July 11, 2017

Bialosky Cleveland Announces New Associate Principal with Employee Promotions

We are excited to congratulate four Bialosky team members on their recent promotions within the firm.

Tracy Sciano Vajskop IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP ID+C
Associate Principal
Tracy Sciano Vajskop, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C has been promoted to Associate Principal and continues to be the firm’s Senior Interior Designer. Vajskop has been instrumental in blurring the lines between architecture and interior design within the practice. Vajskop has been critical to the success of projects such as The Roberta A. Smith University Library at Muskingum University, which garnered an IIDA Award for Best Education Project at the 2016 AIA/IIDA Cleveland Design Awards.

Jerry DeJesus
Senior Associate
Jerry DeJesus has been promoted to Senior Associate. With a career of over 30 years in the industry, DeJesus has been a leading HVAC Designer for many diverse projects such as the award-winning ASM International Headquarters and newly-completed Western Reserve Distillery. He has emerged as a pivotal team member of the firm’s strategic planning process, specifically to strengthen multidisciplinary integration.

Jon Spring RA
Jon Spring, RA has been promoted to Associate. As an exceptional designer, Spring presently serves as Project Architect for USCB’s new Hospitality Management Center and SUNY Broome’s Culinary Arts Center within Binghamton’s historic 1904 Carnegie Library. In his two years at Bialosky Cleveland, he has helped expand the firm’s technologies, including Virtual Reality.

Jeremy Smith AIA
Jeremy Smith, AIA has been promoted to Associate. As a newly registered architect, Smith has played a key role in the success of projects such as the highly-anticipated Tri-C Campus Center. Smith serves on the Outreach Council for AIA Cleveland, and is the author of the popular Cleveland Architecture Coloring Book. He was recently named to the “Top 25 Under 35” by The Cleveland 20/30 Club.

Jack Alan Bialosky, Jr., FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP remarks that “these talented individuals have strengthened our firm culture, design excellence, and technical aptitude. I applaud their extraordinary hard work and professional growth. We welcome Tracy as a deserving and personable Associate Principal and look forward to her next chapter of firm leadership.”

Image: (From Left to Right) Jeremy Smith, Jerry DeJesus, Tracy Sciano Vajskop, Jon Spring

July 13, 2016

Theodore Ferringer on the Must-Have Skills for Building Professionals

Last month, PDH Academy interviewed Bialosky Cleveland Associate & Business Development Director, Theodore Ferringer. Head over to the PDH Academy Blog to learn more about his thoughts on the Must-Have Skills for Building Professionals.

July 5, 2016

Bialosky + APE Made

Local artist April Bleakney of APE Made, was commissioned to create an original piece with a street-art flavor that payed homage to Midtown Cleveland—home to Bialosky’s new office located at 6555 Carnegie Ave. She graciously took on the task by creating a bold, screen-print and mixed-media statement piece that would complement the overall simple and clean aesthetic of the office space.


April Bleakney's original mixed-media piece


Large-Scale Installation in Bialosky Cleveland's 6555 Carnegie Ave. office space

As I stepped into APE Made’s unique E. 40th Street studio, I am greeted by one of April’s two cherished dogs, while the tunes of “A tribe Called Quest” hummed in the background. We sit down to discuss the commissioned piece and April’s love of art.

April's E. 40th St. Studio

April's E. 40th St. Studio

What was your goal when asked to create a custom piece for our office?  [My goal was to] use artistic freedom to highlight Cleveland’s “Midtown” area in a positive way and to bring out its many textures.

Tell me a little bit about the piece and your process? The images stem from photographs taken of the E. 40th community while out walking my dogs (Spliff & BB).  Forms that depict the landscape and architecture of Midtown past and present ground the piece. The images of a bridge and water tower were edited within Photoshop until the desired composition was reached; then came the process of screen printing and painting. The chosen color palette reflects the neighborhood - "once bright blues and greens that have become faded and earthy with time, forming rusty warms, and grays". Transparent ink was used to get the desired depth and texture. Warm red and cyan blue were introduced to complement the colors of Bialosky’s space.

Education:  Graduate of Kent State University (BFA ’08)

Origin of APE Made: April began screen printing as a secondary source of income in her Kent, OH basement. Five years ago “APE Made” took flight, and is widely known today for their hand screen printed products (clothing, posters, etc.) that showcase Cleveland and local regions in a positive, well-crafted manner.  


APE Made is widely known today for their hand screen printed, Cleveland centric products .


