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Center for Preservation and Adaptive Reuse – Research Assistant Position



Center for Preservation and Adaptive Reuse (CPAR)

Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Buildings

Research Assistant

There are well over 1,150 unreinforced masonry buildings in Seattle that would likely pose a serious hazard

in the case of a major seismic event. The City of Seattle has assembled a policy committee to study the

issue and make recommendations about how to retrofit these buildings, and how to pay for the retrofits

and bring them about in a way that minimizes burden on property owners, small businesses, residents,

and neighborhood advocates while also mitigating hazard. This is a complex challenge with many

dimensions, including aspects related to policy, architecture, real estate, planning, engineering,

emergency management / hazard mitigation, preservation, economic development, equity, and social

justice. The Preservation Green Lab and University of Washington Center for Preservation and Adaptive

Reuse seek a graduate student in a field related to this issue for a research assistantship position.

The research assistant will:

• Conduct windshield surveys of potential URM buildings

• Tabulate, map, and analyze data related to the context, typology, and market characteristics of

URM buildings

• Collaborate with faculty, students, and external researchers on developing recommendations and

solutions for seismic retrofits

Student applicants must be proficient with multiple GIS platforms; have an understanding, working

knowledge, and appreciation of architecture and development in Seattle; and be willing to work across

disciplines and in the field. Since site visits are a portion of the responsibility, access to personal

transportation is helpful.

Start and end dates for this assistantship are flexible and open to negotiation, but in the best case, the

student would begin in June and complete the project by September 15, 2017. Position is for 20

hours/week over the summer, but can be negotiated.

If interested, please email a cover letter and Kathryn Rogers Merlino, ( and Manish Chalana,

( Associate Professors in the College of Built Environments and Mike Powe at the

Preservation Green Lab (