Clark Patterson Lee | Blog Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2019 2019-06-18T14:53:58-04:00 <![CDATA[BUZZ: Engineering the Super Bowl - It Didn't Just Happen]]> The May/June 2019 issue of Engineering Georgia takes an in-depth look at the transportation engineering that went into logistics and traffic flow planning at Super Bowl LIII. CPL's design contribution was the sleek pedestrian bridge that safely transports people from the MARTA to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium during a host of events.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium Pedestrian Bridge at Northside Drive is an essential infrastructure piece that fixes a once dangerous barrier preventing easy passage from the stadium, the new Home Depot Backyard community space and downtown points - to mass transit and parking facilities.

Click here to read the full article written by David Caraviello.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Hospital Revives a Dead Retail Space Through Adaptive Reuse]]> With the shift in consumer buying habits, thousands of retail stores and malls across the nation have gone belly up. But many of those spaces have been converted into churches, medical centers, community colleges, warehouses, and mixed-use residential spaces.

One example, and a first for Western, New York, is the recent $24 million adaptive reuse of a long-vacant Tops grocery store into the Riedman Health Center, part of the Rochester Regional Health system in Rochester, New York.

Click here to read more about this amazing adaptive reuse transformation in Stacey Freed's latest Forbes piece.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: New Office Tower in Greensboro Breaks Ground]]> Contact: Vince Press
Director of Marketing & Communications

Friday, May 31, 2019 - Greensboro, NC - The first new office tower to hit the Greensboro, NC skyline in decades broke ground on May 30th. A well-attended ceremony was held for the new 110,000 square foot, nine-story office building, which will sit adjacent to the first base line over-looking the First National Bank Field – home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team (single A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates).

CPL was hired by developer, Front Street Capital, for the schematic design with partner firm, West & Stem, as the architect of record, and Landmark Builders as the general contractor.

The brick and glass building design will complement the existing ballpark’s architectural elements and serve as a mix-use project to include corporate as well as retail tenants. A new city parking deck will also be constructed across Bellemeade street from the office building.

Project Slugger, has been the code name to date and will be a welcomed addition to the downtown neighborhood, an area that has experienced recent growth and revitalization.

“This marquee project for Downtown Greensboro is the result of years of hard work by numerous community stakeholders," says Robin Team, partner with Front Street Capital, in an interview with WFMY News 2. "Building new office space plays a key role in the continued growth of downtown by helping our anchor tenants attract top talent and grow their businesses.”

CPL Vice President, Ken Mayer, FAIA, LEED AP, commented, “this is the exact type work that we thrive on at CPL - projects that make sense and will have a real impact on the community. We look forward to working with our design, construction and developer partners on this exciting effort."

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL’s 2019 Bike Challenge]]> For the month of May, team members in all 15 CPL offices across the east coast were encouraged to participate in a program similar to the National Bike Challenge—a nationwide event that unites thousands of new and existing bicyclists across the country in a friendly competition designed to celebrate and encourage biking. While the National Bike Challenge extends through September, the Wellness Committee at CPL decided to concentrate on the month of May.

“The challenge encourages riders of all skill levels to get involved, whether they are picking up cycling for the first time in years to bike for fitness, or they ride 20-30 miles routinely to get to work,” explained Danielle Scesney, AIA, NCARB, Wellness Committee member.

“Beyond just the fitness benefits cycling offers, the challenge builds communities of friends and coworkers, and creates a happier, healthier bike-friendly world,” she said.

Above data accurate as of Thursday morning, May 30

Benefits of Cycling

Blair Benson, architectural team member in CPL’s Rochester office, is an active cyclist in the challenge and in everyday life.

“A huge part of the reason I bike is you can’t get better stress relief,” she said. “If you have a bad day, you can pedal furiously and let out all your frustrations. And, I find that biking to and from work is twice as fast as driving, without the frustration of sitting in traffic, wasting gas, and letting emissions into the environment.”

Benson listed other benefits of cycling as saving money on fuel, staying fit and healthy, and the rallying community of cyclists that wave to each other and cheer each other on, even though they can be complete strangers.

“I wish more people would do it,” she said. “We could develop a biking community at CPL and get more people involved.”

Benson started her journey with biking long distances when she began training for triathlons in her early 20s. She has been competing for eight years and biking to and from work for the same amount of time.

It’s Not Too Late to Start Pedaling

John Boryk, CADD Technician in CPL’s Poughkeepsie office and leader of the challenge, has been biking for a whopping year and a half. Although his cycling legs are new, his heart has been interested for many years thanks to the Pan-Mass challenge—a nationally recognized fundraiser his brother-in-law, Dennis Kirrane, has been participating in for a decade.

“My family and I would go to the opening ceremonies to support Dennis,” he said, “They’re just so moving, and now I’m hooked.” After years of cheering from the sidelines, it was time for Boryk to start pedaling.

“In 2018, I registered in January, bought a road bike in March, and starting training,” he said.

Boryk said the 2-day, nearly 200-mile annual fundraising event pushes him to think about all the people fighting their fight with cancer.

“As hard as it might be, someone’s got it worse than I do,” he said.

Boryk is currently training for his second Pan-Mass challenge. He rides in memory of his late father, Dick Boryk, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2007.

“Most importantly, I ride as an example to my children, my family and my friends, that they should always give of themselves to others and for a greater purpose. To Quote HOF QB Jim Kelly, "Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow.”

