The Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Oberlin, Dr. David Orr, wanted his academic facility to be powered completely by solar energy. SDA was commissioned to provide design and engineering services for a roof-top solar array and a solar parking pavilion which clear-spans the faculty parking area. The Oberlin Environmental Studies Center uses no fossil fuel and produces a surplus of electricity that is shared with the local community.
The Lewis Center is the first university academic facility to obtain 100% of its energy needs from solar power in the US. The building, designed by William McDonough + Associates, sets an example of what is possible for a university/commercial scale building when sustainable technologies are employed to improve the quality of life for its occupants. The project was awarded a Top Ten Environmental Design Award by the American Institute of Architects.
SDA provided design and engineering services, procurement assistance, utility liaison and construction management as well as full system commissioning to the College.