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Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

CUNA Mutual Group: Climate Champions

by Emma Hurbanis

CUNA Mutual Group, the Madison-based insurance group, has completed the first phase of corporate campus revitalization. Looking beyond the facade improvements of 5810 Mineral Point Road reveals a commitment to sustainability throughout the redesign.   

Campus RedevelopmentThe CUNA Mutual campus in 1981 with the old circular building
The current campus of CUNA Mutual was established on Madison’s west side in 1960 with a single building on Mineral Point Road. Through the 1980s, the campus expanded by adding to the existing building and erecting two new structures. Now, more than 70 years after the original 5910 building was established, CUNA Mutual’s campus is embarking on a redevelopment that puts a concerted focus on energy efficiency and employee wellbeing. Their new building completed in 2022 at 5810 Mineral Point Road houses meeting spaces and various amenities for employees, with its design focused on minimizing energy and water use.

Other buildings on the campus, 5710 and 5910 Mineral Point Road, also boast energy efficiency despite their older age. A commitment to sustainability has led to investments in more efficient building systems such as chillers and boilers, reducing energy use through the building and qualifying for Climate Champion status.

Energy Efficiency
Compared to the old circular building, the new building has reduced energy costs 30.3%. Using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) baseline for similar buildings, the redevelopment achieves nearly a 50% in energy savings. Large and small changes contributed to this reduction, including:

  • A switch to 100% LED lighting along with daylight and occupancy sensors;
  • A more efficient building envelope, minimizing airflow and therefore decreasing the energy needed to heat and cool; and
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, including condensing boilers

Another change that improves the building’s energy savings is the kitchen’s VAV fume hoods, which exhaust fumes at a variable rate and only when they are needed. This limits the air exchanged in the building, reducing the energy needed to heat and cool while improving air quality.

The new CUNA Mutual building






Water used for irrigation is now sourced completely from a 10,000 gallon cistern collecting rainwater and condensate (from air conditioning units). This below-ground tank relies on pipes from the roof and AC units to collect the water, where it is stored until it is used indoors or outdoors. This water is used to flush toilets inside the building’s restrooms, which also utilize low-flow plumbing fixtures which save almost 100,000 gallons of water per year. This water savings yields cost savings as well as environmental benefits.

Community Outdoor Space
Improvements to landscaping and outdoor spaces positively impacts employee wellbeing. Surface parking lots were replaced with underground lots, creating open space to be filled with patios, terraces, and vegetative land. The site far exceeds the LEED goal for open space by replacing driveways with a pedestrian-focused area meant to foster connection between employees. Additionally, more than a third of previously disrupted vegetation was restored in the area. 

Climate Champions

The CUNA Mutual campus redevelopment serves as an example for how corporate buildings can incorporate modern energy efficiency and sustainability systems into beautiful design. These improvements are both climate and employee-friendly, creating spaces that encourage health, efficiency, and connection are enjoyed by employees and those visiting the space. 

CUNA Mutual’s buildings have been recognized as Climate Champions in the Building Design, Building Energy Use, Water Savings, and Employee Commuting categories.

Awesome work, CUNA Mutual!