Boryk jokes that just a couple of years ago, he would ride his mountain bike around with his three kids.Now, he rides between 75 and 100 miles per week. He picks up his miles riding to and from work, taking his road bike out for a 40-50 mile spin on nice days, and pedaling while his 11-year-old daughter is at dance class.

Aside from training for his cause, Boryk said he notices a few other benefits, like saving money on fuel, strengthening his core, and having fewer back pains.

“Overall, I’m feeling better,” he said. “And, I don’t feel as guilty having a couple extra beers!”

Now, Boryk shares his motto with the Pan-Mass Challenge: Commit.You’ll figure it out.

“Once you can ride 2 to 3 hours on a bike, you can do the whole competition,” he said. “At that point, your body knows what to do. It’s not physical stamina.It’s mental.” Click here to learn more about John's story and support his fundraising efforts.

In Case You Need More Reasons to Start

A) Cycling improves mental well-being: cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new places. This can give you the time to process worries and concerns when riding solo or if you ride with a group it can broaden your social circle helping with mood and even depression.

B) Cycling promotes weight loss: Depending on the intensity level you ride at you could be burning 400-1000 calories an hour, with a proper diet you could be losing weight.

C) Better lung health: studies suggest bicyclists are exposed to less fumes and air pollutants than those that travel by car.

D) Cuts Heart Disease and cancer risk: Raising your heart rate and staying within an ideal weight decreases your chance of developing some major illnesses. Cycling to work can cut risks of heart disease or cancer in half.

E) Cycling is low impact: compared to long distance running cycling causes less muscle damage and inflammation overall.

F) Boosts brain power: cycling improves blood flow during and after the exercise which keeps you healthier.

G) Improve handling and special awareness: Riding a bike doesn’t just raise your heart rate, it also develops skills important to maneuvering your body on and off the bike.

H) Grow your social circle: there are hundreds of clubs and group rides that happen across the country. Cycling is an easy way to meet new people, learn more about cycling and have a team to back you up in your quest to become more confident on a bike

I) Cycling to work or errands cuts your carbon footprint: choosing to ride your bike results in carbon emissions more than 10 times less than if you were to take your car. Credit to Cycling Weekly for this listfor this list.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Northland Avenue Rehabilitation and Streetscape ]]> The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, in partnership with Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority and the City of Buffalo, is working to redevelop multiple properties in the Northland Avenue section of the New York Central Belt Line Corridor. The goal of this redevelopment project is to return these properties to productive use, assist with revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood, and provide employment and educational opportunities for nearby residents.

Originally a manufacturing center along the Belt Line Railroad, the Northland Avenue Corridor was once considered to be one of the most extensive industrial areas on Buffalo’s East Side. Unfortunately, most of the buildings within the corridor have sat vacant and abandoned for decades, making the redevelopment of this area a very high priority for the City.

CPL worked with the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets and Buffalo Sewer Authority, to rehabilitate the pavement, add green infrastructure, upgrade utilities, and provide streetscape enhancements along a half-mile stretch of Northland Avenue, specifically from Fillmore Avenue to Grider Street.

To enhance traffic flow, new signage and pavement markings were provided and several traffic signals were upgraded to include the addition of high-visibility backplates as well as Buffalo Police Department blue light safety cameras. Our team also implemented a road diet, which transformed two extra-wide travel lanes into two narrower travel lanes and a new parking lane on the north side of the roadway.

To help create a safer, more welcoming pedestrian environment, specific design elements were incorporated including the installation of new granite curbs, wider sidewalks, ADA compliant sidewalk ramps, curb extensions (bump-outs), and audible pedestrian signals at signalized intersections. A new traffic signal was also added at Schauf Avenue, which also serves pedestrians accessing the new Northland Workforce Training Center.

In addition, new trees were planted on both sides of the roadways and well lights were embedded within the new sidewalk under the railroad overpass at Fillmore Avenue. Our team also created a new public space complete with stormwater planters, a bioswale, landscaping, seating areas and public art. These strategic improvements along with many others have significantly enhanced the Northland Avenue Corridor in terms of overall access, safety and curb appeal.

Earlier this year, the Northland Avenue Rehabilitation and Streetscape project was named Transportation Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Western New York Branch. The APWA Awards Program was established to recognize outstanding individuals, groups and chapters representing the best in the public works profession. CPL is proud to have received this award for a project that means so much to the Buffalo East Side community.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL Architectural Team Member Takes on the Olympics]]> He stands atop a 1,680-meter track made of concrete and ice. In a matter of seconds, he will be lying face down on a sled with his chin less than an inch off the ice, hurtling head first and reaching speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. This is Skeleton; and this scenario just so happens to be the first-hand experience of CPL’s own Zackary Goodwin.

A graduate from SUNY Alfred State College, Goodwin joined the architectural team in CPL’s Newburgh office during the Winter of 2018. His desire to pursue a career in architecture dates back to his freshman year of high school when he took a design and drawing class.

“I felt like I had a knack for it,” Goodwin said. “But more than that, I also found it to be challenging enough for me to want to work hard, learn more and excel in a field that would ultimately test my ability to be both creative and disciplined.”

A natural born competitor, Goodwin is no stranger to taking on challenges that test his abilities, especially when it comes to athletics. Growing up, he enjoyed active extracurriculars such as golf, snowboarding, soccer, football and even coaching gymnastics. In college, he continued to capitalize on his athleticism by playing football and running indoor track.

