SDG’s experienced architecture and planning professionals listen to our clients’ needs and objectives and use the information to deliver solutions that meet or exceed all of their project goals. Our founder, Howard F. Sims, FAIA, insisted on excellence and attention to detail, and  those principles continue to serve as the foundation for successful project outcomes.

Our unique process, development of a Project Definition Manual (PDM), allows for a great depth of detail and organization at the beginning of each project. The PDM process ensures that what is designed is what is built. Read more about our PDM process.

SDG’s commitment to design excellence has been recognized with multiple awards for both quality of work and social impact from groups such as the American Institute of Architects, the Engineering Society of Detroit, the American Association of School Administrators, and many others.

For each design market we serve, we bring a wealth of experience, design and performance data, and an understanding of programming and environmental needs for each project type. See our portfolio of projects.

Highly Specialized Design Markets

  • Federal Inspection Facilities (FIS) at both airports and maritime terminals.

Since 1990, SDG has provided designs for Federal Inspection Facilities (FIS) at eight airports with processing capacities ranging from 200 to 4,000 passengers per hour. Following a request from United States Customs Logistic Division in Indianapolis, the SDG “PDM” format  was utilized in the 2002 USC Standards for Passenger Processing at Airports.

  • Energy-efficient design: Over 30 years ago – and nearly 20 years before the standard rating for energy and environmental design was developed – SDG became a leader in sustainable and energy-efficient design.

SDG worked with the American Institute of Architects Research Corporation and the United States Department of Energy to establish national energy usage targets for K-12 schools. Using early computer programs, theoretical designs were developed and analyzed for annual energy usage. The concepts were so successful in saving energy that the Detroit Public Schools challenged SDG to provide real-world results. That challenge resulted in the design of the 100,000 SF McMichael Middle School. The project was monitored for over a year and realized energy savings in excess of 50% of the energy usage of the then traditional school design. SDG has a comprehensive approach to building design, combining the knowledge of our experienced professionals with design excellence and effective project management.  The result is a driven, energetic project evolution within a framework of highly structured quality and cost control measures.