On August 3rd, Watson Tate Savory Architects received LEED Certification from the US Green Building Council for 1316 Washington Street, the home of Watson Tate Savory Architects, making it the first building in Columbia’s City Center and the first renovation in the Midlands to receive LEED Certification. The USGBC certifies buildings for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that incorporate design features from among five categories to significantly reduce energy consumption and improve work environment quality. Features such as increased daylighting, rapidly renewable natural resources, reduced energy and water consumption and accommodation for bicycle commuters were utilized to make this project environmentally responsive. LEED Certification requires commitment to a rigorous, detailed process of design, documentation and construction, followed by independent testing of systems. Final documentation is reviewed by the USGBC to confirm that goals have been met and implemented, prior to Certification.

Watson Tate Savory has received 3 design awards in the past year for this renovation of the 1939 Unity Life Insurance Building, including an Honor Award from the South Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a 2007 Historic Columbia Foundation Award for Adaptive Reuse and an Honor Award with “Jurors’ Favorite” distinction from the Columbia Section of the AIA. The building is a historically unique example of early 20th Century modern design and is currently in review by the City of Columbia for Historic Landmark Designation.