Oracle Receives Award for Sustainable Design

WestEnd1156584 1.jpg

Austin, TX – The Oracle Waterfront Campus has been recognized by the Austin Green Awards for outstanding sustainable design and innovation as well as design strategies that respond to rapidly evolving environmental, social, and health imperatives.

A celebration of green spaces, people places, and relationship to Lady Bird Lake, Oracle took great care to create a contemporary office campus that inspires outstanding employee performance while enhancing comfort and well-being. As a neighbor to both the trail and the lake, the verdant landscaped grounds offer a new connection to the local ecology, native plants, and iconic heritage shade trees. 2.75 acres of publicly accessible space has been created along Lake Shore Drive to promote healthy living—not just for Oracle’s employees but surrounding residents and businesses.

The design team met the challenge to create a resilient building system that would respect its surrounding environment and reduce the site's overall carbon footprint. To enable low impact measures, sustainable materials were carefully sourced for better efficiency and the building is self-sustained by its onsite utility plant. The use of native plants decreases water usage, and site water is directed into planting areas to provide additional water to vegetation. Other successful measures were Oracle’s purchase of the nearby apartments. The live-work-play environment encourages walking and biking which has dramatically reduced traffic in the area. All the strategies add up to a site enabled to preserve the integrity of the environment and promote further engagement with the natural space for years to come.

The Austin Green Awards was held on October 24th at The Sunset Room in Austin, Texas. We share this award with the entire project team including Ryan Companies, Square One Consultants, TBG Partners, Walter P. Moore, and EEA Consulting Engineers.

Pantex Wins Best Regional Government Project

Nashville, TN - The John C. Drummond Center at the Pantex Plant, designed by STG Design, has received the 2018 Award for Best Regional Project in the Government/Public Building category by ENR (Engineering News-Record).

Judges recognized the Pantex project for its safety, innovative design, and contribution to the industry as well as design quality and construction craftsmanship. The design team successfully met the challenges of developing a modern high-security facility in a remote location under a tight construction schedule by intentional selection of materials and building systems that could be fabricated off-site in controlled environments and sourcing quality subcontractors from nearby states.

The Department of Energy's Pantex facility provides an administrative and support structure charged with the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons mission. The 343,000-square-foot building, designed as a three-wing complex, houses 1,100 administrative staff and is equipped with a 300-seat auditorium, conference center, meeting spaces, full-service cafeteria, and medical and employee health and fitness facilities.

In addition to the ENR award, Pantex has received LEED certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. The benefit of LEED buildings is providing energy and water savings, conserving materials resources, generating less waste, and supporting overall human health and wellbeing.

Project team members Rich Grandt and Paul Spencer from STG Design attended the ceremony in Houston, Texas to accept the award. Congratulations to our client, Turner Construction and other project partners, and the entire project team.

Oracle Waterfront Campus Brings Home ULI Impact Award


AUSTIN, TX  - The Oracle Waterfront project received the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Impact Award for the Most Influential Project this week at their annual award ceremony. This award recognizes work that energizes and impacts its surrounding community by enhancing economic development, environmental remediation, and improved health. 

The new Oracle Waterfront Campus has provided a vision for growth, transformation, and economic potential in an area that was mostly underutilized. Paul Suttles, an architect at STG Design stated, "At the outset of the project, Oracle's leadership team envisioned a unique corporate campus; with a sense of permanence yet organic, to create a healthy and sustainable workplace that is at the heart of Oracle’s mission for this site. This design delivered on that vision."  The connection to nature is extensive through the use of native plants and six relocated heritage trees in the landscape, which was designed to add to the local ecology by attracting birds and butterflies. The campus has successfully emphasized health and wellness for employees and residents with the inclusion of B-Cycle stations and proximity to the Hike and Bike Trail. Notable public/private partnerships involved include the Chamber of Commerce, which was instrumental in securing Oracle’s expansion and the Trail Foundation, with whom the team worked to incorporate the master plan with the city’s East River Corridor master plan, maintaining pedestrian linkages, easements for bike lanes, and grid connectivity. The City of Austin was instrumental in facilitating the success of the project through the efforts of the Economic Development Council. Additionally, the South Shore district has benefited economically and aesthetically as the project has helped to open doors for new restaurants, new shopping, new residential developments, and the significant renovation of existing properties. 

The project team includes Ryan Companies, Square One Consultants, Asterisk Group Design, TBG Partners, Walter P. Moore, and EEA Consulting Engineers.

ULI Austin’s annual Impact Awards celebrate projects and people throughout Greater Austin that exemplify ULI’s mission: to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. The awards ceremony was held on August 28th at the ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas.

Oracle Waterfront Campus Receives Golden Trowel Award

Oracle award squarespace.jpg

AUSTIN, TX – The Oracle Waterfront campus, which is a vision for a new corporate campus on the edge of downtown in East Austin, has received the Golden Trowel Award for excellence in the Industrial/Commercial category.

STG Design provided design consultation and architectural services and was very proud to work with CW Oates to bring the concept to life. The choice to incorporate the use of stone was meant to serve as one of the building’s connections to nature and the outdoors – including a stunning outdoor plaza and paths that lead to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. 

STG Design Principals Jim Susman and Jack Tisdale along with Rob Cousins were Principals in Charge and Square One served as Project Manager on the campus. Ryan Companies provided the construction and Walter P Moore structural engineering and EEA electrical engineering were also included on the team.

