In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
Is your company eager to become more energy efficient and reap the financial rewards, but you aren’t sure where to start? Or maybe your company is one that equates energy efficiency programs to going on a diet. You know it would be good for you in many ways, and you keep talking about it, but you just haven’t made it happen. Now, with energy costs on the rise and emissions reduction legislation pending in Congress, there are more reasons than ever to commit. The U.S. Federal Government is one source for free tools and programs to help companies map out a strategy for reducing their energy consumption and costs. This article is an overview of the various programs, and ways companies can be recognized for their achievements in sustainability and energy reduction. Read more
Once you’ve read our article on energy management programs, take our energy survey for a chance to win a solar phone charger.Find out how your company’s energy management programs stack up against others. Please take our short survey–just six minutes–to find out. All participants will receive the results and our white paper that contains more useful information about energy management programs.
SSOE Group recently announced the launch of our new sustainability blog. This blog provides expert views on sustainable practices and products from a variety of LEED Accredited Professionals serving various industries and representing numerous disciplines. Future entries will address a variety of topics ranging from the basics, to trends, tools, legislation, and much more.
A recent post on the blog site from Tony Damon, AIA, PS, LEED AP, Chief Executive Officer, who last year earned his LEED accreditation, states, “This blog will be another opportunity for us to share our knowledge and expertise to further the constantly evolving conversation of what it means to be ‘green.’ Our ‘sustainable’ perspective at SSOE tends to be fairly pragmatic. We have a LEED resume that we’re proud of, but some of our most sustainable work would never seek that recognition—things like helping an industrial client reclaim the heat that is lost in their process or a healthcare client select the right type of lighting to accommodate their needs and also save on their energy bill. The line between sustainability and simple best practices is becoming more blurred—which is probably a good thing. We hope our perspective on the front line of this evolving shift will be interesting even to those of you who might not be a traditional ‘environmentalist’.”
Room for one more New Year’s resolution?
SSOE is celebrating our 60th anniversary this year and we’ve decided to make it our “green anniversary.” Our focus will be on the small, incremental steps we can take as individuals to make a positive impact on the environment.
You have to know where you are before you can figure out where you want to go. If you’d like to join us this year, visit our website for a comprehensive list of quick and easy calculators you can use to benchmark where you currently stand, and resources that can provide tips on how you can make 2008 the year you embark on the green frontier.
Ken Gruenhagen, PE, PMP, Division Manager in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in a recent issue of Food Engineering. The article explains the importance of food processors evaluating what they need, both now and in the future, to ensure each part of their line will enable them to meet current and future sustainability goals.
Within, Ken discusses the importance of making a proper investment in training to support newer technology. If the company fails to do this, the time required to diagnose and address issues can quickly negate the improved efficiencies that the more complex equipment provides. Additionally, he emphasizes the significance of ease of changeover between products—as a result of a discontinued product or modification, shorter production runs, or a change in packaging—must be considered as it has a large impact on line availability. Read more
Sustainable design, whether it relates to a facility or process, has become such a universal goal that instead of “Should we?” companies are asking “How should we?”
SSOE has been helping its clients answer that question on assembly plants, retail facilities, hospitals, schools — almost every building type. We recently assessed this cache of experience across all our services and projects in an effort to make it more accessible to clients. The result is a new SSOE sector, Sustainable and Renewable Solutions (SRS), led by Jerry Carter. This group coordinates delivery of a wide range of “green” services — from “5,000 feet-up” strategies such as energy and sustainability master planning, and LEED certification to improving immediate operating results by analyzing clients’ utility rates.
“Many companies are looking for more holistic and integrated approaches to renewable energy, conservation, and sustainable design. A piecemeal approach to ‘going green’ can be very inefficient and ultimately more costly,” explained Carter. On the other hand, clients with several discrete green projects want to avoid working with multiple resources to complete them. Given SSOE’s comprehensive services, the SRS group is equipped to fulfill dual missions:
- Providing integrated services to plan and execute full-scale sustainability initiatives in single or multiple locations
- Implementing a broad range of individual services/projects
Topping SSOE’s sustainability “resume” is the design of the first Gold LEED certified facility in Ohio and the first Gold LEED central utility plant in the US. Soon after the establishment of the standards, SSOE added LEED accredited professionals to its staff as a formalized commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
TOLEDO, Ohio, April 18, 2022 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is celebrating Earth Day by signing a set of sustainability commitments. These commitments will be signed by SSOE’s CEO Vince DiPofi, PE, and include the Architecture 2030 Challenge and Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). In acknowledging the importance of reducing emissions, these sustainability-focused challenges will ultimately better serve our clients, colleagues, and communities. Read more
Industrial plants have long been considered the villains in the battle with the forces of eco-friendliness. They’ve been known to consume as much of whatever energy resource is necessary to meet production goals. End of story? Hardly. Regardless of the type of facility, where lots of energy is consumed, there is energy to be saved. In industrial facilities, the opportunities lie in how to manage energy usage and waste. And you don’t have to be an avid environmentalist to want to save energy. Energy costs are rising and availability is increasingly unpredictable. It’s time to take a serious look at industrial sustainability options.