April's work is Inspired by the Cleveland landscape

Who/What Inspires You? The Cleveland Landscape; Makers movement (D.I.Y) and social issues going on in Cleveland and throughout the country.

Your Alternate Reality Career? National Geographic Photographer.

Hidden Talent:Scratching” (A DJ and turntablist technique used to produce distinctive percussive or rhythmic sounds and sound effects by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable while optionally manipulating the crossfader on a DJ mixer. (Wikipedia.com)

April in her element.

April in her element.

For additional information about APE MADE visit.



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.

August 6, 2014

2014 Great Lakes Renaissance Symposium on High Performing Building Enclosures

Last month BEC (Building Enclosure Council) Cleveland and AIA Cleveland hosted the National BEC Symposium on High Performing Building Enclosures.  Bialosky + Partners played an active role in the organization of the event and four of our team members (Jacob Stollfuss, Cliff Collins, Matt MacRaild, and Paul Taylor) participated in the learning experience.  We are very passionate about building science because buildings matter.  As the need for energy reduction in buildings increases it becomes even more important to understand how to build correctly; how to build healthy, durable, and sustainable buildings. Because construction techniques, technologies, materials, and codes continue to advance at accelerating rates it becomes increasingly important to learn and also to educate.  That is what this event was about.  It was about sharing knowledge to lift the entire industry up, and then inspiring everyone to keep pushing forward, continuing to educate ourselves, our clients, contractors and other building professionals.  There were 250+ people in attendance including architects, engineers and building scientists, however there were very few contractors and only one code official in attendance.  Creating the best high performing buildings requires a true interdisciplinary team effort. It is our job to take the lead in this and to make education a foundational theme throughout our careers. BLP055-BEC 5-8-14_088   There were five educational sessions during the day-long event and several local design firms contributed to a design exhibit, curated by Jacob Stollfuss and Paul Taylor, which featured high performing building designs.  The following are a few of the highlights from the day’s sessions: Why Buildings Matter Chris Mathis President / Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Chairman / Mathis Consulting Company (MC2)

  • What we build matters: because buildings consume 2/3 of total fossil fuels used per year to construct and inhabit.
  • Design choices impact our future: When we build each decision we make now will effect the next 100 years.
  • Use water wisely: It takes 30-50 gallons of water per 1KWH of electricity to cool a power plant.
  • Set high standards initially: Codes are a minimum; we tend to wait for disaster, and then react by upping the code required standards.

BLP055-BEC 5-9-14_ 001_copy Achieving Durability and High Performance without Failures Dr. John Straube, PhD., P.Eng. Building Science Laboratories/ Building Science Consulting Inc. The University of Waterloo

  • Roofs matter: Protective Membrane Roofs are the best, most durable roofs:  Ballast o/ Insulation Board o/ Control Layers o/ Structure.
  • Think thoroughly through white roofs: White ‘cool’ roofs are good but they have two to three times the hours of condensation as a black roof, therefore need better moisture control.  Firstly they need an air barrier so vapor doesn’t travel into the system through air movement (this has to be an added material to ensure continuity).  Secondly they need carefully considered Vapor control (materials themselves tend to provide this – XPS insulation, for example).
  • Know the truth about dew points: Dew points don’t occur within materials, they occur on the material’s surface.

BLP055-BEC 5-9-14_ 005_copy   Heat & Moisture Transfer in Exterior Walls – What Happens When Old Becomes New William B. Rose Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

  • Do the right analysis: Important to do Steady State Modeling, not Dew Point Analysis.
  • Mind the masonry: Insulating walls of historic masonry buildings will not damage masonry from freeze-thaw.
  • Temperature tells all: A cold wall is wet.  A warm one is dry.

Parapet Wall Design:  Water Infiltration, Air Tightness, and Energy Efficiency Considerations Matthew Novesky, RA, NCARB Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

  • Learn from precedents: There have been many failures from many different building conditions that can serve to teach us lessons.  Some basic causes of moisture problems were identified and presented to the group as case studies.  Examples highlighted how moisture damage was remedied in high rise buildings.

The State of the Industry: High-Performance Building Enclosure Panel Discussion

  • Preach what you practice: Reiterated the importance of continuing education for practicing professionals and the responsibility that we have to teach others about strategies for achieving high performing buildings.

This symposium was a great event that inspired our firm to keep pushing forward as relates to high performing building enclosures.  And it inspired us to continue to be leaders in the field and educate ourselves, our clients, and all others in the building industry.  Stay tuned for more on this important and exciting (in a nerdy way) topic. BLP055-BEC 5-9-14_ 008_copy