“Testing my limits and challenging myself athletically has always been part of my identity,” Goodwin explained. “When my time as a collegiate athlete started to come to an end, I naturally started to think about what I would do to challenge myself next.”

It was during a conversation with his track coach that the idea to try out for the USA Bobsled and Skeleton (USABS) team was first mentioned. Since the team typically recruited athletes of out college, Goodwin’s coach believed his drive and motivation to succeed would make him the ideal candidate.

In May of 2018, Goodwin signed up for the USABS Combine Test, an intensive evaluation of speed and power that includes general athletic movements (short sprints, a broad jump and a shot toss) all graded using a point system. For the next month and a half, he trained tirelessly to become stronger, faster and as mentally prepared as possible.

“When the day of the combine finally arrived, I showed up to the track in Lake Placid feeling a mixture of nerves, excitement and appreciation,” he said. “With the Olympic Jumping Complex towering over us, the setting alone was enough to make me feel grateful for even being there.”

Goodwin’s impressive performance that day was strong enough to qualify him for the next stage of the process – Rookie Push Camp. This ten-day camp brings together qualifying athletes from around the country to compete against each other in front of the coaches.

From the minute Goodwin showed up, he felt intimidated and a little out of place.

“There were dozens of athletes who had successful track or football careers at major Division I universities,” he said. “Not only was I just a Division III kicker, but I also had the lowest qualifying combine score of all the athletes who were invited to the camp. I knew I had my work cut out for me.”

After one week of training, the rookie push competition began, and once again, Goodwin exceed expectations. Out of the 20 male skeleton rookies, he finished in 6th place and was invited back to start sliding with the team in the Fall.

In November of 2018, Goodwin returned to Lake Placid to train with the team. As a developmental athlete, he began sliding from start 4, a lower starting point on the track (Curve 9 of 19) that allowed him to only reach speeds of about 35 mph. After a few days, he moved further up the track to start 3 (Curve 4) where speeds accelerated to 60 mph.

“While most people think we simply lie on the sled and let the track do all the work, I can assure you that’s not the case,” he explained, claiming he learned that the hard way. “On my second run from start 3, I entered a curve way too late causing me to flip on my back and slide a couple hundred feet. Luckily, I was unharmed, but the crash was enough to make me realize just how difficult and dangerous this sport can be.”

Goodwin spent the next few months honing his skills and gaining more confidence by training on different tracks including the US track in Park City, Utah. In March of 2019, the time to compete in Nationals had finally arrived and he felt eager to leave it all out on the track.

After four heats that took place of the course of two days, Goodwin finished the race placing 12th in the country. Soon after, he was the only first-year slider offered the opportunity to tour with the North American Cup next year.

“Although I won’t be officially racing, I’m excited to travel with the team and get invaluable experience sliding on all the tracks in North America,” he said.

Next season, Goodwin will spend time training at tracks in Canada (Whistler and Calgary), Park City and Lake Placid. As he gears up for this next part of his Olympic journey, he feels grateful to CPL for continuously supporting his ambitions to compete.

“CPL has encouraged me to pursue this dream from the very beginning,” he said. “From allowing me to take time off to train to letting me work extra hours during the off season, my team members and supervisors have been nothing but supportive. It’s a true testament to the positive, uplifting workplace culture that the company works so hard to maintain.”

CPL is proud to see what Goodwin has accomplished thus far. From 138 people showing up to the combine to 23 competing in rookie push camp to only 10 coming back to slide with the team, we’re excited to see what he will do while on tour next season. And who knows? Perhaps CPL will be cheering on one of our own in the 2026 Winter Olympics!

To learn more about Zack’s story and support his road to the 2026 Olympics, click here to check out his GoFundMe account.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Hire in Greenville]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Friday, May 17, 2019 - Greenville, SC - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome Rodney Hawkins who joins the plumbing engineering team in its Greenville office.

In his new role, Hawkins will be responsible for the design of plumbing, piping and HVAC systems for a variety of project types. He has more than 26 years of experience working in commercial, manufacturing, nuclear and pharmaceutical industries.

Hawkins has an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology from Spartanburg Technical College and an associate degree in industrial technology from Greenville Technical College. He resides in Landrum, SC.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Hires in Newburgh and Olean]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - Newburgh, NY / Olean, NY - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome two new team members to its architectural team: Brad Pettyjohn in Newburgh and Brady Sturm, LEED AP in Olean.

In Newburgh, Pettyjohn will focus on project management and architectural design for a variety of project types. With more than 18 years of experience in architecture, design and construction, he joins CPL after serving as an architect at CCDI USA.

Pettyjohn has a bachelor’s degree in architecture form New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and resides in Hyde Park, NY.

As a member of the architectural team in Olean, Sturm will manage a variety of projects in the educational and municipal market sector. He joins CPL with more than 24 years of industry experience and most recently served as an architectural project manager for AJH Design.

Sturm has an associate degree in construction/architectural technology from Erie Community College and is a LEED accredited professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction (BD&C). He is a member of the Wellsville Lions Club and resides in Wellsville, NY.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Hires in Rochester]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Rochester, NY - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome four new team members to its Rochester office: Katie Johnson who joins the finance team, Erin Shannon who joins the marketing team, and Nicole Wyllie and Dana Satterlee who both join the design team.

In her new role, Johnson will work with the finance team as a financial reporting manager, providing month end reporting and analytics of financial performance. With more than a decade of financial/accounting experience, she will also be integral to developing new reporting structures as well as streamlining current processes.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and resides in West Irondequoit, NY.

