Senior Associate Sustainable Design Leader

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

New York, NY, USA

🔥 Best Practice Guest

Aug 1

This job is no longer accepting applications.

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.


You will be responsible for implementing in the NY office, SOM’s roadmap to carbon neutral design, by facilitating and integrating sustainable strategies and technologies into all project goals, priorities and project deliverables. Must be capable of clear communication among team members, sub-consultants and clients for sustainable design projects. Responsible for monitoring and documenting project progress of sustainable strategies/technologies and all appropriate reporting and communications. Cultivates professional relationships within and outside of SOM and leads/mentors when appropriate.

Position Responsibilities

  • Energy / carbon leader with respect to research, calculation, policy and application.
  • Proactively seeks engagement in projects to integrate sustainable strategies and ensure sustainable thinking is at the core of SOM designs.
  • Communicates sustainable design and engineering systems ideas to clients and MEP consultants through graphics, images and analyses and is able to sustain technical discussions.
  • Challenges and peer-reviews energy, water, and sustainability ideas from external consultants.
  • Engages in external collaborations with academia, governments and private entities to advance SOM position in the industry.
  • Remains current on issues related to sustainable and green building design, US Green Building activities and various versions of the LEED Green Building Rating System.
  • Inspires, mentors and educates designers on sustainable design and the latest engineering technologies.
  • Manages team resourcing, project budget, and develops proposals.

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Contributes to firmwide innovation for zero carbon design
  • Contributes to the development of standards and procedures for energy and carbon reduction.
  • Actively leads projects, teams and initiatives.
  • Actively engages in internal and external professional development opportunities.
  • Effective at communicating and promoting the work of the firm.
  • Directly trains and mentors team members and, more broadly, architectural, engineers, interiors, planning and graphics staff in the office and at large as appropriate.
  • Develops and/or manages, in collaboration with team members, a clear and consistent work plan to achieve the project budget, deliverables, and schedule.
  • Coordinates and supports business development, public relations, and marketing opportunities.
  • Protects SOM from financial and legal risk.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 8+ 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
  • Demonstrated ability to perform independent research on state-of-the-art technologies and integrated design strategies for high performance design
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and commitment to work within the integrated design team structure
  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of sustainable strategies, including renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, and implementation through building design and construction phases
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign preferred
  • 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
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and assignments firmwide
  • Excellent team player
  • LEED / WELL Accredited Professional is preferred.

SOM offers opportunities to work on transformational projects, competitive salaries, health insurance, wellness, retirement and financial and other work/life plans.

At SOM, we welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace. We believe an inclusive environment benefits our employees, our firm, and our community, while also enriching and challenging our own thinking about design. 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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