LAS VEGAS -- A local architecture firm is getting national accolades, ranking 18th best in the country. But with nearly 60 percent unemployment among local architects, the company says its not just a pat on the back, the honor may keep them in the black.
The company was recently ranked among the top 20 in the country by Architect magazine.
"These are light shelves, they're made of a highly reflective material," said Mike Purtill, an associate with Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects.
Just take a tour of the company's office building and you will quickly see it is all about basics.
"Its materials, it's shape, it's usage of the materials," said Daniel Chenin, Sr. designer. Built in 1996, their Henderson headquarters is where the company designs buildings, and practices what they preach. The use of natural light saves thousands in electricity every year, and all fixtures are energy efficient.
"For us, being green isn't something we try to sell, but understand it is the basis of everything we work on," Chris Lujan, designer.
The entire building is green including the bathroom. Committed to protecting and preserving the environment, water-free urinals were installed in all of the men's bathrooms, conserving an average of 40,000 gallons of water per urinal per year.
The firm stresses efficiency in all of its public projects like the D Gates at McCarran International Airport or a future border station in Texas. Their Henderson Police substation design uses sky lights, efficient air conditioning units and solar panels to save the city nearly 35 percent in energy costs.
"With the economy, money being tight, people are looking for good creative solutions," said Purtill.
"Instead of adding on something that's green at the end like somebody just putting solar panels on their house, really they want an integrated approach," said Lugan.
Tate Snyder Kimsey says being green has always been a top priority for the company, even before it was trendy. The firm received this honor because of its profitability, commitment to sustainability, and caliber of design.