August 31, 2017

The Science of Light: An Investigation in the Bialosky Cleveland Lighting Lab

In our quest to create meaningful solutions that are innovative, responsive, enduring, and beautiful, Bialosky Cleveland has recently created a space in our office to explore the science of lighting and the way it informs our design. This article is the first in a series talking about the science of light, and intends to serve as "lighting 101".

Bialosky Cleveland - Lighting Lab

Light is energy transmitted through radiation without medium: this is energy the human eye is designed to read. To understand light and harness its power to shape vision and perception, we will look beyond its physical laws and examine the human response, both psychological and physiological. Rather than simply injecting light into a space, we are defining the space, allowing the users to comfortably interact with their environment.

Quality lighting design integrates properly with the form and composition of the architecture while providing for the needs of the user. We are constantly exploring new ways to improve life through the use of light. That’s why we’ve created a lighting laboratory here in our office with the help of USAI Lighting and Myriad Energy Solutions. It’s a visual tool we will use to educate ourselves, our consultants, and our clients concerning the science of light.

The lab consists of 10 recessed LED downlights (Infinite Color+ series by USAI Lighting) with the capability to fully control the Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI) of the light, and to produce any color desired. Black body dimming, which is a more natural “dim to warm” function is also available.

All this allows us to manipulate light and perception during design to create unique and responsive solutions. Color temperature and color rendering both enrich and increase the accuracy of the visual experience. Now when we are selecting fabrics, room finishes, and colors, we can closely examine them under light with the same CRI and CCT as the lamps being proposed for the space.

Bialosky Cleveland - Lighting Lab


Isaac Newton, during his examination of the properties of dispersed light, passed a ray of white light through a prism and found he was able to divide it into bands of color. He reclaimed the original ray of white light by passing the bands of color through another prism. He correctly concluded that white light is a combination of wavelengths throughout the visible spectrum, each associated with a distinct color. This ranges from violet (the shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum) to red (the longest). The complete mixture of all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum produces white light. Our sun is a source of white light along with fluorescent bulbs and white LEDs. Some manufactured lighting sources cannot produce all of the wavelengths in the visible spectrum. So how is this measured and compared?

Among the metrics used in architectural applications to define the color quality are Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI).



Color temperature in measured in Kelvins (K), similar to the Celsius scale with equally sized units (degrees), but starting at absolute zero (0 degrees Kelvin = -273 degrees Celsius). A theoretical reference source called a black body radiator is used which when heated and glowing will shift in color with heat continuously along the visual spectrum.

Light sources that employ disproportionate levels of each wavelength are measured by CCT which compares to the black body radiator.

Color temperature, along with luminance patterns, is the most influential mood-setting feature of a space. The paramount purpose of lighting is to serve the needs of humans. This includes visibility, aesthetic judgement, social communication, visual comfort, mood, atmosphere, health, safety, and well-being. Understanding the effects of color temperature allows us to manipulate our design to deliberately create moods and enhance architecture.

Light plays a large role in controlling our circadian rhythm as well. The use of cooler CCT stops the production of melatonin in the body, increasing alertness. This discovery is rife with applications in areas such as education, health care, and the workplace, along with easing the symptoms of Alzheimers and Autism.



The color rendering index (CRI) is a measure of the ability of a lighting source to accurately render all wavelengths of its color spectrum when compared to a reference source. CRI is used to quantify a lamp’s ability to produce color in objects and it is rated on a scale of 0-100, with perfect rendering scoring 100.

Office space tasks require more than 80 CRI (and where food is involved), while warehouse tasks only require less than 50 CRI so you are roughly able to differentiate colors. Typically, luminaires providing more than 90 CRI are more expensive than the lower CRI models.

When testing CRI, your hand can be an effective reference to judge CRI on your skin tone. So, not only is the color rendering of objects or merchandise important, but also skin tone. We are able to offer this test in our lighting lab and it has surprised some of our clients.



Bialosky Cleveland continues to add diverse design tools including virtual reality, a laser cutter, and a 3D printer.  Our Lighting Lab is an example of how we employ the latest technology to offer comprehensive design to our clients.

Our goal is to provide quality lighting design which provides maximum value to our clients and supports the overall design intent. A quality design can differentiate spaces that are merely functional from those which people enjoy.

Our lighting lab is open for tours and demonstrations, and available as a resource to designers and researchers upon request. Please join us to experiment for yourself.




July 19, 2016

Seven Planning Principles For Successful Community Design

Recently our friends at CEOs For Cities asked Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, Senior Principal, and David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP. Principal and Director of Design to discuss the planning principles that Bialosky Cleveland utilizes for successful community design. The series provides standards that apply to all types and all sizes of projects—from residential to institutional—interior to urban planning.

Want to learn more? Read the series at the following links:

Seven Planning Principles for Successful Community Design

  1. The Grid
  2. Small Blocks
  3. No Backs
  4. On Foot
  5. To Dwell
  6. Mixed Up
  7. Simplify

Want to dig even deeper? Join Jack and David for a free webinar Wednesday, July 20 at 2 p.m. EST, where they will expand on these principles, providing inspiration that can be applied to a number of placemaking projects!

