When Space Architecture + Design decided to buy and renovate a building for itself, the St. Louis–based firm chose a vacant warehouse in a gradually reviving Midtown neighborhood called The Grove. “We were looking to make an impact on this community,” says owner Tom Niemeier, AIA. Tax credits for a host of aspects, including brownfield remediation, historic preservation, and energy efficiency, helped offset the cost of the renovation, which was completed in 2010.

Niemeier is especially proud of the firm’s innovative mix of solar thermal panels, a chilled beam system, and geothermal wells, which combine to keep the office at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. “It works amazingly well,” he says. Storefront windows let in abundant natural light, and the 7,500-square-foot building encompasses a studio, resource library, and wood and metal shop. The company currently employs 16 people, but the flexible floor plan easily could accommodate more.