Raleigh, NC, June 3, 2024 – Innovative Design is proud to announce that its co-founders, Mike Nicklas and Gary Bailey, have been awarded the prestigious American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Leadership in Solar Architecture and Design Award.

This award honors Mike and Gary’s remarkable contributions to sustainable architecture and design, recognizing not only their individual achievements but also the collective efforts of the talented team at Innovative Design.

“This award is very special to me in that it effectively is not just recognizing an individual but the dozens of architects, designers, and simulation specialists that have, over the years, been part of our decades-long effort to create environmentally sensitive architecture,” said Mike Nicklas.

Gary added, “I believe one of the most important contributions we made was to create better learning environments through the use of natural lighting in secondary schools”.

Founded in 1977 by Mike Nicklas and Gary Bailey, Innovative Design has been a trailblazer in solar architecture and energy-efficient design. From its inception through 2021, the firm has led the charge in developing over 4,750 energy-efficient, environmentally sound solar projects. These projects have collectively saved the equivalent of 132 megawatts of peak electricity, reduced energy bills by a quarter billion dollars, and eliminated the need for 581 million gallons of municipal water through rainwater harvesting designs. Most notably, their efforts have cut CO2 emissions by 1,687,000 tons.

“As our firm’s cumulative experiences in achieving cost-effective solar solutions mounted, we soon recognized that we could maximize our impact by educating others within the design community,” Nicklas explained. Innovative Design has organized over 350 lectures and conferences attended by 75,000 people across 27 countries and 32 states, including 20% of American Institute of Architects members.

Mike Nicklas’ influence extends beyond his work at Innovative Design. As one of the four founders of the North Carolina Solar Energy Association and a key figure on the boards of ASES and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), he has played a vital role in advancing solar energy adoption. He was instrumental in creating the NC Solar Center and has met with heads of state from eight countries to promote solar energy.

Gary Bailey contributed significantly to the firm’s success. Known for leading daylit school projects and promoting sustainable development, Gary’s efforts have helped establish Innovative Design as a leader in solar architecture. “I believe one of the most important contributions we made was to create better learning environments through the use of natural lighting in secondary schools,” Bailey emphasizes. Together, Mike and Gary have created some of the most energy-efficient buildings in North Carolina and beyond, and their partnership has been a cornerstone of Innovative Design’s achievements.

Innovative Design’s legacy includes the passive solar Equinox II building in downtown Raleigh, pioneering daylighting, green products, building-integrated PV, rainwater harvesting, and low-impact site design. Mike’s leadership in developing high-temperature solar thermal systems with Duke Solar/Solargenix and his work on the DOE’s PV Bonus program highlight his dedication to innovation in solar technology.

In an industry often driven by individual recognition, Mike and Gary’s collaborative spirit and dedication to sustainable design stand out as truly unique.

Gary earned his Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University in 1973.

Mike earned his Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University in 1972.

For more information, please contact:

Louis J Gerics, AIA, NCARB

Principal | President

Innovative Design, Inc.

850 W. Morgan St.; Raleigh, NC 27603, USA

(O) (919) 832.6303 | (M) (919) 669-3963 | (F) (919) 832-3339

gerics@innovativedesign.net | www.innovativedesign.net

About ASES:

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is a leading organization dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies in the U.S. ASES leads national efforts to educate and support sustainable practices that promote economic development and environmental stewardship.

About Innovative Design:

Innovative Design is a pioneering architectural firm specializing in energy-efficient, environmentally sound solar projects. Since 1977, the firm has been at the forefront of sustainable design, creating thousands of projects that save energy, reduce costs, and minimize environmental impact.