As a member of the marketing team, Shannon will support the firm’s marketing and business development efforts by creating a variety of print and digital design collateral. She has more than 13 years of experience marketing professional services and most recently served as a marketing associate for LVW Advisors.

Shannon has an associates of applied science degree in electronic media communications from Onondaga Community College. She is involved in several professional and community organizations such as the Red Jacket Community Library Board of Trustees, the Rochester Chapters of the Public Relations Society of American (PRSA), the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), and the American Marketing Association. She resides in Shortsville, NY.

Wyllie joins the design team with nearly a decade of industry experience. Most recently, she served as an interior designer at Spectrum Design Group where she was responsible for drafting, producing construction documents, and providing finish/furniture selection for a variety of project types.

Wyllie has a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Endicott College and resides in Rochester, NY.

Also joining the design team is Satterlee, who has acquired more than 10 years of interior design experience in the healthcare and corporate market sectors. Prior to joining CPL, she served as a senior interior designer at Jeffrey Berman Architect where she worked on a variety of project types.

Satterlee has a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Philadelphia University and resides in Hilton, NY.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Innovation Drives Success for Top NC, NY Design Firms]]> You might call 2018 “the year of the design firm” for ENR’s New York-New Jersey region, with many engineering and architecture companies reporting strong revenue growth in key construction market sectors, according to the latest Top Design Firms ranking.

CPL is thrilled to be included in this great piece in Engineering News Record (ENR), which highlights how innovation has been driving success for several top design firms. The article, written by Eydie Cubarrubia, discusses the virtual 3D modeling our healthcare team used to design the interior and exterior of Rochester Regional Health's Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care in Rochester, NY.

Click here to read the full article.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: ENR's 2019 Top 500 Design Firms]]> The current market for large design firms may be the best that it has ever been. Check out this year's list of Top 500 Design Firms featured in the Engineering News Record (ENR). CPL is honored to be featured on the list once again and especially thrilled to have moved up 13 spots in the rankings to #269!

<![CDATA[BLOG: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Why Reducing is King]]> As the world has shifted its focus from an industrial revolution to preventing and cleaning the pollution of our planet, recycling has been the magic word. In school and at work, we are encouraged to choose the blue bin for papers and bottles, and we bring cans back to the supermarket to reclaim our nickels. But, is this enough? The short answer: no. A measly 9% of plastics actually get recycled. Earthlings must shift their focus once again to the most important word in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra—Reduce!

Although there are many important and impactful contaminants and waste products covering the landscape, perhaps the most daunting is plastic, specifically single-use plastic.

Individuals can make a difference.

But, this leaves all of our hope in the future health of our planet on the motivated individuals who want to create change. Sadly, that doesn’t describe most individuals.

That’s why companies can make an even bigger impact.

Wegmans, a large grocery store chain on the east coast, chiefly in New York State, recently announced their goal to eliminate the use of plastic bags at its NYS stores by the end of 2019. This goal coincides well with New York State’s ban on all plastic grocery bags effective March 1, 2020.

Are plastic bags that big of a deal? YES.

The average American family uses 1,500 plastic bags each year. Although some of us reuse the bags to bring lunches into work or to clean up after our pets, even delayed time before we ultimately throw the bag in the garbage doesn’t save the planet any stress. Best case scenario, one plastic bag can take 20 years to decompose. Worst case scenario, it can take 1,000 years. And the saddest, and very real scenario, is these plastic bags, either whole, ripped, or broken down into microplastics, are killing marine life and even making their way into the food chain.

Furthermore, curbside recycling programs don’t accept plastic bags as a recyclable good, since many recycling processing plants don’t have the collection system and processing equipment specific for plastic bags, which are different than that of other plastic recyclables, like water bottles, food containers, etc.

A grocery store in Nantes, France refuses to use plastic packaging at all. With heavy concerns on individually-packed food items, and plastic-wrapped fruits and vegetables that already come with a protective coating, this grocery store wanted to do better.

Making the change a mile high.

Even airlines are beginning to resist single-use plastics. And, it’s being received well. At a meager $1-2 difference in flight costs, travelers can take part in ending the seemingly exponential plastic waste.

How do we do better?

To start, pretend like this is the only planet we’ll ever have to live on, raise our families on, grow our food on, build our homes on, and take vacations on. As the population continues to grow, and the amount of waste continues to grow, and the amount of miscellaneous “things” continue to grow, we must remember that the Earth will not grow. It’s our responsibility to take care of our own homes. We don’t let our living rooms fill with garbage.We don’t leave plastic bags in our fish tanks. We must also treat the Earth like home.

Stop using single-use plastics, like grocery bags, water bottles, wax-covered paper products, plastic cutlery, and straws.

Start using reusable products whenever you can, like real dishware and silverware at work, reusable Tupperware and lunch bag, reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, and cloth shopping bags.

Choose to be sustainable. Shop at a farmer’s market, compost your food scraps, and say no to buying individually-wrapped goods, especially when unnecessary (ie – bananas).

Click here to learn more on how you can make a positive difference in the epidemic today.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Designing Greener Communities One LEED Building at a Time]]> LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best in class building strategies and practices across the globe. As the most widely used green building rating system in the world, it provides a framework to create healthy and highly efficient green buildings.

To receive LEED certification, projects pursue credits that earn points. Since prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, teams must choose the rating system that best suits their project. The LEED rating systems are grouped into give main categories: Building Design and Construction, Interior Design and Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Homes, and Neighborhood Development.

