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Pepper renovated the former 110-year-old Stearns & Foster office building in Lockland, Ohio to be our new Cincinnati office. The project included a full exterior restoration, addition of a vestibule to create the new main entry and a 23,000-square-foot interior buildout. Historical elements were restored throughout the space, including exposed brick, wood floors, original windows and plaster finishes, while more modern accents – such as glass partitions and open-office furniture – were added to create a collaborative and efficient work environment for our team. After working diligently on a design that minimizes energy use, we added solar panels to further reduce our carbon footprint. Our energy reduction, use of renewables and integration of the latest tools and technology, supports our goal to create a high-performing office space that reflects our company culture and optimizes employee health.

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Emersion DESIGN
Project Location
Cincinnati, OH
23,000 SF
Awards & Certifications
Seeking WELL Silver certification

High Performance Strategies

Solar Array

The office's impressive solar array helps the building achieve Net Zero or Net Positive energy. This means the building’s renewables are producing as much or more energy as it is using. This building will be one of the oldest structures in the world to achieve Net Zero. 

Our solar array consists of 401 panels in total with 30 on the garage, 116 on the main building’s rooftop, and 255 across two canopies in the parking lot. The canopies are 110-feet-long with a 4-foot differential. The solar is sub-metered, so we can track how much energy the system is producing to balance it with the building’s consumption.

Our team chose to install canopies, because the roof did not allow for the space required to be 100% offset. The canopies also provide shade to the parking lot which can prolong the life of the parking lot and also shade the cars parked there. 

The solar array provides about 220,000kWh of power annually and is targeted to provide 100% offset of the building’s energy usage. If it overproduces, we can sell the energy back to energy company. This is called net metering, and it allows us to make sure any power that we produce is not going to waste. 

To put that number into perspective, 220,000kWh of power is an equivalent to roughly 40 gasoline-powered vehicles driven in one year, 20 homes’ energy use for one year, or charging 18 million smart phones.

Geothermal Wells

The office is also supported by 16 geothermal wells that help heat and cool the building. Those wells also feed a radiant floor-heating system in our Self Perform Group's garage to provide an efficient and cost-effective heating solution for the space.