What is CUSD?

Started in the late fall of 2009, CUSD is an interdisciplinary design-build and sustainability-focused project team. It is entirely student-led and driven by collaboration, and works closely with renowned faculty and knowledgeable professionals to provide an invaluable, hands on experiential learning opportunity. Through comprehensive analysis of every input and its effects on performance within a system, we strive to reach a healthy symbiosis of social, ecological, and economic sustainability. Providing opportunities for students from any major, our diversity - of perspective and project offerings - allows us to continuously push the envelope of innovation and resilience.

Our projects include an early childhood good education center in Johannesburg, South Africa; a model home with eco-technologies in Nagarote, Nicaragua; on-site energy generation research for the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City; hands on construction for a community building project in Lansing, NY; the concept design of a hub for student life and outdoor activities on Beebe Lake; and more.

Mission Statement

The basis for all of our work.

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Guiding Principles

The three core values that make us who we are.

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Our people are Cornell students and young alumni from all seven colleges with a wide array of skills and backgrounds. Our 150+ students are divided into multiple projects teams, plus a logistical support team with the help of our two advisors: Dave Schneider and Sirietta Simoncini.

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Our projects are interdisciplinary, making full use of our members’ many talents and perspectives. These range from projects focusing on the Cornell community to large, international projects. All of our projects are tailored to their communities’ individual needs, and our holistic view of sustainability helps them to have a life beyond our involvement.

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Our purpose is to set precedents for what a student organization can accomplish. We provide experiential learning opportunities for our members to create sustainable designs that bring together communities, students, faculty, and external partners to make meaningful impacts for all members.

Current Projects

What we’re currently working on. To see past projects or learn more, check out the Projects page.

Global Impact

Our work affects communities across the world, as well as in our backyard.

Map of our projects

Building A Global Community

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. By building better communities globally, we're taking steps towards building a better global community.

See Impact →

Join Us

There are plenty of ways you can help our mission.