After the team completes the review process, the project is awarded a certification level (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum) based on the number of points earned.

CPL recognizes that LEED buildings not only compliment our environment, but also give people healthier places to live, work and play. To that end, we have experience designing a wide range of LEED-certified facilities to be energy and water efficient, healthier and safer for occupants, as well as a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Administration building in Augusta, GA received LEED BD+C certification under the 3.0 version of the rating system. The facility serves as the headquarters for all law enforcement in Augusta I Richmond County and is home to Community Services, Criminal Investigations, Field Operations, Internal Affairs, Special Operations, Management Services, Public Records and a state-of-the-art Crime Investigations garage and laboratory.

Completed in 2012, this 37,827 s.f. building is the first sheriff’s office in Georgia to receive LEED certification. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the building is its highly efficient mechanical and plumbing systems. For instance, the incorporation of low-flow faucets and waterless urinals throughout the facility consume approximately half (50%) of the water consumed by a similarly sized building. This impressive water saving statistic is especially important in Georgia where water is often in short supply.

Originally constructed in 1964, the State University of New York College at Geneseo’s Letchworth Dinging Hall underwent a complete renovation in 2014 and became a LEED BD+C Silver Certified building. CPL applied sustainable design strategies to ensure the facility would have better air quality and be more energy efficient.

The dining hall is conditioned via a ground source heat pump system that utilizes five parallel piped zones connecting 40 wells to absorb and reject heat. It also has 27 ceiling mounted water-to-air high efficiency heat pumps and two heat recovery ventilation air handling units that achieve 75% thermal effectiveness. Additionally, all fan and pump motors are of premium efficiency and the ground loop pumps are on variable speed drives.

This project also received a Gold Medal for Residential Dining Concepts from the National Association of College & University Food Services.

One of our most recent LEED-certified projects, the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA achieved LEED BD+C Silver Certification in 2016. CPL lead the design and engineering of the 20,400 s.f. core and shell addition to become the new International Gallery and a new Jim Henson Gallery, which currently houses the largest collection of the world-famous puppeteer’s work in the world.

Of the eight categories evaluated for certification, the site design for this project was awarded the highest number of points for features such as accessibility to public transportation, stormwater control, development density and community connectivity. Water use efficiency was a close second with a 20% reduction in overall water consumption compared to other buildings of similar size/use. Additionally, the use of low-emitting materials, sensitivity to thermal comfort and a construction waste recycling plan were key sustainable features.

CPL designed the Monroe County Pediatrics and Visitation Center in Rochester, NY on a site adjacent to the Monroe Community Hospital. The facility was designed to enhance the services provided by the Monroe County Department of Public Health and the Monroe County Department of Human Services, and allow for the coordination of pediatric health, parent education, mental health and extended health services for children in transition from foster care.

This project initially pursued LEED Silver Certification, but ultimately achieved LEED BD+C Gold Certification. Staff members have available bike parking and shower facilities while the building itself was constructed with materials and ventilation to meet the needs of a sustainable design.

This project also received the 2010 APWA Project of the Year Award.

The Science Education Center at Jamestown Community College is a LEED BD+C Gold Certified Building. Completed in 2013, this 27,000 s.f. structure utilized green building concepts such as geothermal energy technology, solar power demonstration and a vegetated roof garden.

The roof garden incorporates both intensive and extensive green roofing systems with the latest solar technology integrated into walkways. The building also has a rainwater harvesting system, which collects the rooftop rainwater runoff as an alternative to compounding stormwater runoff problems. Finally, electrical lights throughout interior spaces contain sensors minimizing use during daylight hours.

From simple low-VOC paints to mechanical systems that fundamentally change a building’s carbon footprint, sustainable design concepts can be incorporated into any design-build project. At CPL, we believe the onus is on us to educate and encourage clients to consider the use of green practices, so we can design buildings that are better for the environment.

<![CDATA[BLOG: LEED-ers of the Sustainable Design Pack]]> What does LEED really mean?

Originally designed to help green the planet, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. This globally recognized tool provides a framework to design and create structures that are considered “green,” or environmentally friendly. To that end, LEED-certified buildings (when well maintained) are designed to be more energy efficient, produce less waste products, and maximize occupant health.

What does it mean to be a LEED Accredited Professional (AP)?

A LEED credential signifies proficiency in today’s green building practices. The current LEED credentialing process is a three-tiered system with Tier 1 representing a LEED Green Associate, Tier 2 signifying a LEED AP Specialization, and Tier 3 denoting you as a LEED AP Fellow.

As a foundational credential for professionals, the LEED Green Associate certification conveys a documented, up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles. Building upon this knowledge, many sustainability professionals choose to earn the LEED AP credential, an advanced qualification that signifies specific expertise in green building and a LEED rating system. One step further, some LEED APs get nominated by their peers to become LEED Fellows. This prestigious accreditation is only given to individuals who have a 10+ year history of exemplary leadership and impactful advocacy in green building and sustainability.

The five specialties offered in Tier 2 include: LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C), LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M), LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C), LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND), and LEED AP Homes.

Why become LEED Accredited?

Often referred to as the gold standard in terms of sustainability, earning a LEED accreditation provides you with an invaluable overview of green building practices as well as a leg-up in your career. According to the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), green jobs are in high demand with the green industry accounting for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs in 2018. Achieving a LEED accreditation can help set you apart from the pack by validating your field expertise.

