You're Invited to the SEAMASS 2018
Annual Meeting Presentation & Dinner
May 23, 2018 | 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
In the Footsteps of Vitruvius;
Design and Construction Durability Lessons Learned from the Hands-on Study of Two Thousand Years of Historic Construction
by Matthew Bronski, P.E., FAAR
Principal | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Don't miss this opportunity to witness a fascinating presentation, enjoy a delicious meal, congratulate SEAMASS scholarship winners, connect with old & new friends, and help kick off the SEAMASS fiscal year at our Annual Meeting.

The 2018-19 SEAMASS Officers & Directors will also be announced, as well as those ending their terms on the Board.

All members, their guests and colleagues are welcome!
WHEN:  Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, Warren Street, Lowell MA
INVESTMENT: Members & Guests: $60 | Students (with ID): $30

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Social reception
7:00 - 7:30 p.m.: Full 3-Course Dinner
7:30 - 7:45 p.m.: Award of SEAMASS Scholarship
7:45 - 8:00 p.m.: Introduction of 2018-19 SEAMASS Board
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.: Presentation
A page from one of Matthew Bronski’s Rome project notebooks
Matthew on the scaffold of Borromini’s Oratorio dei Filippini (c. 1640), Rome
In the Footsteps of Vitruvius;
Design and Construction Durability Lessons Learned from the Hands-on Study of Two Thousand Years of Historic Construction
Construction that is highly durable over the very long-term (e.g., centuries) is inherently sustainable. Despite major emphasis on sustainability over the past decade, we are in the midst of a widespread crisis of rapid building durability failures, with failures ranging from simple new wood-framed, spec-builder houses on Anystreet USA, to prominent commissions by “Starchitects” at major museums and university campuses. And while many mid-to-late 20th century concrete structures are now experiencing severe deterioration, many ancient Roman concrete structures (such as the Pantheon, c. 126 A.D.) have stood for almost 2,000 years.  Where did we go wrong?  What do we fail to understand today about designing for durability? And what pertinent lessons can we derive from historic construction examples that have proven durable for many centuries?

In this slide lecture, Matthew Bronski, the 2009-10 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation , will present some key findings from his Rome Prize research project.  His 10 month long Rome research project comprised hands-on study of approximately two dozen historic buildings in Italy, ranging from the 1st c. B.C. to early 20th c. modernism, including buildings by Bernini, Borromini, Moretti, and others. 

His hands-on research (often on the scaffolds of buildings under restoration) diagnosed successes and failures in the durability of construction detailing, to derive lessons and general principles for designing buildings more durably (and hence more sustainably) today.  Lessons learned and discussed will include durability of ancient versus modern cast-in-place concrete construction, connections in structural timber framing and trusses, localized instabilities and consequent falling hazards in brick and stone masonry construction.
Cast-in-place unreinforced Roman concrete vaults, supported on brick-faced concrete bearing walls, Markets of Trajan, Rome, c. 110 A.D.
Matthew Bronski, P.E., FAAR

Matthew Bronski is a Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH). For the past 23 years, his practice has focused on investigating and diagnosing the causes and consequences of building envelope problems in historic buildings (both traditional and modern), and designing appropriate repairs and restorations to solve those problems.    He leads SGH’s Preservation practice area across all seven SGH offices nationwide.

Matthew holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tulane University, a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. in Historic Preservation also from the University of Pennsylvania.

Matthew has led SGH’s envelope investigation and restoration design efforts on numerous highly significant buildings, including buildings designed by H.H. Richardson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, Paul Rudolph, Josep Lluis Sert, IM Pei, Philip Johnson, and Louis Kahn. He has extensive experience with the assessment and restoration of mid-century modernist icons, exposed concrete facades. He has written and lectured extensively on historic preservation and the durability of new construction, on topics ranging from preservation philosophy, to facade inspections of masonry buildings, to slate and clay tile roofing, to matching concrete repairs to weathered historic concrete facades. He has served as an invited guest lecturer or guest critic for architecture or historic preservation courses at numerous universities, including Harvard, MIT, UMass Amherst, and Yale. 

In 2009, he became only the second engineer in 113 years to be awarded the prestigious Rome Prize.