“Environmentally friendly construction” has historically implied “budget unfriendly construction” for owners of many types of facilities. In fact, if you consider strictly initial costs that perception can be accurate.
Luckily for the planet and human kind, green design offers many incentives and benefits that offset pure construction costs including lower operating costs, increased asset value, healthy and comfortable environments for occupants, and in some circumstances tax rebates, and zoning allowances. Studies performed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) have shown that green improvements to facilities pay for themselves in three years with an average ROI of 25-40% a year.
Developers or owners of new public buildings and larger private office buildings have an additional incentive to go green – LEED™ certification. Developed by the USGBC, LEED™ is currently the industry standard indicating that a building is environmentally friendly. Based on a point system, a qualifying building is rated either Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. In addition to a growing number of state and local incentives, LEED™ certification is a badge of honor, indicating the owner’s concern for the environment.
“…green improvements to facilities pay for themselves in three years with an average ROI of 25-40% a year.”
LEED™, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary standard for the design of sustainable facilities sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. Earning LEED™ certification – especially at the Gold level – means a business is extremely serious about safeguarding the environment.
The lengthy LEED™ certification process rates buildings in six major categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, construction materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design processes. Honda of America received a Gold LEED™ Award for their Central Utility Building, the utility plant providing power throughout the Honda campus in Raymond, Ohio.
Since Honda R&D Americas Inc. develops innovative technologies in environmental protection, performance and safety, its buildings utilize the latest “green” technologies as well. The award-winning structure, known as Building 10 on Honda R&D’s Central Ohio campus, supplements the original utility plant providing power now and into the future while meeting the goal of providing an energy-efficient utility operation within an energy-efficient building.
Jim Lewis, Electrical Controls Department Manager and Principal at SSOE, recently authored this informative article in Area Development Magazine advising readers to take a business-driven approach to utility projects. Whether your project is driven by production capacity, energy efficiency, regulatory requirements, or environmental sustainability, the ultimate objective is to add value to the business. Jim shares examples showing how a utility challenge can be turned into a business advantage. Read more
ATLANTA, Georgia, July 26, 2021 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is excited to announce that Matthew Oberts, PE, LEED AP, Senior Vice President and Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Manager, and Jennifer Breault, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Architect and Sustainability Committee Chair, were selected to present at Volkswagen Group of America’s Leadership Exchange hosted by Porsche Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia on July 15-16, 2021. Both Matthew and Jennifer directly support the firm’s automotive and manufacturing clients in their respective roles. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
Joe Kunkle, AIA, PE, LEED AP, principal account executive at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in University Business Magazine, turning the spotlight on ways universities are now preparing their students for an economically sustainable future, while also shifting their perceptions and values in a greener direction.
Construction Commenced During July’s Groundbreaking Ceremony
AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico, July 19, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management was hired by Continental AG to perform engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services for their new 25,000 sq. m. (nearly 270,000 SF) automotive electronics components production facility located in FINSA Industrial Park in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This facility has been designed as a “plant of the future”, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and energy efficiencies with the goal of achieving LEED® Gold certification. Read more
DURHAM, North Carolina, October 29, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to have recently completed their first Net Zero LEED® Platinum project. The new 25,000 SF North Warehouse and Distribution Center for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is located at Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina and now consolidates all warehousing efforts onto the National Institute of Health (NIH) campus, not only increasing security, but eliminating the need for off-site leasing facilities. Read more
Base and post exchanges are known for their bargain prices, and now they’ll be known for being environmentally friendly. The design-build team for the $30.9 million project was composed of the Michigan-based Walbridge Corp. and the Ohio-based SSOE Group. Read more
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, May 10, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the successful LEED® certification of Stratford STEM Magnet School. A public school in Nashville, Tennessee, operated by Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the facility can house up to 1,200 full-time students in grades 9 – 12. Last month, it received LEED Silver certification under the LEED BD+C: Schools (v2009) rating system from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 21, 2016 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Ohio honored Master Architect Louise Schlatter, AIA, NCARB, for her role as a mentor to younger colleagues pursuing a career in architecture. Louise received the award in a ceremony at the Akron Public Library on October 7, 2016. The event was part of AIA Ohio’s 2016 Convention. Read more
Nashville, Tennessee, August 25, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it along with leaders from Volkwagen Group of America’s Chattanooga Operations accepted the 2011 Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Building Green at the awards ceremony held in Nashville,Tennessee on August 12th. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 10, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, has been recognized in several sustainable design rankings recently released from Engineering News Record (ENR). SSOE ranked 1st nationally among the Top Green Design Firms in Industrial Manufacturing. In addition, ENR also named SSOE 10th among the Top Solar Power Design Firms. Rankings are based on project revenue.
