Clark Patterson Lee | Blog Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2019 2019-05-19T04:58:03-04:00 <![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.”

<![CDATA[BLOG: Albany Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department Building Achieves LEED Silver Certification]]> The Albany Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department building recently achieved LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The building, also known as the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center, is the only pediatric emergency department in northeastern New York and western New England providing emergency care exclusively to children and teenagers to age 18.

Plans to construct this four-story building on Albany Med’s campus started back in 2016. CPL signed on as the consulting engineer and played a major role in providing professional services for planning, civil and site design engineering, storm water design and items of landscape. The facility successfully opened in the Summer of 2018.

From a civil/site design standpoint, the project posed many challenges, with one being the limited space available for the building’s footprint as an existing structure needed to be demolished first. Additionally, the interior campus road needed to remain open during construction due to the nearby loading docks that were accustomed to seeing an abundance of activity throughout the day.

Another challenge was the consideration that needed to be given to the vast amounts of underground utilities beneath the existing site. Items such as steam, chilled water, high voltage electric, concrete encased electric conduits, as well as a storm and sanitary sewer running through the proposed footprint, all served as obstacles throughout the design process.

To combat some of these issues, the storm sewer was redirected and a large portion of the sanitary line was replaced and sleeved below the new building. The remaining sanitary piping was then lined with a cured in place pipe (CIPP), which consisted of a resin-saturated tube that was temporarily inflated to harden and fit perfectly to the interior of the existing pipe.

Above the surface, grading the new site, most notably at the proposed ambulance drop off, added a few more complexities. While this area was originally expected to be 4.5 feet higher than the existing ground, elevations at the nearby loading dock and adjacent building could not be changed to accommodate that. So, CPL designed a small retaining wall to house a backup generator and provide safe ambulance backup and drop off for patients.

After the Pediatric Emergency Department opened, an additional building was demolished to create room for a new valet parking lot. CPL provided storm water design, which required the installation of a large detention chamber. In addition, a block gravity wall was used to level the parking lot and ADA sidewalks were implemented to enhance access to the facility.

Through all the design challenges, CPL civil engineers from multiple offices worked together and never faltered. In the end, a LEED Silver certified project was successfully designed and constructed with the full support of the entire project team, which included architects from Hyman Hayes Associates, M/E/P engineers from Huston Engineering, and structural engineers from Klepper Hahn & Hyatt.

<![CDATA[BROADCAST: Moore County Recreation Center]]>
A highly anticipated and impactful community project will soon be underway in the County of Moore, NC. Plans to build a new Recreation Center and Splash Pad on the popular Hillcrest Park Campus have officially been approved by Moore County’s Board of Commissioners.

Included in Phase 1 of a larger Master Plan, the project will stand as a complementary and welcomed addition to Hillcrest Park, which is currently home to four field tournament facilities, two playgrounds, picnic shelters and walking trails.

CPL Architect and Senior Associate, Rachel Guillot, AIA, has been an integral part of the project team from the very beginning stages of the visioning process.

“Our team worked closely with the County’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to develop something special that the community would utilize and cherish for years to come,” said Guillot. “From the start, we’ve envisioned the Center to serve as a pillar for growth and community engagement.”

The new Center is set to house two gymnasiums, which will allow for new sports, programs and activities such as basketball, volleyball and a community favorite, pickleball. In addition, both indoor courts have been designed to be built 2-feet below the main entry level, which will further enhance spectator viewing.

Spanning approximately 21,000 square-feet, the facility will also include ample multi-purpose space, administrative offices, restrooms and a concession area.

CPL has led the charge in creating the project’s Master Plan as well as providing services for architectural and interior design. Additional team members have included structural engineers from Lynch Mykins, civil engineers from Wetherill Engineering, and M/E/P engineers from AME Consulting.

Moore County Capital Projects Manager, Richard Smith, has been thrilled with the project team’s level of knowledge, patience and decision-making skills.

“Rachel Guillot and the entire CPL team have masterfully guided the County of Moore through this process,” said Smith. “They were our top choice out of many firms we interviewed and have proven us right again and again. To say we had a good experience would be an understatement – it was a great experience.”

