Northern Arizona University
NAU: A Community of DISTINCTION
Return Arrow A Community of Distinction / innovators All Profiles
Profile Photograph

Building a Greener World

Tim Kinney: BS

President and Founder, Kinney Construction Services, Inc.

1982 BS in Civil Engineering Technology


Many alumni reach back to Northern Arizona University as donors, volunteers, parents, or simply as reliable fans and participants at university events. But Tim Kinney, who is president and founder of Flagstaff-based Kinney Construction Services, Inc. is an alum who is partnering in the university's strategic efforts to build sustainably. Kinney's company takes its commitment to "green" seriously: KCS, Inc. has been a contractor in several university building projects including those related to the University Union Dining Hall, and the Extended Campuses Center. According to Kinney, he particularly enjoyed his work on the latter project, where his company helped create a building that uses 43 percent less energy than a typical building of its size.

"It was absolutely gratifying to see the Extended Campuses Center earn a LEED (Leadership Energy and Environment Design) Gold award," Kinney says. "The architect had set out to accomplish Silver, and with our teamwork, we created one of the greenest buildings on campus."

Originally from New York, Kinney first came to Northern Arizona University for its engineering technology program. He quickly became enamored with "the town's personality, the outdoors, the mountains, and the beautiful landscape." After earning his degree in 1982, Kinney left for a successful career as a general contractor in New York City. Kinney later returned to Flagstaff for what he calls "semi-retirement": but, as often happens with outstanding professionals, he was pulled back into the field. And, he says, his alma mater helped provide his fledgling company with an opportunity to grow.

"It was a symbiotic relationship," Kinney explains. Just as Northern Arizona University was embracing a firm commitment to environmentally sustainable building practices, KCS, Inc. came on the scene. "NAU was like an incubator for us," Kinney says.

In addition to his work with the university, Kinney has developed a strong reputation throughout Arizona, earning several awards, including a National Estimating Award for the University Union Dining Hall Expansion, and several green design awards, including the McGraw-Hill Engineering News Record "Greenest Building" in the nation award for the Museum of Northern Arizona's Easton Collection Center.

Construction in general is counter productive to the health of our environment and is unsustainable as we know it today. We all need to look at our businesses and rethink the way we do things in order to maintain our communities for future generations. "It's the right thing to do," Kinney says.