Cushing Terrell Designs Natural Refrigeration System for New Costco Store in Billings, Montana

Multidisciplinary design firm Cushing Terrell has worked with long-time client Costco to design and install a natural refrigeration system in the retailer’s new store in Billings, Montana. The Billings Costco is the first ground-up store in Montana to feature a carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration system, which will have significantly less of an impact on the environment than traditional systems, such as those that use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

HFCs are greenhouse gases with global warming potentials (GWPs) that can be hundreds to thousands of times more potent than CO2 and are being phased out and banned by states across the country.

“Refrigeration management has been listed as one of the top solutions to global warming,” said Nick Doherty, Director of Refrigeration Engineering at Cushing Terrell. “And with the use of natural refrigerants such as CO2, we can reduce the impact of refrigeration systems by reducing harmful emissions.”

This is Cushing Terrell’s third natural refrigerant installation in Montana. The firm also designed CO2 refrigeration systems in Costco’s Bozeman and Missoula stores, which underwent major remodels in 2021 and 2020, respectively. While federal regulations will require such lower-impact systems in the future, Costco’s investment in CO2 systems now demonstrates a proactive approach to more environmentally friendly systems.

With its roots in Billings, Cushing Terrell has grown to national prominence in refrigeration engineering and design. “Our growth has allowed us the opportunity to work with nationwide clients such as Costco, and I’m thrilled to bring this expertise to my hometown of Billings,” said Doherty. “It’s really rewarding to see Costco implementing the latest refrigeration technologies in Montana.”

Communities in which these systems operate will benefit by involving local technicians to hone their expertise in installation and maintenance, expanding career options.

Learn more about Cushing Terrell’s refrigeration design work.

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 400 team members 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