Recent News

Vernacular Design + Concrete = Sustainability

NEW on our blog this Fall: Construction industry leaders & influencers share their ideas, thoughts and insights. First up, our dear friend and construction sector expert Michelle Roberts!

Michelle Roberts.jpg
I have had an incredibly exciting journey over the past 11 years being able to work with the dynamic Kim Corwin, CEO, A.H. Harris as well as with some of the most famous building scientists, architects & engineers in the world. Having been involved in helping design building enclosure systems for all types of buildings I became passionate about concrete and its relation to Sustainability, Resiliency & History.
Here is a link to an incredible timeline of the History of Concrete that dates back to 12,000,000 BC and structures thousands of years old made of concrete still exist and I encourage developers and owners use concrete opposed to wood. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has incredible resources for developers & owners & their design partners to use located here, especially regarding LEEDv4, HPD’s & EPD’s.

Ingalls Building.jpgCheck this amazing vernacular designed building for example! The Ingalls Building, built in 1903 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was the world's first reinforced concrete skyscraper. The 16-story building was designed by the Cincinnati architectural firm Elzner & Anderson and was named for its primary financial investor, Melville E. Ingalls. The building was considered a daring engineering feat at the time, but its success contributed to the acceptance of concrete construction in high-rise buildings in the United States. Still in use today, the building was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1974 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1975, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

This is what I think of when designing... “When we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think as we lay stone upon stone that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them and that men will say as they look upon the labor and the wrought substance of them, ‘See! this our fathers did for us.’”  ~ John Ruskin

Further reading: What Makes Concrete A Sustainable Building Material (Concrete Network)

Michelle Roberts, CSI, is the Principal of Chatham Hill Design & Build. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of Sustainable & Resilient Building Enclosure, Interior & Building Science Design and its relationship to Residential, Commercial & Industrial Construction Specifications. Michelle works with Global Building Owners & Architectural, Engineering, Construction Firms charged with designing complex,  high performing commercial, institutional, industrial buildings and housing. Michelle also updates and creates Owner Architectural MasterGuide Specifications and also identifies what type of Building Science, Resilient & Sustainable Interior Design support is needed. She collaborates with her internationally recognized Acoustical, Mechanical, Fire, Hygrothermal and Flat/Low Slope Roofing Building Scientist & Designer colleagues to support these specifications.


Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

Subscribe to Blog