RSVP here!

June 24, 2016

Three Dimensional Coordination Detailing

The production and execution of the built environment are not separate endeavors, but are byproducts of a truly collaborative relationship between the architect and builder through a common language. Coordination sketches are the vehicles of collaboration, with the power to reaffirm design intent through constructability, stitching the design and construction processes together. Often, these sketches are restricted to the two-dimensional realm of construction drawing overlays, but as technology evolves so can our visual language and ability to communicate three dimensionally. These details respond directly to the growing complexity of building systems in unique conditions where revisions to two-dimensional details will propagate confusion across multiple trades and project teams.

In 2015, Bialosky Cleveland and Walsh Construction Group endeavored to improve coordination through shared Building Information Modelling (BIM) and three-dimensional coordination sketches, when required, at the American Greetings Tech West Building in Westlake, Ohio. As an extension of the American Greetings Creative Studios and Headquarters, the project is located immediately to the South of Crocker Park. Inherent to the large amount of concurrent growth at Crocker Park, the project required intense collaboration between multiple project teams with the same completion date of Summer 2016.

AG-CP Team Divisions REV

In all of these projects, Bialosky Cleveland is the common thread with varying roles, empowering a collaborative attitude on-site. By nature of the project location, adjacency and programming there were a number of items that required a greater level of collaboration which illustrate how project complexities were resolved through three-dimensional coordination sketches.


The project’s primary design gesture includes opening up the corner with glazing, highlighting the planar expression of the brick façade, which is continued through the parapet. To execute the design intent properly, a series of sequencing diagrams were generated and included in the construction documents illustrating how the insulated metal panel wall is to be flashed into the brick wall assembly. These diagrams acted as a tool to guide work in the field without being unnecessarily prescriptive.


A challenge ever present in the design and detailing of Tech West was its siting with two facades bound by a 5 floor parking garage, requiring (2) two-hour fire walls separated by an air space. Both walls bear on a shared foundation with building expansion joints by two separate project teams, leading to a series of critical coordination details that responded to changing project schedules and construction sequencing.


SKA-17 Precast Axonometric Detail
The stair and elevator core of the parking garage provided an added challenge as it rises above the Tech West parapet before falling to a guardrail height precast parapet. The use of three-dimensional detailing helped expedite discussions of scope ownership and responsibility in the field, evolving as agreements were made by all parties to clarify the path ahead.

Concurrent to the resolving of the building expansion joint details was the drainage at the base of the building separation airspace, which was required to be connected to the Tech West storm water. Here, timing was critical as grouting and caulking had to be coordinated by both projects to ensure constructability while maintaining the integrity of the drain path.


Issues related to site/context presented a different set of challenges as Tech West has no true site scope of its own, but is bound by Crocker Park Phase Three to the North and the American Greetings Creative Studios and Headquarters Plaza to the East and South. As Tech West came into being after the Plaza was designed, revisions and site coordination had to be finalized per grading and egress requirements to set the through wall flashing elevation prior to construction of the brick veneer façade. The three-dimensional sketch concisely reconciled information from 3 projects, turning a potentially lengthy coordination effort into a brief conference call without holding up construction progress.


These coordination snapshots only offer a glimpse into a lengthy and complex process, but highlight the critical need for a collaborative approach to the construction administration effort. In all of this, American Greetings and Mark G. Anderson Consultants, played a critical role in expediting the approval process, making comprehensive sketches evermore important in closing the feedback loop. For any language to be universal it has to be legible, and three-dimensional construction details, when required, ensure the designer and contractor are on the same page. The American Greetings Tech West Building is an example of how collaboration can improve in the field throughout the building process as projects and adjacencies grow in complexity to ensure design intent is not lost.

September 17, 2014

A Future Practice: Bialosky + Partners Lead Sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention!

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

This week, Bialosky + Partners Architects will lead sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention, in Kent, OH that tackle the theme of "A Future Practice".  Senior and Managing Principal Jack A. Bialosky, Jr.,  AIA, LEED AP and Principal David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP are  jointly leading two sessions. Thursday’s Session, Action Planning For Firm Development will be facilitated by Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry. On Friday, Jack and David, along with Partner Aaron Hill AIA of Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects, and Principal Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP of MSA Architects will be hosting a discussion titled It Takes A Village to Raise A Partner. Finally, Designer and Business Development Director Theodore Ferringer, Assoc. AIA, LEED Assoc., is leading a session on Thursday with designer Michael Christoff, Assoc. AIA, of Vocon and Project Manager Angela Jayjack Assoc. AIA, LEED AP of the General Services Administration, titled Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned  From AIA Cleveland.

We hope to see you there!