Toledo, Ohio, June 28, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it is working with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (TLCPA) on their newly established BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio program. The program is offered to local businesses, residents, and government entities within the TLCPA’s area of influence.
Arnold Air Force Base, Tullahoma, Tennessee, June 10, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it is teaming with the US Air Force, US Army Corps of Engineers and Walbridge Construction to replace outdated equipment and decrease the environmental impact at the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility at Arnold Air Force Base.
Known as the Turbine Engine Dry Air Capability (TEDAC) program, the goal of the project is to replace the existing refrigeration systems to help reduce the facility’s dependency on trichloroethylene and R12 refrigerant, while improving reliability and maintainability. These hazardous substances will be replaced by more environmentally friendly fluids.
Nashville, TN, November 4, 2010 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announces it has been named to the number one spot for Top Green Design Firms in the recently released, revenue-based South Central Construction’s 2010 Top Design Firms rankings. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 26, 2010 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, announced today it has been ranked the second largest solar generation design firm in the United States by Engineering News Record (ENR), the industry’s premier news publication. The ranking took into account revenue generated from the design and construction of facilities related to solar power. This ranking validates author Judy Keen’s recent article in USA Today titled “Toledo reinvents itself as a solar-power innovator”.
HONOLULU, HI, May 27, 2010 – Phycal LLC, an algae fuel company, recently announced that engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm SSOE Group has been hired to perform preliminary engineering design for the company’s new 40-acre pilot algae farm in Central Oahu, Hawaii. The project, funded through Department of Energy (DOE) grants as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will seek to capture CO2 gas and recycle it in an algal oil production process in an open raceway pond. Read more
Toledo, Ohio, April 13, 2010 – SSOE Group, a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it will act as a Bronze Sponsor for the Asia Pacific Business Outlook (APBO) Conference being held April 19, 2010 at the University of Southern California’s Davidson Conference Center in Los Angeles.
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 29, 2009 – Brian Arend and Matt Oberts of SSOE Group recently earned their professional engineering licenses and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) accreditations after successfully completing the “Principles and Practice of Engineering” test and the “LEED for New Construction” exam. Named third among green industrial and manufacturing design firms by Engineering News Record, SSOE Group is one of nation’s largest EPCM firms, with a diverse portfolio of expertise in sustainable practices for a number of different industries. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 4, 2009—Jerry Carter, LEED® Accredited Professional and SSOE Inc., Senior Associate, along with Zach Platsis, Sustainable and Renewable Solutions Technical Specialist, will be featured presenters at the Toledo Public School Foundation’s “Engineering a Bright Future” event Thursday August 6, 2009 at the Main Library in Downtown Toledo’s Civic Plaza. The program runs from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.
TOLEDO, Ohio, July 24, 2009 – Since March 2009, SSOE has added 40 employees to its list of LEED® Accredited Professionals (LEED AP’s). That brings the number to 75 SSOE architects, engineers, managers and interior designers who have fulfilled the requirements issued by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). SSOE’s CEO Tony Damon, who was among the 40 new LEED AP’s, called the additions “proof positive” of SSOE’s ongoing commitment to implementing sustainable practices in every aspect of the Architectural and Engineering industries. “SSOE encourages its professionals to earn their LEED accreditation as a reflection of their desire to stay ahead of the curve in the evolution of green building practices,” Damon said.
TOLEDO, Ohio – May 19, 2009 – Tony Damon, CEO and President of SSOE, practices what he preaches. As the leader of one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, he is committed to continue expanding the company’s green building portfolio. Now, Damon can count himself among a growing group of LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP) in the design industry.
TOLEDO, Ohio – May 18, 2009 – SSOE will have a significant presence at the Energy Optimization and Renewable Energy in Residential and Commercial Buildings Conference, May 21, 2009. SSOE is a sponsor of the conference. In addition, the company’s Sustainable and Renewable Energy Specialist, Zach Platsis, will be a featured presenter.
Military Retailer in San Antonio, Texas is One of First to Seek Prestigious LEED Silver Certification
APRIL 07, 2009, TOLEDO, OHIO –When it comes to creating a good shopping environment, the military base exchanges of the 21st century are in step with the latest retail trends and even leading the way in environmentally friendly design. One example is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) initiative from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), the Department of Defense’s oldest retailer.
TOLEDO, OH March 25, 2009 – SSOE, Inc., one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, announces three engineering staff members have recently earned LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) by passing the LEED for New Construction Exam. The LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential designates that the individual has the knowledge and skills to facilitate the LEED certification process. Ed Gerken, Steve Hess, and Scott Speer have all become accredited and will help SSOE meet the growing demand for green engineering and conservation. Read more
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