
  • The Moore School is the largest LEED Platinum building (265,000 square foot) in South Carolina. The next largest is Half-Moon Outfitters Distribution Center in Charleston.
  • The Moore School is the only public higher education building in South Carolina. Wofford College’s Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center is 2,000 square-feet.
  • There are 252 LEED Platinum (new construction BD+C) buildings in the United States, with no higher education building comparable to the Moore School.
  • The Moore School’s electricity usage is 33 percent less in the new business building, which amounts to $151,000 less in annual costs.
  • Natural gas usage is 54 percent of the campus average.
  • Water usage is 37 percent of the campus average.
  • The Moore School won the USGBC’s 2014 Exemplary Project Award.
  • The Moore School established a Page Prize for Sustainability Curriculum to recognize innovation in higher education.

Clemson Core Campus Precinct Recognized by AIA South Carolina Chapter

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, April, 24 2018, SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, announced today that the Clemson University Core Campus Precinct earned a 2018 Merit Design Award by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) South Carolina Chapter (AIASC).

Following a 2002 Campus Master Plan decision to demolish and replace three major buildings in the middle of its main campus, Clemson University and SSOE set out to fundamentally reimagine the university’s entire Core Campus Precinct. The design team, consisting of Stevens & Wilkinson, VMDO Architects and Sasaki, diligently worked to develop a clear and engaging vision for the Precinct’s evolution. What came of this was a forward-looking approach to housing, academics, dining and student life programs combined into an intense, innovative and dynamic mixed-use center where current and prospective students can now connect with Clemson’s traditions in a new and exciting contemporary atmosphere.

“The Core Campus Precinct project embodies all the aspects of the ‘Clemson experience’ and is one of the most complex higher education projects of its kind,” said Ashby Gressette, AIA, principal at SSOE. “This new building has paved the way for other institutions to create similar spaces of this nature, and we look forward to seeing its influence in the higher education sector of our industry.”

Comprised of nearly 286,000 square feet, with a construction cost of approximately $83 million, the Core Campus Precinct achieves the growing demands for contemporary housing and dining options. The primary goals for this project included capturing the best of the “Clemson experience;” advanced coordination of future projects outlined in the Campus Master Plan; creating a facility to enable recruitment and retention of students; and achieving LEED Silver Certification, which U.S.G.B.C. confirmed the project accomplished late last year.

The purpose of the Design Awards program is to encourage and recognize distinguished architectural achievement, to honor architectural teams, their clients and consultants who work together to improve the built environment, and to demonstrate and raise public awareness of the architect’s role in shaping the quality of life through superior design.

AIASC announced this year’s award recipients at their annual Design Conference in conjunction with ArtFields, a renowned nine-day art competition. Held in the small town of Lake City, S.C., the conference began on April 18 and ended on Friday, April 20. This year’s theme, Community: By Design, focused on the power of art and design in creative place-making, especially as it pertains to small rural communities.

SSOE greatly contributed to the success Lake City has experienced over the last decade by designing the projects that helped ArtFields come to life, projects including the National Bean Market Museum where the ceremony for this year’s Design Awards was held. In addition to the National Bean Market Museum, SSOE also worked on the following projects in Lake City: The Ragsdale Museum, Jones Carter Art Gallery, Village Green, the Ronald E. McNair Science Park and Life History Center, Imperial Building, and Comfort Stations.

SSOE Group Completes Innovative Campus for Lanier Technical College

ATLANTA, Georgia, February 5, 2019 – SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, announced the completion and opening of the Hall County Campus for Lanier Technical College.

SSOE worked with prime design professional Pond and Lanier Technical College to construct the new 85-acre complex in Gainesville, Ga. The replacement campus features 325,000-square feet of space, including six new buildings, increased surface parking and related site amenities. Reflecting SSOE’s on-going commitment to creating environmentally friendly spaces, the new campus is expected to receive two out of three peaches from Georgia’s sustainable design grading program.

“We are thrilled to deliver this cutting-edge campus to Lanier Technical College after three years of diligent work by our team,” said Todd Dolson, AIA, of SSOE GA. “Alongside our partners at Pond, we feel we have achieved our goal in creating a 21st Century Campus that fits architecturally in the community while offering unique learning environments for every personality.”

SSOE was responsible for the master planning, complete interior design and FF&E of the entire campus, as well as the design of the Breeden-Giles Hall Administration & Student Success Building, the Chris Riley Instructional Building, and the Wilbur & Dixie Ramsey Conference Center.

