Today’s 50th Anniversary of the inaugural Earth Day is a great time to reflect on Cuningham Group’s long history of commitment to sustainable design. It began with our founder, John Cuningham, who always had a strong sense of stewardship toward the Earth. That commitment is still visible today in one of our Core Values, which reads, “We will be stewards of the environment and have a responsibility to design in a way that respects all living things.” Those words play out today in many aspects of our work and design. Among them are:
- Continuous reduction in the amount of energy our buildings use – now averaging 50 percent below the established baseline.
- Ongoing monitoring of the greenhouse gas contribution due to our internal operations, leading to our offsetting most of that and planning to be carbon neutral by 2023.
- Implementation of embodied carbon modeling to reduce the negative environmental impact of the materials we use in our buildings.
- Revision of our standard material specifications to promote the health and wellbeing of those who occupy our projects.
- Careful consideration of our site design to preserve or regenerate natural components wherever possible.
As a result of these efforts and many others, the projects we design today are far more energy and resource efficient than they have ever been, but we still have much work to do.
Paul Hutton, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP® BD+C
Paul is a Principal of Cuningham Group and has dedicated his career to integrating sustainable building strategies with creative design. He is a recognized expert in sustainable schools and daylighting, using it as a primary tool to reduce energy use and to improve occupant well-being in all his projects.