Additionally, studying for a LEED exam provides you with fundamental knowledge of green building concepts, including transportation, energy, water and air quality. These concepts, along with many others, give you the expertise required to design and construct buildings that are healthy, resource-efficient, cost-effective and all around better for the environment.

More than 200,000 professionals have earned a LEED credential to help further their knowledge and advance their careers. CPL is fortunate to have 42 team members with expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings, serving the commercial, residential, education and healthcare market sectors.

In addition to LEED Accreditation, Dick Waite, CPL Landscape Architect in the Rochester office, was recently appointed to USGBC's LEED Committee - Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL Celebrates Earth Week]]> The time for putting energy, enthusiasm and commitment towards creating a new environmental paradigm is long overdue. From poisoning marine life to the presence of plastics in our food to the substantial increase of global greenhouse gas omissions causing climate change, the exponential growth of pollution is threatening our planet’s survival.

Thankfully, a special day was created to educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Established in 1970, Earth Day takes place annually on April 22, with many people extending the celebrating to make it Earth Week. This year, CPL joined in on the celebration to learn more about the environment and the problems we face, as well as take small steps towards making a positive difference.

CPL kicked off Earth Week by participating in a Lunch n’ Learn presentation with Mark Noll, Ph.D., a Professor at SUNY Brockport. Noll lead an insightful discussion on microplastics and how they are becoming an environmental contaminant.

Single-use plastics (ie. bottles and bags), also known as macroplastics, are one of the most prevalent types of marine debris found in our oceans and rivers. During his lecture, Noll explained that only 9% of the macroplastics we consume are recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills. Over time, those plastics photodegrade (break down due to heating) and create microplastics, which are less than five millimeters in length (about the size of a sesame seed).

Microplastics are typically suspended in water and can be transported very easily, a process called facilitated transport. As a result, they can interact with contaminants such as gas, oil and heavy metal, and eventually find their way into the food chain.

Marketing team member, Christine Campbell, said the lecture opened her eyes to just how harmful these tiny pieces of pollution can be.

“We all knew that plastic pollution was a problem,” Campbell said. “But I had no idea that these small bits of plastic have been seeping into our soil, fish and air for years, and are posing a serious threat to both animal and human health.”

While images of beach litter and large floating debris may be the first problem that comes to mind, Noll placed emphasis on how these microplastic particles, too small to be easily detected by eye, are likely the most numerically abundant items of plastic debris in the ocean today.

“I walked away from the discussion feeling that we can’t just be concerned about the pollution we see,” Campbell added. “We also need to worry about what we don’t see and do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

In the spirit of reusing, CPL held a Dish Drive during the week to reduce the use of paper products and disposable plastic in the office. Team members were encouraged to look through their kitchen cupboards and drawers to see what they no longer use at home.

Opting to utilize products that are designed for multiple uses and making sure nothing gets thrown away before its usefulness is spent is an effective way to drastically reduce one’s plastic pollution footprint. CPL’s Dish Drive successfully yielded tons of plates, bowls and silverware, helping us reduce the amount of waste we generate.

To further eliminate waste, CPL celebrated “No Waste Wednesday” and challenged team members to create zero waste for a day. An ambitious task to accomplish, team members started their day off drinking coffee in travel mugs and CPL coffee cups. They also stayed hydrated throughout the day filling up their CPL water bottles instead of buying single-use bottles.

Additionally, team members were encouraged to create zero waste by using Adobe or Bluebeam instead of printing. With discarded paper representing a major portion of many landfill sites, finding ways like this to decrease the use of paper helps reduce paper pollution and the severe adverse effects it has on the environment.

From “No Waste Wednesday” to “Service Day Thursday,” CPL continued the Earth Week celebration by donating gently used clothes to charities including Dress for Success and Angels of Mercy.

In 2015, more than 16 million tons of textile waste was generated, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of this amount, 2.62 million tons were recycled, 3.14 million tons were combusted for energy recovery, and 10.46 million tons were sent to the landfill. With the average American throwing away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person per year, CPL was proud be part of the solution and recycle our old clothing.

One more act of service included the donation of a tree to the West Irondequoit High School in Rochester, NY. It’s no secret that trees help the environment, but the amount of benefits that planting trees can provide may be surprising. Besides producing oxygen, trees can reduce ozone levels in urban areas, remove carbon dioxide from the air, and absorb sound resulting in less noise pollution.

As this year’s Earth Week comes to an end, our efforts to solving climate change, ending plastic pollution and protecting endangered species should not. It’s important to continually activate the environmental movement across the globe, and CPL is eager to do our part.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes Two New Hires in Rochester]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - Rochester, NY - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome two new team members to its Rochester office: Rutu Tadkod who joins the architectural team and Heather Cornwell who joins the administrative team.

In her new role, Tadkod will provide space planning and architectural design solutions for a variety of project types. With more than 6 years of industry experience, she most recently served as a job captain for Fisher Architects, Inc. in Moorpark, CA.

Tadkod earned her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pune University in India. She resides in Brighton, NY.

As a member of the administrative team, Cornwell will provide support to the firm’s civil engineering and transportation engineering project teams in the form of office management, critical clerical work and scheduling meetings or events.

Cornwell earned a medical administrative assistant associates degree from Bryant & Stratton College and is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS). She resides in Fairport, NY.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes Two New Hires in Raleigh]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Monday, April 8, 2019 - Raleigh, NC - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome two new team members to its Raleigh office: Mitch Caldwell who joins the architectural team and Richard Aliff who joins the plumbing engineering team.