Guillot said construction is expected to start this Spring/Summer, and the Center is likely to open by mid-2020.

“Once completed, this space will have the capacity to accommodate anything from athletic tournaments and youth leagues to summer camps and regional events,” explained Guillot. “It’s going to be a great thing for children and residents from all over the County.”

<![CDATA[BROADCAST: Rochester Regional Health - Riedman Health Center]]> Rochester Regional Health's new Riedman Health Center is a “one-stop-shop” for members of the community to receive a variety of essential medical services including pediatric care, primary care, dental care, ophthalmology, radiology, ACM blood draw lab, and pharmacy. Located in the Ridge Goodman Plaza on Eastridge Road in Irondequoit, NY, this former supermarket turned medical center was sustainably designed to include private patient rooms, tranquil hallways, a welcoming lobby with self-check-in kiosks, and serene waiting rooms with ample natural light.

The facility is a model for future similar centers that are focused on the patient experience and improving long term health care outcomes.

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

Monday, March 4, 2019 - Greenville, SC / Woodstock, GA - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for more than 44 years, is pleased to welcome Jeffery Hydrick, P.E. to the electrical engineering team in its Greenville office, and Ian Evans, E.I.T. to the civil engineering team in its Woodstock office.

In his new role, Hydrick will provide electrical consulting and building design for a wide variety of projects in both the municipal and education market sectors. He is a licensed engineer in the state of South Carolina and is currently applying for professional licensure in North Carolina and Georgia. Hydrick earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina and resides in Irmo, SC.

In his new role, Evans will assist the civil engineering team with design, construction documents and construction administration. He joins CPL with more than 5 years of industry experience and most recently served as a project engineer at Travis Pruitt and Associates, where he provided civil design for commercial and industrial projects. Evans has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University and is a certified Engineer in Training (E.I.T.). He resides in Brookhaven, GA.

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 and Albany]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - Rochester, NY / Albany, 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: Jason Benza who joins the architectural team and Timothy Jansen who joins the finance team. The firm also extends a warm welcome to Brendon Mazza who joins the mechanical engineering team in its Albany office.

In his new role, Benza will assist project teams as a specification writer. He will serve as a technical resource for product and material evaluations and selections, maintain proficiency in construction techniques and sequences, and assist with quality control and quality assurance processes. Benza has a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Cortland and resides in Springwater, NY. Outside the office, he is a volunteer fireman.

As a member of the finance team, Jansen will provide billing support to the firm. Prior to joining CPL, he served as an accounting assistant at Davidson Fink, LLP, where he managed billing for all Partners. Jansen has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing management from Pace University. He resides in Rochester, NY.

In his new role, Mazza will assist the mechanical engineering team with the design of various mechanical systems for a wide range of construction projects. Prior to joining CPL, he served as an engineering reviewer for the New York State Department of Education, where he performed plan reviews for school construction projects. Mazza has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Binghamton University and resides in Poughkeepsie, 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[BLOG: A Day in the Life of Tony Marchetti]]> Tony Marchetti, PE is an electrical engineer, a husband, a father and an early bird. One of the first in the Rochester [St. Paul] office every day for work, Marchetti is the kind of malleable engineer that works well both alone and with his team.

He’s started every day for the past 23 years with a cup of black coffee and the determination to provide each of his clients with successful projects on time and on budget. He sneaks in some quiet time early to focus on his specific design projects and tasks before the office fills up. Then, he moves on to collaborating with the electrical team, addressing project schedules and deadlines, coaching and mentoring team members and practicing quality control.

Where did it all start?
Born into a family with an extensive construction background, Marchetti originally became interested in the electrical field while working with his family on home construction projects in high school. Although he described himself to be “clueless like most high school kids,” wondering if he should pursue the military or college, he pushed forward with applying to colleges.

Marchetti graduated from Alfred State with a Bachelor of Engineering degree with an electrical engineering focus in 1993 and entered the workforce with an electrical contracting job. Soon enough, he made his way to Babinsky-Klein Engineering in Buffalo, NY. CPL—then Clark Patterson Associates—acquired the firm in 1997, and Marchetti stuck around. The company change led soon-to-be-parents Marchetti and his wife, Terri, to move to Rochester, NY, and we’ve been stuck with him since.

