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Sustainable Design

As a design partner, we help you meet and elevate your sustainability goals. We do this with team members steeped in sustainable design knowledge who’ve made this a cornerstone of their expertise. Dedicated to knowledge-driven, collaborative design, we ensure our clients are part of the creative process from day one, using sustainability as the foundation for a reduced carbon footprint, efficient energy solutions, healthy materials selection, and spaces that inspire and enhance well-being.

Sustainability Services

We believe in holistic environments that maximize systems and synergies and minimize environmental impacts while protecting the health and well-being of the people who occupy those environments. As a proud signatory of the AIA 2030 Commitment, we’re working to achieve carbon-neutral buildings by 2030, and we bring this expertise to each project we undertake. Leveraging an integrated design process, these are the primary sustainability-related services we provide for our clients.

Our Commitments and Partnerships

Our vision for sustainable design is a balance between the built and natural environments that will provide a healthy future for our clients, colleagues, and communities. Our mission is to contribute to this balance by making sustainability a foundation of our design and business operations.
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Taking Responsibility

Recognizing the impact development has on our world, Cushing Terrell is compelled to be a responsible steward of the environment, reducing our own footprint and that of our clients. This commitment to sustainable operations is reinforced through:

  • Firm-wide Sustainable Design Initiative that aligns with the AIA Framework for Design Excellence and is applicable to all projects.
  • SME Climate Commitment/UN Race to Zero Participant.
  • Partner in the Material Bank carbon neutral sampling program.
  • Green Advocacy Council to ensure sustainable thought, action, and education is embedded in our culture and work.
  • Sustainable Policy Champions who support sustainability at the local level and host “green” design solution charrettes.

Sustainable Project Stories

Because every client approaches sustainability in different ways, we have different approaches to meet those specific design goals. In addition, we strive for a thorough understanding of each client’s culture and values. This builds deeper relationships and a more nuanced approach, which leads to unique spaces and healthy, happy occupants.

Google in California and Texas

Creating holistic sustainability through client partnerships

Our work for Google includes everything from tenant improvement projects and office remodels to helping standardize sustainability requirements across their locations. Our teams share a close relationship, which makes for rewarding, effective design collaborations.

We infuse each Google project with the character of the company and its commitment to provide compelling, collaborative, inspiring spaces for its employees. Our programming for this client has ranged from creative workspaces, cafes, lounges, large event spaces, fitness areas, and a variety of amenity and outdoor spaces.

To align with the company’s design goals, we ensure those spaces support environmental responsibility and a connection with nature to enhance health and well-being. Design cues taken from the natural world include climate considerations, solar orientation, and biophilia. Spaces that support focus, collaboration, recuperation, and ideation keep the creativity flowing, but also offer respite during busy workdays.

Cushing Terrell Boise Office

Ensuring the highest standards for our own workplaces and operations

To realize spaces that consider the health of people and the environment, we capitalize on the expertise of our team and utilize a tool we call the Sustainable Design Initiative (SDI). The SDI is a compilation of design strategies aligned with the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. It provides baseline best practices curated by our Cushing Terrell design professionals for application to the majority of our projects.

Our Boise office — Platinum-certified in the LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance: Commercial Interiors category — presents a compelling case study, demonstrating how the team incorporated SDI measures. The first workplace in the United States certified in this category, particular focus was placed on designing for community integration, resource conservation, enhanced occupant well-being, and the ability to be flexible and resilient to change.

Designing for our own team members is the ultimate expression of our mission to empower creative designers to discover imaginative, responsible, first–of–their–kind environments. Learn more here.

Visitor Center at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Demonstrating our work toward the AIA 2030 Commitment

Pahranagat’s visitor center is an example of clean energy generation and use, achieving zero net energy and earning USGBC LEED Silver certification. The team implemented conservation measures that include upgraded building insulation, daylight harvesting, ground-source geothermal HVAC, and on-site renewable energy provided by roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels.

Located on a four-acre site, the 5,000 sq. ft. facility includes office space, lobby and reception areas, multipurpose and exhibit rooms. Exterior features comprise ADA-accessible trails to site amenities and interactive displays and plenty of parking for buses and passenger cars. The team used energy modeling in conjunction with early architectural modeling to inform building orientation and massing as well as the materials and systems chosen.

Key to the design were functionality, performance, aesthetics, and cultural relevance. The result was a facility that met and exceeded the original goals.

Dell Technologies Central Texas

Leading the way in Green Globes certification in Texas

Over the course of a long-term relationship with Dell, our team has provided a range of design services for projects worldwide, including two projects in Texas that earned Green Globes certification.

Our services comprise multiple remodels in excess of a million square feet and all types of functional spaces in Dell’s facilities. These include open office workspace, laboratories, executive office spaces, executive showcase/briefing spaces, training and demo spaces as well as critical operational command and data centers.

Among these projects, Cushing Terrell has completed Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility and other mission-critical projects dedicated to Dell’s businesses focused on services to a variety of federal agencies including all branches of the military. Through this relationship, our team has developed a deep understanding of how to meet the unique requirements for these types of projects and contract requirements. Additionally, we’ve helped create corporate guidelines for Dell such as branding, office planning, and green design standards.

Connect with Our Team

Learn more about the ways we can use our sustainability expertise to support your goals and enhance your projects.

Director of Sustainability