Regional Sustainable Design Lead/

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
United States

At SOM, we are a collective committed to shaping a better future for our clients, communities and planet. We aspire to create the most sustainable, impactful work through creative, interdisciplinary teams with all the resources and diversity of a global firm. We value those who are passionate about excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusivity, and collaboration. Together we can achieve great things.
 Success at SOM Means

  • Ideas: We believe in a meritocracy of ideas. We look to everyone to actively contribute to the discourse in the firm.
  • Knowledge: We believe that expertise is the result of lifelong learning. We are not expected to know everything, but rather to passionately pursue answers, develop new skills and deepen our knowledge.
  • Product: We strive for excellence in the concept, quality, and delivery of our work.
  • Individual: We value individuals who bring the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity in the way they work. Each person can develop and contribute their wealth of attributes, skills and knowledge to support the overall health of the firm.
  • Team: We value the power of interdisciplinary integration. A positive team culture in which everyone collaborates openly towards common goals is essential.
  • Firm: We have a history of making transformative contributions to the profession and our communities. We are constantly innovating and attempting to bring new approaches, solutions and processes to our work.



The Regional Sustainable Design Lead is responsible for the overall leadership of SOM’s East Coast SES practice and contributes to global SES business strategies and goals in collaboration with firmwide SES leaders. The Sustainable Design Lead will provide sustainable consulting services on a variety of projects related to the built environment and will successfully position the SES practice in the pursuit and delivery of projects with SES scope of services.

The Regional Sustainable Lead must actively engage colleagues in the New York and DC offices to provide sustainable education within project teams, effectively communicate complex concepts and analysis to inform design decision making and ensure that an integrated design process is occurring on all projects within the region. Mentorship of SES staff, thought leadership and public outreach within the design and sustainable industry is required in order to implement the SOM’s roadmap to carbon neutral design in the NY and DC offices, and firmwide.


Position Responsibilities

  • Manages the Regional SES group and effectively collaborates with internal and external project design teams.
  • Leads Energy and Carbon scopes of work with respect to policy, research, calculation, and application. This includes
    • overall approach to whole life carbon and circular design
    • carbon tracking through design, construction, operation and decommissioning
    • cost/benefit analyses and managing the team to deliver life cycle cost and return on investment analyses appropriate to each phase of project design.
  • Communicates sustainable design and engineering ideas and solutions to clients and consultants through graphics, images and analyses, and is able to lead technical discussions.
  • Contributes to the development and management of standards and procedures for analytical and conceptual graphics and visualizations in collaboration with global SES leaders.
  • Challenges and peer-reviews the work of external consultants in relation to sustainability and low-carbon design.
  • Directly use basic and detailed sustainability analysis tools, such as energy modeling, daylight modeling, embodied carbon, and whole building lifecycle analysis (WBLCA) programs.
  • Research, evaluate, and report on new sustainable building systems, materials, products, and technologies coming to market.
  • Oversees quality control of SES technical, analytical and design materials and deliverables.
  • Manages team resourcing, project scoping and budgets, and develops proposals.
  • Liaises with internal and external stakeholders in a contributing role on projects, supports new business and explores ongoing opportunities for improvement.
  • Responsible for the development and execution of the Regional SES business plan and integrates strategy into global SES business plan in collaboration with global SES Leaders.


Leadership Responsibilities

  • Inspires, mentors and educates designers and engineering staff on sustainable design and the latest engineering technologies.
  • Directly trains and supervises team members, and performs employee performance reviews.
  • Contributes to firmwide innovation for low-carbon and zero-carbon design.
  • Contributes to the development of standards and procedures for operational and whole life carbon reduction.
  • Recruits and develops talent including assessing necessary skill sets in support evolving research and technology to develop appropriate subject matter expertise.
  • Engages in external collaborations with academia, governments and private entities to advance SES’s position in the industry including participation in research, white papers, conferences and media interview requests relevant to decarbonization expertise.
  • Collaborate with the SOM’s Climate Action Group leadership on initiatives and advocacy.
  • Coordinates and supports business development, public relations, and marketing opportunities.
  • Protects SOM from financial and legal risk.


Minimum Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience in sustainable design and/or mechanical system design.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in architecture, engineering, environmental engineering or other related field is required.
  • Master’s Degree in architecture, engineering, environmental engineering or other related field is preferred.
  • Experience with Local Law 97 compliance and global carbon-based policies is required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and use of USGBC’s LEED program(s), WELL, and other green building rating programs.
  • Active participation in professional organizations leading sustainable or green building initiatives.
  • Demonstrates ability to perform independent research on state-of-the-art technologies and integrated design strategies for high performance design.
  • Demonstrates technical knowledge of sustainable strategies, including renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, and implementation through building design and construction phases.
  • Expert knowledge of HVAC systems and heat transfer principles.
  • Knowledge of current environmental simulation tools and engineering technologies.
  • Knowledge of climate science and effects of climate change.
  • Knowledge of human comfort, health, and wellness.
  • Experienced in whole-life embodied carbon calculation and design advocacy.
  • Advanced knowledge of integrated design, construction methodology, materials application and manufacturer-supplier relationships.
  • Understanding of and ability to interpret and apply results from early modeling software such as Equest, Energy Plus, Climate Consultant, DIVA, Radiance, DAYSIM, Sefaira, etc.
  • Knowledge of BIM and computational design approaches.
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.
  • LEED, WELL, BEMP, ILFI, PHIUS accreditation preferred.
  • Licensure required.


Are you ready to join a team of creative professionals working on transformational projects around the world? Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to build a better future with SOM.


Our Benefits:

Health and Wellness: Medical, dental, vision, disability, and life & accident insurance
Savings: 401K matching, pre-tax spending accounts, and employee discount programs
Work/Life Balance: Hybrid/Flexible schedules, paid family leave, paid vacation, backup child and elder care, and an employee assistance program
Professional Development: Reimbursement for professional licenses, associated renewals, and exam fees as well as specialized in-house career development

Compensation for this role is based upon experience, qualifications, location, and education and typically ranges from $120,000 – $170,000.
Our Culture:

Our creative, interdisciplinary teams work like small, dynamic studios, with all the resources and diversity of a global firm. Here, you’ll collaborate with industry experts on some of the most exciting and transformative architecture, engineering, and planning projects in the world.

We believe an inclusive environment improves our teams, our firm, and our communities and are passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Our DEI Action Plan was created to bring meaningful change to our profession, starting with our own culture and practices.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Visit this page to learn more about SOM’s employment policy and how to apply offline:

For more about SOM:

Portfolios must be submitted for all design positions (Architecture, Interiors, Planning, etc). Applications without work samples will not be reviewed.  Portfolios should be one PDF attachment, 10-20 pages, maximum 5 MB. Submit portfolios as part of your application in the section where the application asks you for your Resume or CV.

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