Firstfloor Energy Positive: 2018 Highlights

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  -Winston Churchill

We’ve spun around the sun for another year and we couldn’t be more grateful for the accomplishments we’ve made along the way.

Firstfloor officially broke ground on Jones County PK-12 Energy Positive School

We are very excited to have this new Firstfloor energy positive school in the works. It is truly unique for Jones County. On top of having a 21st century student-centered learning environment, a robust CTA (Career Technical Education) department, and a building that acts as a hub for community gatherings, Jones County PK-12 also serves as a learning tool for teachers with the interactive internal dashboard that showcases the school’s energy performance.

Learn more here.

In addition to the groundbreaking news, Jones County Schools was recognized by Novogradac, a non-profit public accounting, valuation and consulting association, for their application of tax credits in this unique energy positive project.


We opened 2 New Energy Positive Schools in Horry County

Myrtle Beach Middle School & Socastee Middle School officially opened their doors this year. Located in Horry County, SC these energy positive schools are designed to produce more energy than they consume and act as a learning tool for the students. Energy positive features include thermal energy storage, centralized geothermal HVAC, solar PV, LED lighting, enhanced building automation, and indoor air quality monitoring.

Horry County Schools Received 7 Awards

Speaking of Horry County and energy positive schools, they received several notable awards this year.

ABC Carolina

Horry County Schools: Excellence in Construction

Our 5 energy positive schools in Horry County won awards for excellence in construction from ABC Carolinas. The projects took home the Eagle and Green Project of the Year. We’re thankful for all of the hard work Horry County Schools, Firstfloor Energy Positive and the Metcon/TA put in for delivering these energy-positive, inspiring student-centered learning spaces!

Learning By Design

Fall 2018 issue

We are grateful to have been featured in Learning By Design’s Fall 2018 issue as well as awarded Outstanding Project and Grand Prize Award for these Horry County schools.

St. James Intermediate School: Grand Prize Award

St. James Intermediate School received a Grand Prize Award for their innovative and strategic work in building a contemporary learning and sustainable school facility.

Click the “learn more” link below to view page 28 & 75 for more information on the project.

Socastee Elementary School: Outstanding Project

Socastee Elementary was recognized as an “Outstanding Project” for the innovative building that is unique both visually and technologically. To learn more about this project, click the link below and view page 66 for more information.
Learn more about both schools here.

ENR Southeast

Horry County Schools: Best Project in K-12 Education 2018 Category

The four new middle schools and elementary school in Myrtle Beach, S.C received Best Project in K-12 Education by ENR Southeast. Check out what they have to say about these amazing schools here.

American School & University

Educational Interiors August 2018 Issue

Two Horry County Schools were featured in American School & University’s Educational Interiors August 2018 Issue for their innovation in K-12 schools.

Socastee Elementary School: Silver Citation

St. James Intermediate School: Outstanding Design

A big focus on these projects was creating a learning environment that goes beyond just a collection of classrooms. We wanted to create a place where all learners feel excited to participate in their school culture and curriculum.

Learn more here.

National Energy Education

Myrtle Beach Middle School: South Carolina School of the Year

NEED selected Myrtle Beach Middle School in Horry County as South Carolina School of the Year for their outstanding energy education project.

Fun Fact:

Students at Myrtle Beach Middle School formed a Hawk Energy Club so that they could learn more about their energy positive school and share with others. They created a video to discuss several energy efficient systems in their new school, and plan to learn more about the building envelope, temperature and more next year.

Learn more here.

Notable Mentions

  • At Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, 2018 was the 5th consecutive year the school created more energy than it consumed.
  • Ten Oaks Middle School students in Horry County brought home five Top 10 awards at the National Technology Student Association Conference.
  • St. James Intermediate School, Ten Oaks Middle and Socastee Middle School all received an Excellent rating on their State Report Card!
  • Earlier this year CEO/President of SfL+a Architects and Manager of Firstfloor Energy Positive, Robbie Ferris was recognized as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2017 at ENR’s Award of Excellence celebrations in NYC. According to ENR, the winners all had 3 things in common: “They innovate, they overcome challenges, and their accomplishments offer benefits that will have an impact beyond their own companies or institutions.” It’s safe to say we’re pretty proud of our CEO Robbie Ferris! Learn more about this here.


Thanks for joining us on our amazing 2018 adventure. Here’s to continuing our journey towards creating engaging environments that positively impact people, communities, and the environment.


+WINSTON-SALEM 4400 Silas Creek Parkway
Suite 200
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
P: 336.794.2325 / F: 336.768.7666
+RALEIGH 333 Fayetteville St Ste. 225
Raleigh, NC 27601
P: 919.573.6350 / F: 919.573.6355
+MYRTLE BEACH 981-C Hackler Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
P: 919.573.6350 / F: 919.573.6355
+MARYLAND 6710 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 210
Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745
P: 919.573.6350 / F: 919.573.6355