Cushing Terrell Awarded Montana State University Campus Energy Master Plan Contract

Multidisciplinary design firm Cushing Terrell has been awarded a multi-year, multi-phase contract to develop a campus-wide energy master plan and targeted projects to help Montana State University (MSU) increase its energy efficiency.  

Cushing Terrell will assist MSU with its continued progress to design, construct, and maintain buildings on its campus with unprecedented levels of energy efficiency. A large part of this effort will include comprehensive energy planning for existing and future buildings, creating energy districts, and leveraging heat pumps and geothermal technology. 

The contract with Cushing Terrell follows completion of MSU’s LEED Gold-certified Romney Hall, an example of how a historic building can be renovated to meet high-performance standards. Romney benefits from the new geothermal system beneath Romney Oval, which also will serve other nearby buildings on campus.  

Learn more about Romney Hall’s notable sustainability achievements.

In partnership with McKinstry’s EcoDistrict group, HDR, Major Geothermal, and Practical Energy Management, Cushing Terrell will develop the overall master plan and identify projects to support energy district integration and the infrastructure needed to connect with the geothermal fields below campus, as well as employ overall energy reduction and reuse strategies.  

The work by Cushing Terrell and partners will assist the university meet its goals of attaining a STARS Platinum rating by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2040, as outlined in the university’s sustainability framework.  

“The university’s investment to-date in energy-saving technologies are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and will easily pay for themselves,” said John How, MSU Associate Vice President of University Services. “Working with Cushing Terrell, we hope to leverage those investments and expand upon them to be good stewards of students’ and taxpayers’ dollars.”  

“As an MSU alum, I’m excited to work with the university on a project as forward-thinking as this one,” said Alex Russell, Director of Energy Services for Cushing Terrell. “MSU continues to push the envelope with their commitment to a sustainable future. Having the opportunity to help shape how the campus operates for the next hundred years and beyond is something I couldn’t have dreamed of as an engineering student all those years ago.” 

About Cushing Terrell

Cushing Terrell was founded in 1938 on the belief that integrating architecture, engineering, and design opens the doors for deepened relationships and enhanced creativity. This foundation continues to define the firm and its multidisciplinary team today. Driven by empathy, the team works to design systems and spaces that help people live their best lives and enjoy healthy, sustainable built environments. With more than 450 team members spanning 30-plus disciplines and expertise across the commercial, education, government, healthcare, infrastructure, residential, and retail markets, the firm has offices in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, and Washington. For more information about Cushing Terrell, visit