By Anthony Gilbreath
TULSA, Okla., November 14, 2016 / 3BL Media / – SGA Design Group (SGA) is a dynamic, Tulsa-based architectural firm that is combining sustainable design with sustainable practices. Over the past two decades, SGA has grown into an architectural leader with over 80 employees, 25 licensed architects, 2 offices, and a nation-wide network of experts. SGA provides architectural services for major brands all across the country. They work primarily with retail and medical office clients to develop smart prototypes and plans for multi-project rollouts. SGA is built on relationships, and they really excel at partnering with clients to help them achieve their goals.
Per Chris Goble, President and CEO, “We believe in being leaders in the field of sustainable design, and we’re proud to know our passion for this commitment shows in our work.”
SGA believes that being good stewards of the environment is a core responsibility in their practice of architecture. They consider it their responsibility to create appropriate and quantifiable design solutions that meet their clients’ unique needs. In order to achieve this objective, SGA makes it a priority to understand the constantly changing relationship between the built and natural environments. They also collaborate with industry experts and leading organizations such as USGBC®, the Green Building Initiative®, and the EPA’s Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR® program. They want to make sure they are meeting or exceeding all leading industry standards.
SGA has also been a pioneer in providing LEED® consulting and project administration services for large national chains. They have completed more than 35 LEED certified projects and received 5 Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR Certificates of Achievement. They are able to achieve this because they put a priority on hiring highly-skilled and qualified professionals. “We are proud to employ numerous LEED® Accredited and Green Globes Professionals™” said Daryl Bray, COO.
Not only does SGA deliver industry-leading sustainable design to their clients, but they also run their business in a very sustainable manner. They scored very high in a recent CurrentState™ sustainability audit that was conducted for their headquarters in Tulsa, OK. “Their sustainability performance was strong across the board, however two categories really stood out. These were ‘Society and Human Rights’ and ‘Waste and Recycling’”, says Anthony Gilbreath, Principal at Caelus Consulting. “SGA has implemented an impressive waste recycling program. The program has allowed them to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills by approximately 50% over the course of 8 years. Additionally, they are very active in their community, donating to several local charities as well as participating in volunteer activities.”
Under the leadership of SGA’s Director of Sustainability, Kim Limbaugh, they are also fulfilling another important role – as sustainability advocates with their property manager. Many companies that lease space feel there is little their organization can do to become more sustainable. SGA shows by example how tenants can be sustainability influencers, educators and partners with their landlords.
Being an architectural firm, SGA is uniquely qualified to provide sustainable design consultation. In 2008 when they relocated to a different floor within their building, this is exactly what they did. Beyond designing a sustainable workplace for their employees, they also provided design and retrofitting advice for the building owners.
New lighting systems were being installed within the tenant space, and the restrooms for the floor were also being upgraded. SGA provide the property manager with a full building water analysis along with high-efficiency fixture recommendations, and this information helped drive their decision to retrofit all restrooms within the building. SGA’s lighting system design included LED’s as well as multilevel and motion sensor lighting controls, and this design has become the standard for other remodel projects within the 15 story building, resulting in reduced energy costs for the property manager.
Additionally, SGA hired a local company for their internal recycling services. One conversation led to another with the property manager, and soon the vendor was providing recycling services for the entire building. SGA is also working with the property manager to help identify opportunities to incentivize recycling by the tenants within the building.
Beginning in the fall of 2015, SGA participated in the ‘Sustainable Tulsa Scor3card Program’. The program was designed to provide local businesses with high-level advice about sustainable business practices. Energy, water and waste benchmarking were included in the list of required practices in order to be recognized as completing the program. SGA used this as an opportunity to approach their landlord about benchmarking for not only their floor, but also for the entire building. According to Ms. Limbaugh, “We offered to help our property manager with benchmarking, using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Through that initial conversation, we discovered that they are extremely interested in pursuing this, and we hope to begin assisting them in the upcoming year”.
In conclusion, SGA has shown itself to be a rising sustainability leader in both their profession as well as their community. SGA offers sustainable design solutions for their clients as well as conducting their business in a very sustainable way. Sustainable design impacts the environment and the environmental and financial performance of clients for years to come. Running a business in a sustainable manner does the same thing. Finally, as a tenant, SGA shows the positive role companies leasing space can and should play.
About SGA Design Group
SGA is an established architectural leader focusing on volume programs for retail and medical office. Our extensive experience includes architectural prototype development, multi-project rollout, entitlement, permitting, sustainable design, and construction services.