What’s your strategy at work, and how has your position changed in the past two decades?
When Marchetti started, design engineering was a small department.Not only has he seen the department grow from just a few people to over a dozen, but he has seen the variety of work grow as well.

“I started out with a lot of K-12 and municipal projects,” he said. “Now, in addition to expanding our K-12 projects, we have seen extensive growth in healthcare, more aspects of municipal projects, and the addition of higher education projects.”

As a team leader, Marchetti spends time reviewing projects, participating in initial planning meetings, and spearheading the beginnings of projects. Marchetti said healthcare is especially interesting to him because in healthcare design, he is exposed to all electrical systems in that area of design, ever-changing systems and communication technologies, and normal and emergency power distribution.

“I put a huge emphasis on field work when beginning any project,” he said. “We need to do a good job at gathering all the information we can, taking things apart, and being as thorough as possible. This saves headaches with design and construction down the road and overall makes for a quality, clean project.”

Aside from coordinating with the electrical engineering team, Marchetti said he enjoys managing his own electrical projects, facilitating schedules and budgets, and being involved with the design from the onset.

“I can honestly say I am exactly where I want to be,” he said. “I come to work happy with what I do every day.”

What was the most memorable project in your career?
Marchetti remembers the 1999 Olean General Hospital project like it was yesterday. His first ever healthcare project, it served as a tremendous learning experience.

“I saw myself grow as an engineer more than any other project,” he said. “From what I was exposed to from design through construction, it taught me a lot of things I still use today.”

Marchetti had to learn healthcare codes on the spot, wire and conduit sizes, and the value of asking questions and double-checking your work. This was also the first time he ever worked directly with a construction manager as well as with another HVAC consulting engineering firm involved with the project.

“Challenges like this keep us fresh, and keeps us in tune of what we’re doing,” he said, adding he never wants to stop being involved with design and learning while working in this field.

What projects have you worked on recently?
Marchetti said he enjoys the electrical work on the University of Rochester’s college campus, and the first big medical project at the University of Rochester’s Imaging Building.

Staying aligned with healthcare, he’s also working at Rochester Regional Health’s (RRH) Rochester General Hospital, multiple RRH off-site facilities, and United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) and Clifton Spring Hospitals.

Conversely, Marchetti is getting more involved with higher education, including the Francis Hall renovation project at St. Bonaventure University—a new client for CPL.

And unlike anything he has done for other previous projects, Marchetti was instrumental to the Seneca Park Zoo expansion project.

“I went into this project a bit scared!” he said. “I had to keep in mind that these buildings contain animals, and learn what power and lighting is necessary for rhinos, giraffes, and zebras. What do they need and what am I was missing here? It turned out to be a fun, successful project.”

What do you like to do outside of work?
When he’s not in the office, he’s probably not indoors either. Marchetti enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his two sons, Anthony and Jake. This usually means attending sporting events including hockey, lacrosse, and baseball.

The three young men especially like bow hunting, a family tradition that Marchetti started when he was 12. This hobby eventually turned into competitive archery, where him and his oldest son are involved with both state and local competition.

When the ruckus is over, Marchetti likes quiet escapes to the family cottage in the Southern Tier, and staying busy with cottage and home improvement projects.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be an electrical engineer?
“Not only is electrical engineering a respected, fun and challenging field, but it’s a field that will always be in demand,” he said.

Marchetti added that he would encourage people to pursue their professional engineering license, enhancing their chances to for opportunity in their field, especially while working at consulting firms.

What is your favorite part of working at CPL?
“I like what I do electrically, but the biggest reward is the people I work with,” he said. “Everyone gets along great.”

Marchetti added that working for a full-service firm makes it that much better to work with clients and team members alike, with all disciplines under one roof.

“The culture at CPL has made it a great, enjoyable, fun place to work,” he said.

If we’re lucky, we’ll be stuck with Marchetti for another 23 great years.