ENR Mountain States, working in concert with other regional ENR publications and editors across the country, has selected its Design Firms of the Year for 2023. They are SWCA Environmental Consultants of Broomfield, Colo., and Cushing Terrell, Billings, Mont., for the Intermountain area.

Design Firms of the Year are chosen by a vote of the regional ENR editors from across the country based on a carefully selected group of finalists. Factors include regional revenues, new initiatives, current projects, community and industry contributions and other considerations.

SWCA Environmental Consultants, Broomfield, Colo. 

SWCA’s 100% employee-owned firm offers comprehensive environmental planning, regulatory compliance, and natural and cultural resource management services. Its offices in Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas experienced a 20% growth in revenue over the past year and are contributing to some of the largest and most complex multiyear environmental projects in the country. Current work includes the Crowned Ridge Wind Projects in South Dakota; the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Project and the Alkali Creek Reservoir in Wyoming; the Montrose County Critical Community Watershed Wildfire Protection Plan in Colorado; and the TransWest Express Transmission Line, which encompasses more than 700 miles in Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah.

SWCA’s core values emphasize giving back to local communities, and in 2022 regional staff devoted 276 volunteer hours, participating in events such as wildfire restoration tree plantings, blood and food drives, and highway and park clean-ups.

Cushing Terrell, Billings, Mont. 

Architecture and engineering firm Cushing Terrell was named one of the 2022 Best Firms to Work For by Zweig Group, a program that ranks AEC firms in the U.S. and Canada based on their workplace culture and practices, employee benefits, retention rates and more. As a signatory of the AIA 2030 Commitment, Cushing Terrell is part of a movement pushing for all new buildings and major renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030, and in 2022, the firm reduced the carbon emissions associated with its projects by 1.75 million tons. Additionally, Cushing Terrell is part of a group of 4,200 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half before 2030, achieve net-zero emissions before 2050, and disclose progress on a yearly basis. The SME Climate Commitment provides a path for SMEs to join the United Nations Race to Zero campaign — a coalition committed to achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

The Cushing Terrell-designed Montana Heritage Center in Helena, Mont., is currently under construction and the firm is also engaged in a multi-phase development of Montana State University’s campus-wide energy master plan as well as the design of a new YMCA development in downtown Boise, Idaho. Recently completed work for the firm includes the Flathead Valley Community College Wacholz College Center in Kalispell, Mont.; Montana State University's Romney Hall, Bozeman, Mont.; and the Saltzer Health Ten Mile Medical Campus, Meridian, Idaho. The firm launched a pro bono design services program and in 2022 and their employees have volunteered to complete projects for the Girl Scouts of America in Billings, Mont., and the American Legion in Big Timber, Mont. Another effort is underway to support Sacred Heart School in Boise, Idaho. 

Profile stories on both firms will appear in the June print issue of ENR Mountain States, which will also feature our annual ranking of the region's Top Design Firms. Congratulations to this year’s winners!