Cuningham Group Architecture


Renowned for its environmentally friendly focus, Cuningham Group Architecture faced a dilemma after the opening of its newly renovated Denver office. The building’s original 1980s HVAC units could not handle Colorado’s extreme seasonal temperatures. The second-story mezzanine typically measured 15 to 20 degrees hotter than ground level. “It was unbearable,” said Associate Principal Todd VandenBurg. The group opposed the costly and environmentally unsound option of upgrading the archaic HVAC system, but needed a way to provide relief in the collaborative studio space.


The company installed two 60-inch (1.5m) Haiku® with SenseME® fans to circulate the air throughout the office. The mezzanine now serves as a pleasant meeting space, only fluctuating 1 or 2 degrees from the rest of the building, and the HVAC now runs less often, significantly lowering energy costs. “Even though we’re 3 to 4 tons below our optimal building cooling capacity, the Big Ass Fans make the undersized HVAC system functional,” said VandenBurg.

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“The heat difference made the office unusable, so we knew we needed the Big Ass Fans . Since installation, our building system is more efficient and more consistent during the heating and cooling seasons. We’ve noticed a big difference.”

Todd VandenBurg, Associate Principal