See details regarding the convention and the individual sessions below:

About the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention:

AIA Ohio, in collaboration with host chapters AIA Eastern Ohio and AIA Akron will be hosting the 2014 AIA Ohio convention at Kent State University on September 18 - 20, 2014. Working together with members of the profession from throughout Ohio, this years convention will be the first time that AIA Ohio has worked to bring its annual convention to the site of one of the states architectural programs.

This years theme, "A Future Practice" focuses on careers, business and practice opportunities for those who are just entering the architectural profession as well as long time practitioners looking for ways to change their existing practices.  Centered out of the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, the convention will focus on the connection of practice to the academy as the profession is redesigned.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 1:00 - 2:15pm at Dix Ballroom, KSU

Action Planning For Firm Development

Too much time spent working in the business and not enough spent on the business can leave a firm stagnant and unable to compete. Generational changes and new technologies are not only changing how we produce architecture, but the business of architecture itself. This session reflects on how leadership can successfully plan for the changing landscape of practice, creating opportunities for innovation and growth, while still getting the job done. This session is primarily focused on mid to large size firms. Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry will lead this session, explaining the trends, hurdles, opportunities to both the business and practice of architecture. With over 35 years of experience, Carmen has helped many define and achieve success on their terms. With a belief that "industry standard metrics" perpetuate mediocrity, Jeffrey will explain how to plan for action without falling into usual solutions. Joining Jeffery will be Bialosky + Partners Architects Managing Principal, Jack Bialosky, Jr., and the firm's youngest Principal, David W. Craun. They will share BPA's recent Action Planning strategy which has transformed such things as work environment, branding and messaging, and young leadership that has pushed the firm to never before seen successes.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 2:30 - 3:45pm at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU

Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned From AIA Cleveland

2014-09-16_AIA_Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners COVER IMAGE

Organizations throughout the county are evaluating how they engage the generations they serve. With an average member age of 50 and 40% of members retiring in the next 10 years, AIA is at a particularly sensitive and exciting time as it evaluates its relationship with Emerging Professionals (EP) and those on non-traditional career paths. In response to this context, AIA is proactively responding to evolving membership needs through the Repositioning Initiative. This session will showcase engagement and programming lessons learned by the AIA Cleveland Associates Committee; a committee organized by a series of Associate Directors who recognized the importance of engaging EP's and non-traditional career path professionals in the organization. This panel will engage the audience in discussing: How can EP's and associates become valuable resources for AIA as outreach into the community, positioning components as leaders within the community? How can increased EP and associate participation help address the diversity gap found in most chapters? What value does AIA participation by EP's and associates have for firms? We shall discuss these questions and more in this moderated panel discussion, sharing the replicable model that AIA Cleveland has recently developed to engage and empower EP and associate members.

Friday, Sept. 19: 9:00am - 10:15am at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU 

It Takes A Village To Raise A Partner

2014-AIA_Session_It_Takes_A_Village_FINAL 1

A roundtable discussion will allow participants to examine the road to Partnership as one that requires equal ownership of the process by both older and newer leaders of the firm. This model of shared ownership asks experienced Partners to strategize in growing and harvesting the next generation of leadership together with future firm leaders. A culture of empowerment and self-driven responsibility proves to be the soil for emerging practitioners (EPs) to not only bloom, but to take roots in the firm. From the EP side, the session explores how to emerge as a partner in a fashion that fits him/her personally. Managing Partner of Bialosky + Partners Architects, Jack A. Bialosky, Jr, AIA, LEED AP, will host this roundtable with David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP, who made history when he earned the first intern-to-partner promotion in the firm. Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP, Founding Principal of MSA Architects and AIA Ohio Immediate Past President and Aaron Hill, AIA, Partner at Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and AIA Cleveland President-Elect will join other architects at various career milestones from around the state to join the discussion.

September 10, 2014

IIDA Talk of the Town: Urban Cool Meets Farm Fresh

We are excited to share that Bialosky + Partners has been featured in the IIDA Cleveland Akron City Center Newsletter and website’s “Talk of the Town” column.  The article profiles Cuyahoga Community College (CCC)’s Hospitality Management Center (HMC) and the adjacent private restaurant Pura Vida.

Read the article here:

The project goal was to create a new image for the college via contemporary, forward-looking architecture paired with clean striking interiors that creates an inviting community nexus to celebrate the art of cooking.  Glass walls admit views into the restaurant kitchen allowing the culinary students and visitors to see the instruction process in action.  This visual connection enhances the idea of Culinary Theater and demystifies the art of cooking.

Pura Vida + CCC HMC won a NAIOP Northern Ohio 2013 Award of Excellence for best Mixed-Use Interior Design project and a 2012 Award of Merit from IES (Illuminating Engineering Society).

Additionally, mark your calendars for the upcoming IIDA OH KY Chapter Annual Conference that will be held in Cleveland on October 17!  It’s held here once every 5 years and speakers this year include Cheryl Durst, IIDA CEO and Michael Murphy, Co-Founder and CEO of MASS Design Group.