In his new role, Caldwell will support the architectural team on a variety of project types with a focus on the healthcare market sector. Prior to joining CPL, he served as an architectural associate with Flad Architects.

Caldwell has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UNC Charlotte, and two master’s degrees from NC State University: one in architecture and one in landscape architecture. He also acquired a City Design Certificate form NC State University and resides in Raleigh, NC.

As a member of the plumbing engineering team, Aliff will provide plumbing and fire protection design for a variety of project types. With more than 33 years of industry experience, he most recently served as a senior piping designer with BNK, Inc.

In addition to his 30+ years of professional experience, Aliff previously served as a Charter Board Member for the Raleigh ASPE Chapter and was a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. He resides in Zebulon, NC.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 420+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 15 cities across 4 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Rochester a Pendulum of Old and New Design]]> CPL architectural team member and AIA Rochester President, Jason Streb, AIA, started a new article series in Friday’s Rochester Business Journal (RBJ). He will be reporting on impactful local issues and topics related to architecture and design.

Click here to read his inaugural viewpoint piece!

<![CDATA[BLOG: Meet the Pets - CPL's Exotic Animal Lovers]]> When you think of pets, do you think of cats, dogs and goldfish? Some of our CPL team members think outside the fur when it comes to Fido. Let’s meet some of the exotic CPL critters.


Nicole Eller, marketing team member, doesn’t have just one interesting pet—she has several. 33 unusual pets, to be exact, which includes nine snakes (eight ball pythons and a boa), six chameleons, 14 crested geckos, a baby tortoise, a tokay gecko, and, finally, two rats, originally meant to be snake food.

Eller credits her interest in many animals to her childhood, when she would shoo snakes out of the shed before her father found them with the lawn mower. Her mother worked at a veterinarian’s office and would frequently teach Eller about animals. A pet lover herself, Eller’s mother would bring home painted turtles, various lizards, and a few bearded dragons over the years.

But, Eller wasn’t allowed to have any snakes until she moved out. Now, Eller has had snakes for 15 years, in addition to her reptile collection.

“At one point, when living in Maryland, I had 60 snakes and two bearded dragons,” she said.

Reptile lovers typically turn their hobby into a business by breeding and selling their animals. Eller has successfully bred snakes and crested geckos already. Her newest endeavor is breeding veiled and panther chameleons. She has 100 eggs in the incubator and a hope that many of them will hatch.

Contrary to popular belief, chameleons don’t actually take on the colors of their surroundings, but they do “fire up” specific colors based on their mood.

“In the future, I hope to specialize in breeding clowns and blue-eyed Lucys,” she said, which are two morphs of ball pythons. “And, I hope to become well known for breeding healthy and beautiful chameleons,” she added.

For pets, Eller said she is hoping to get a blue-tongued skink and leaf-tail gecko in the future.


Brittany Nowicki, interior design team member, has what she describes as “cat-dog-slinkys” as her interesting pets. Willow, Coconut, and Olive are her three ferrets, ranging in ages from 3.5 to 4.5.

Nowicki researched the type of pets she could have in college with strict adoption rules and landed on ferrets.

“I wanted a cuddly creature in college,” she said, “And I fell in love with ferrets at the local pet shop.”

Nowicki describes the animals to be affectionate, extremely curious and smart.

“They never fail to make me laugh and brighten my day. They’re easily trained, use a litter box, and while they sleep in a cage (a two-story enclosure with tons of ramps and hammocks to sleep in), they roam the house whenever I’m home,” she said.

Nowicki enjoys taking them for walks in warm weather in their harnesses. When they’re not outside, they love to play with their squeaker toys, play in tubes, and wag their tails. Ferrets also make a noise called a dook when they get excited or playful.

“It almost sounds like a little turkey gobble, but a lot cuter,” she said.


Jason Benza, architectural team member, has been practicing falconry for more than 10 years, and currently owns two hawks: brother, Zues and sister, Hara. The birds live in a 12’ cube inspected and permitted enclosure where they can rest safely.

Benza first became interested in falconry when he took an ornithology class as a biology elective in college. Although he first signed up for an easy A, after the first field trip, Benza was hooked.

“I thought it was the coolest thing in the world,” he said.

Benza immediately started working toward his falconry license, normally a 12-month process including a test, certifications, and a sponsor, as well as securing both a state and a federal permit. Enamored by the hobby, Benza completed the steps in just five months. Since then, he has progressed from an apprentice to a general, with a master license in the very near future.

Before joining the CPL team, Benza worked as a professional falconer in New York City and New Jersey, chiefly focusing on bird abatement at airports and an Air Force base.

“It’s important to keep the pest birds away from runways where aircrafts are in use,” said Benza. “The falcons scare away pest birds and reduce safety issues for aircrafts.”

Aside from important safety jobs like these, falconers also have a positive impact on the breeding and care of predator birds.

Once a critically endangered species due to DDT pesticides and lead poisoning, peregrine falcons are now up to a healthy population thanks to falconers. “At one time, there were 350 breeding pairs in the Eastern US (40-50 nest sites in NY). By 1965, ALL were gone because of DDT,” according to the NYS DEC website.

“Rochester played an important role in the reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons to eastern North America after the species was nearly wiped out in the 1970s from the use of DDT,” explained the website. “The Kodak Tower birds were brought in by the peregrine fund in 1995 and, to date, Kodak has had 67 fledglings come from it.”

