Track 2: Materials over Time: Points of Change

CS2.6 Wood and the Vernacular

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: HYATT-Grand EFG
CE: 1.5

This session will discuss vernacular architecture and will explore wood: in restoration projects and in prefabricated houses erected in the Caribbean at the turn of the 20th century. For wood to replace historic material, parameters and pitfalls in construction specifications will be discussed. The use of engineered lumber will be described as used over flat roofs designed by Thomas Jefferson. Wood was used in mail order houses prefabricated in the US and delivered and erected in the Dominican Republic. The complete delivery process of these houses will be described, from the catalog order, to fabrication in U.S. factories, delivery by sea mail, and erection. The discussion of vernacular houses will then shift to Brazil, where changing values and changes in the way buildings are constructed has resulted in the transformation of interior finishes, while retaining traditional construction materials, primarily The discussion will focus primarily on the southeast region, where tourism has had an impact on retaining traditional technology.

This course qualifies for HSW credit with AIA and RCEP.

Learning Objectives:


Dean Koga

Building Conservation Associates, Inc.


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Jack Abgott

Vice President
Nickles Contracting Inc

Jack Abgott has been a historic preservation contractor for over 35 years. He has worked on dozens of National Register properties and numerous National Historic Landmarks throughout the eastern United States. His projects have ranged from log cabins to lighthouses; from Jefferson, Latrobe & Strickland to Cret, Wright, and Venturi: from Independence Hall to Lucy the Elephant. Jack has a degree in architecture from Syracuse University, a Master of Architectural History and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. He is currently the Vice President for Operations at Nickles Contracting Inc.


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Craig Swift, PE, SE, LEED AP

Principal / Structural Engineer
Springpoint Structural

Craig Swift is a structural engineer and owner of Springpoint Structural in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was previously the founding principal of Keast & Hood’s Charlottesville office, which recently became Springpoint.

Since 2010 (including a period working directly for UVA) he has served as consulting structural engineer on a variety of historic structures, including multiple projects at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Monticello and the Lawn at UVA.

Other projects related to Jefferson’s architecture have included roof repairs at historic Bremo and truss repairs to Jefferson-influenced courthouse designs in the area.

He has led other noteworthy historic projects at Gettysburg College, Virginia Tech, and Fort Monroe, as well as earthquake repairs at Latrobe’s Baltimore Basilica and the Sherman Building at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC.


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Virginia Flores Sasso

Researcher / Director
School of Architecture and Design

Architecture - Cumlaude in Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Master degree of Conservation of Monuments and Cultural Heritage in Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña (UNPHU), PhD in Architecture at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico (UMISNH). Also has Degree in “International Development Cooperation Studies”, IEPC and Oviedo University, Spain, University Pedagogy (PUCMM) and has several training courses and capacity building in monuments conservation, materials science and pathologiesand academic field.
It contributed with dozens of papers and presentations at national and international conferences and seminars. Has lectured in various fields on related to the heritage conservation and preservation, the architecture and construction history, efficiency energy, bioclimatic architecture and materials science and pathologies.
Since 2016 is a Director of School of Architecture and Design at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), where is a research professor from 2004. Has done several research projects as Principal Researcher (PR) and Co-Researcher (CR). Has several publications in books, book chapters and scientific articles.
Recognized on several occasions including: "Example for Youth and faithful Dominican National Project Promoter of the Dominican Republic." Granted in Santo Domingo, RD on 14 May 2009 by the Agents of Human Development, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Management Committee for the Promotion of Human Development, Santo Domingo West City Council, Secretary of Education, Association for the Promotion of Human Development, Association of Industrial Enterprises. “Good practices, gestures of detachment and high sense of social responsibility by contributing to the transfer of knowledge to new generations”, awarded by the Ministry of Tourism through the Development Program for Tourism Colonial City of Santo Sunday, September 18, 2013.


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Marco Rezende

Associate professor
Architecture - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Associate Professor at School of Architecture of Minas Gerais Federal University – UFMG, Brazil. Postdoctoral studies (1 year) at Historic Preservation Program, University of Oregon. USA. PhD, Construction Technology, University of São Paulo, Brazil (2003). Teaching, researches and consultancies for 30 years in the fields of historical constructions conservation, history of construction, traditional and historical techniques, vernacular architecture, earth architecture. Author of 17 book chapters and 66 articles in journals and conference proceedings. Full member of International Scientific Committee of Earthen Architecture – ISCEAH of ICOMOS; founder member of Proterra and TerraBrazil networks and coordinator of TerraBrazil network 2016-2017.


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CS2.6 Wood and the Vernacular

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