Located on Ladybird Lake, the 560,000 sf Oracle Waterfront campus is designed to attract, retain and inspire top talent—including the many millennials entering the workforce. The vision is a facility that inspires outstanding employee performance while enhancing comfort and well-being. The design includes flexible, forward-thinking spaces featuring large floorplates and ten-foot ceilings for abundant natural light, and a stunning outdoor plaza that provide workers with the opportunity to reflect and recharge. Amenities include multiple cafes and state-of-the-art wellness and fitness facilities. Planning is already underway on the next phase of the campus. 

The Central Texas Mason Contractors Association (CTMCA) recognizes and celebrates high-quality masonry design and craftsmanship with the annual Golden Trowel Awards. Each year outstanding architects, contractors, suppliers, and their masonry projects are evaluated for excellence.

The 2018 awards presentation was held on June 22nd at the Archer Hotel in Austin, Texas.


AUSTIN, TX – STG Design was honored last week with the 2018 Firm Achievement Award from AIA Austin. This award transcends individual project accomplishments and recognizes one architectural practice every year for extraordinary contributions to the profession, sustained design excellence, and the broader engagement with our community. STG Design is grateful to the many clients, collaborators, consultants, and company employees throughout the years for their critical contributions to the achievement of this significant milestone. “Recognition of achievement by our peers is extremely gratifying,” said Jim Susman, President, and CEO. “Our STG team works every day to design at the highest levels, to bring creative business solutions to our clients. The award is a very pleasing and unintended consequence.”

Since 1976, STG Design has been grounded in the belief that great design optimizes business performance and human potential. The team has considerable experience providing successful planning and design solutions and the consistent quality of their work across a wide-range of project types has been recognized by more than 70 local, regional and national design awards. “STG Design has a long history of architectural work that has set the standard in Austin," said Tina Grider-Cannon, VP of Government Relations, Austin Chamber of Commerce. "This locally grown gem is a proud Austin institution.”

At STG, community engagement is a way of life—the firm is not only in the business of vitalizing cities, but they are also activists. For more than four decades, the STG staff has volunteered to lead boards, task forces and volunteers time to organizations like the Meals on Wheels, the Refuge, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, and the Boys and Girls Club.

The firm designs spaces that support the civic impact and diverse patterns of community life with a goal to enrich the urban identity and promote sustainable urbanization. David Stauch, Managing Principal of Capital Project Management, said of STG, “Part of the magic at STG is working with a group of people who value both process and product, who place the client’s interests above their own, and who seem to enjoy the building of relationships as much as the buildings.” STG has worked on projects with influential entities including The University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, The State of Texas, Dell, Apple, and Google. The firm has celebrated two significant projects including the sustainable mixed-use development of the Seaholm Power Plant project and most recently the opening of Oracle’s Texas headquarters.

Jim Susman Elevated to AIA College of Fellows


STG Design is very proud to announce that our very own, Jim Susman has been recognized by his peers and elevated to the highest honor in the profession: American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. This prestigious and unparalleled honor is awarded to AIA members who exemplify architectural excellence and who have made significant contributions to the profession and society. Only three percent of AIA members have this distinction.

This year, 152 AIA members and two international architects join the College of Fellows. Jim will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York City. Congratulations, Jim Susman, FAIA!

Impact on Austin's Philanthropic Community
For more than three decades, Jim has been the go-to design professional for Austin’s non-profit groups and community organizations. He brought a holistic view of architecture to Austin’s philanthropic culture to drive and establish stability and seize game-changing project opportunities that enhance lives in our community. His tireless spirit as a volunteer cheerleader, champion, and spokesperson, helped broaden the conventional scope of architectural practice to include advocacy and service, helping community organizations realize their missions through architecture.

His philanthropic work began with the Austin Children’s Museum (now the Thinkery) when it was merely a traveling exhibit with a dream of a permanent home. Jim volunteered time in vision sessions, one-on-one meetings with donors, development of capital campaign strategies, town hall meetings with prospective stakeholders, groundbreakings, and ribbon cuttings. This process informed his subsequent work with dozens of other community groups and became the delivery system for philanthropic interests and community services across Austin. Other organizations he has served include St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the Jewish Community Center, and Community First! Village. He has extended his work by inspiring his STG Design practice to dedicate time to organizations including Boys & Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, and The Refuge.

In a letter of support for Jim’s elevation to the College of Fellows, Heather McKinney, FAIA, stated, “Jim has found and used the key to getting people to invest in our city’s future – often to take a leap of faith – by listening, understanding, and translating community needs into effective architecture."  Regarding his influence on the evolving character of our city, “Jim has helped create the new Austin, not only as a leading architect but more importantly, as both a champion of non-profits seeking to improve and expand the city and as a strategic partner to visionary clients who see opportunities for innovation.”

Impact to City Innovation
Over the past several years, Jim has leveraged his expertise and the trust of his clients to become a key driver of visionary projects suitable for downtown revitalization in underused sectors of the city. The most notable, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) award-winning conversion of the iconic Seaholm Power Plant into a retail and residential district which was the first to link the city's recreational activities of the riverfront. It is the first residential tower – an office conversion of a building that Susman completed in the 1990s that marked an unprecedented investment in a depressed area. The success of the development has expanded the Central Business District and signaled a shift in the way Austin’s architecture and design culture has evolved and matured in response to the city's growth.

Jim is a Principal and the CEO of STG Design, an architecture, interiors, and planning firm with offices in Austin, Houston, and Nashville. He served for two years as chair of the Texas Society of Architects (TxA) Convention Sponsorship Committee, where he revamped the sponsorship structure and more than doubled sponsorship revenues. While serving as the AIA Austin President in 2016, he reinvented the chapter’s role as an advocate for the design community and setting it on a firm financial footing. Last year, in 2017, his contributions were recognized by AIA Austin's John V. Nyfeler FAIA Award for Community Service and the James D. Pfluger Award for Community Service.