Although Benza is not breeding any birds right now, he does still use them for good. When not hunting, Benza’s hawks accompany him to educational events. He is currently involved in a program to introduce inner-city youth to forests and local animals.

Benza trains his hawks with a process called Operant Conditioning, where he builds trust with the bird on a tethering system before it’s safe to let the bird fly on its own.

“After they feel comfortable, you start increasing the distance away from where they are perched, and next thing you know, you’re outside in nature just going for a hike with a really cool hunting partner and companion that follows you,” Benza explained. “It makes me feel like a proud father!”

There are several ways to signal a hawk, including: summoning the bird to your glove, telling the bird to fly past you, alerting to find prey, and sending the bird high into the air. These calls are either human-voice whistles or arm movements.

Benza has had eight hawks and one falcon in his time as a falconer. In the future, Benza dreams of having a Golden Eagle, which he can own once reaching the master level in his licensing.

“For more information on falconry, call me!” he said.

Honorable Mentions

Eric Randall’s late house rabbits, Gretchen and Heidi

Carrie Ann Spitz’s bunny, Mr. Juniper Hops, who just celebrated his second birthday

Caroline Cox’s hedgehog, Loaf, and duck, Ella

Joylyn Troyer’s rabbit, Binky

Anne Dafchik’s chinchillas, Slate and Alabaster

<![CDATA[BLOG: Catching up with Carly Owczarczak, CID, LEED AP BD+C, NCIDQ]]> Passionate, talented, committed and experienced – four words that would adequately describe an ideal candidate on any job posting. Over the years, CPL has been fortunate to have many team members who possess these very qualities, with one being Carly Owczarczak.

As a valued member of the firm’s interior design team, Carly has acquired more than a decade of experience since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the College of Architecture at Kent State University. Her M.O. to succeed in this industry has always centered around her desire to promote health, safety and welfare through the planning and design of interior environments.

“Supporting and enhancing the human experience is what first peaked my interest in interior design,” Carly said. “It’s always fascinated me how creating environments that are conducive for users can end up positively influencing human behavior and emotions.”

Having been with CPL for the past seven years, Carly has had the opportunity to design a diverse range of interior environments for healthcare, education, municipal, community and historic preservation projects. Her ability to apply a keen design sense to any market sector has been one of her biggest strengths.

One of Carly’s favorite projects to date was developing the interiors program for the Town of West Seneca Library and Community Center. As part of CPL’s standard approach, the design team participated in a vision dialogue session with the client to kick off the project and establish goals.

“Visual dialogue sessions are one of the best ways to engage and excite the client about the project,” she said. “As designers and architects, they not only help us fully understand the client’s vision, but they also allow us to better execute a more seamless, integrated approach.”

During the project’s design, Carly was instrumental in designing the circulation desk located near the facility’s entrance. She remembered fondly, “In our construction documents, we noted that designers were to install donated books prior to the millworker encasing them in glass. Maybe it’s the designer in me, but I was truly excited to go through every book option to organize the best layout possible.”

From libraries to government buildings, Carly also reflected on her role in designing interior renovations for the Orange County Government Center (OCGC) in Goshen, NY, which won the 2018 IIDA Buffalo Interior Design award. The project required a significant amount of building preservation as well as new, modern design concepts that would be compatible with the building’s history.

“Projects like these are some of the most satisfying,” she said. “While the historic preservation component posed unique challenges, our team worked hard to incorporate the building’s original brutalist design into new functional spaces that would best serve the facility’s program and use.”

For Carly, it isn’t just the work that keeps her motivated and fulfilled every day – it’s the people. The opportunities to collaborate with team members from other offices, develop relationships during internal workshops and participate in fun, team building events all contribute to her happiness in the workplace.

“We recently had a company-wide scavenger hunt to raise money for the American Heart Association and to say it was a blast would be an understatement,” Carly said.

The hunt required teams of four to complete a long list of funny challenges and take photos to prove they accomplished each one. Although Carly’s team did not win, she would argue the experience was worth more than the first-place bragging rights.

“This challenge was an awesome way to personally connect with team members outside of our project schedules and deadlines,” she explained. “It made us work together to create a game plan and lean on each other’s strengths, all while laughing hysterically the entire time."

Carly also spends much of her time being a mentor to CPL team members and an advocate for the interior design profession. For the last three years, she has been a board member for the IIDA Buffalo City Center (2nd year as Co-Director) as well as the Chair of BuffCon, which is an IIDA sponsored interior design tradeshow where local designers have the chance to sample the newest trends in material and furniture design.

“If you’re an interior designer in Western New York, BuffCon is one of the best tradeshows to network and get inspired by the latest design trends,” she said, adding that last years sold out event had more than 65 vendors and 400 attendees.

In addition to her impressive portfolio of work and long list of professional affiliations, Carly is a dedicated wife and busy mother of two toddlers. She accredits much of her ability to maintain a healthy work/life balance to CPL’s intentional workplace culture.

When asked to give advice to future designers, Carly explained the importance of surrounding yourself with people you can learn from.

“Early in my career, I learned to be smart enough to know what I didn’t know, and to never be afraid to ask questions,” she said. “At CPL, I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from some of the best designers, architects and engineers. The firm’s commitment to integrating interiors at the start of every project and the seamless collaboration between all disciplines is what ultimately provides the best service to our clients. It’s fulfilling for me to be a part of a team like that.”