The centerpiece of the project is the Administration and Student Success Center, which are considered the new “front door” to the campus – and house the Office of the President, student services, student affairs, and student life departments. By placing each of these buildings together, the team created a “one-stop-shop” where students can manage all aspects of their professional development and career planning.

Additionally, the new instructional building includes the general education, adult education , business and computer technology, and early childhood development programs. This space features classrooms designed to meet a wide array of educational concepts, including problem-based learning (PBL), team-based learning (TBL) and student-centered environments with evolving pedagogies.

Finally, the new conference center is highlighted by large gathering spaces, including a 225-seat auditorium and 10,000-square-foot exhibition hall. To encourage collaboration, the center also features break-out classrooms, study zones, and magnet spaces and that now allow students to choose their own path for learning.

The $100 million campus opened in October 2018 and joins Lanier Technical College’s other campuses located in Barrow, Dawson, Forsyth and Jackson counties.

SSOE Receives Outstanding Project Award and National Recognition for Auburn University Project

Learning By Design


Contact Mark Goodman

(216) 896.9333


Cleveland, OH – April 1, 2020 –SSOE Group (, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, has received an Outstanding Project Award for excellence in educational facility design in the spring 2020 edition of Learning By Design, the premier source for education design innovation and excellence. The Auburn University – Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory (Auburn, AL) has been recognized by Learning By Design magazine for its architectural and interior design and for having next-generation benchmark type design and planning features worthy of imitation.

Learning By Design’s distinguished spring 2020 jury of five architects and end-users applauded Stevens & Wilkinson for its accomplishment in designing the Auburn University – Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory. All projects included in this edition are each peer-reviewed. The jury discusses and looks for in the project unique and or new concepts being implemented to improve education facility building design. Projects such as the Auburn University – Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory are scored on six measures: Innovation, Community Need, Interior Design, Sustainability, Functional Design, and 21st Century Learning.

The Jury comments about this project included: “The design took advantage of existing space while redesigning to make the most of natural light and redesigning spaces within with relationship to existing elements, i.e. windows. The environment has a mixture of an industrial feel within the working spaces, but a relaxing, calming feel within the lounge and collaboration areas. This project fulfills a mission to give space to the users, and includes an aesthetic that feels democratic.”

Learning By Design, published in the Spring, Summer, Fall each year circulates to more than 50,000 leaders and decision-makers at all levels of education—from early childhood and elementary schools, career-technical, college, and university-level institutions across the United States. For more details and to access the magazine’s digital edition, visit:

In the fall of 2020, LEARNING BY DESIGN will publish its October Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence edition. This issue will feature a new group of recently activated or designed Pre-K to 12 schools and college/university facilities. Editorial will focus in on education design research, transforming environments for socialization and pedagogy, and includes a report from DIALOGUES 2020.

SSOE Announces Several Recent American Institute of Architects Board Elections

TOLEDO, Ohio, February 10, 2022 SSOE (, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce several recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) board appointments within their Building Design Group business unit. The four SSOE individuals appointed are Todd Dolson, Heather Judge, Adriane McGillis, and Laura Morton. Read more

SSOE Higher Education Architect and Training Center Specialist Tim Swartz Selected as Panelist at Upcoming OEDA Annual Summit

TOLEDO, Ohio, October 26, 2021 – SSOE Group (, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Tim Swartz, AIA, NCARB, Higher Education Architect and Training Center Specialist, will serve as a panelist at the Ohio Economic Development Association’s (OEDA) 2021 Annual Summit taking place October 26 – 27, 2021. Read more

SSOE’s CEO Vince DiPofi Joins Owens Community College at Grand Opening Ceremony of $9.6M Dana Center

SSOE Provided Architecture, Engineering, and Interior Design Services on this Award-Winning Facility Project

TOLEDO, Ohio, October 8, 2021 – SSOE Group (, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, was proud to be a part of Owens Community College’s grand opening ceremony that took place this past Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The event showcased the $9.6 million Dana Incorporated Advanced Manufacturing Training Center—also known as the Dana Center—a 59,000 SF facility created in response to labor market needs for preparing skilled workers for in-demand jobs. Read more

SSOE Group’s Youngstown State University Excellence Training Center Project Holds Ribbon Cutting to Commemorate Grand Opening

TOLEDO, Ohio, August 31, 2021 – SSOE Group (, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is excited and proud to announce their Youngstown State University Excellence Training Center (ETC) project hosted a ribbon cutting at the end of July. The ETC, located in Youngstown, Ohio, is a $12 million facility that will serve as an advanced manufacturing education and workforce training facility.
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