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Princeton Class of 1976

Paul Hutton

"Sustainability and Entrepreneurship or The Moon is My Nightlight"

2010 Spirit of Service '76 Environmental Speaker Series

Paul Hutton
Paul Hutton '76, AIA, LEED ap

Sustainability and Entrepreneurship

Paul Hutton '76's deep commitment to sustainability, or ecological design as it was earlier known, actually predates his days at Princeton. It began with his reading the seminal work "The Limits to Growth" while in high school and the realization that human activities have the collective power to influence global resources.

After graduating from Princeton with a major in architecture, Paul attended the University of Virginia where he earned masters degrees in both architecture and environmental planning. In order to support this endeavor, he designed and built solar houses. Desiring to work in an area where solar design was more practical and more widely accepted, he moved to Denver, Colorado in 1980.

Paul has been a practicing architect and innovator in energy efficient design for the last 30 years. His firm, Hutton Architecture Studio, was founded in 1990 and specializes in environments for learning as well as daylighting. Currently, the firm administers the High Performance Building Program for the Colorado Governor's Energy Office.

Additionally, Paul has been an instructor at the University of Colorado for many years, where he pioneered the course in daylighting design and sustainability. Paul's commitment to high performance design includes his own home, a sustainable ranch in the foothills south of Denver, where he lives with his wife Christy and their two Labrador retrievers.

Beginning with his solar houses in the 1970's, extending through recent work such as Colorado's first LEED NC Gold school in Aspen in 2007, and culminating in Colorado's (upcoming) first Zero Energy State Park, Paul will explore the complex interrelationships among societal trends, architectural design, and energy efficiency.

The ebb and flow of public interest in, and enthusiasm for, energy efficiency and sustainable design have influenced all designers in the field and Paul has been no exception. At times in his 30-year plus career he was forced to nearly conceal the sustainable aspects of his designs, while in the early 1980's as today, his work is well received and sought after. Paul will describe how he and his firm have adapted to these dramatic and sometimes sudden shifts in the market.

Throughout the talk, Paul will discuss how his willingness to use new and innovative materials has enabled his work to stay on the cutting edge. More recently, Paul has moved from integrating innovative products into his designs to taking an active role in a few companies. This has given him new insights into the nature of entrepreneurship and the challenges facing start-up companies in the United States today.

This program is sponsored by The Spirit of Service '76 Environmental Initiative