Firm

Firm Profile

CBLH Design is a proven leader in architecture, planning and interior design. For 50 years, our firm has established successful partnerships with Healthcare, Library and Higher Education clients. Principals Marc Bittinger, Mike Liezert and Jeff Valus see each project as unique. We enjoy the process – providing knowledge, experience and assisting the client in every phase of the design process.

History

Founded in 1971 by Hal Braun and Don Spice as Braun and Spice and later named Spice Costantino Architects, our mission is to provide personalized architectural service emphasizing commitment, innovation and integrity. Over the years we have accumulated a substantial and distinctive portfolio of projects, holding strong to our commitment to balance creative passion and client service.

What We Do

CBLH Design is committed to the client. We incorporate a solid team philosophy that involves building trust between the owner, architect, engineers and contractors. Our architectural success is based on our hands-on approach to design and is showcased by our personal commitment to service and innovation. This approach not only leads to more effective design concepts, it builds the foundation for strong, long-term relationships.

We Listen

The Owner plays a key role in determining needs and evaluating alternatives presented by the design team. Listening to what the owner wants is essential. We work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the project. We strive to respond to the desires of each key stakeholder of every project and create designs that maximize return on investments. The process will be driven by a pre-determined schedule of meetings, frequent re-evaluation of budgets and schedules, and design team sign-offs at critical junctures so that the owner is making informed decisions at all times. Surveying staff and user groups along with the investigation of the existing conditions assists in the refinement of program needs.

We Plan

When designing projects, we work closely with the owners because we feel it is extremely beneficial to the success of the project. The design process explores various possible solutions that are reviewed with the design team and the owner. Enhancement of selected directions is prompt and clearly delineated. To reinforce the understanding of each design concept when needed, we provide scale models, create computer-generated renderings, and supply exterior and interior material samples. Creative solutions are realized through detailed construction documents developed by our qualified staff. These staff members keep abreast of current trends and technology through seminars, trade periodicals and continuing education programs.

We Deliver

Prior to the bidding process, we advise the owner of the different methods of project delivery that would best suit their needs. The uses of a single general contractor, separate prime contractors or a construction manager concept are typically discussed. After bidding, we also assist the owner in the evaluation of bids and contractors. Once the project is underway, we visit the project site on a regular basis to address specific issues that may arise. At these scheduled visits, a job meeting is conducted and attended by the owner, architect and contractor. All field visits and meetings are documented with a written report. The role of our construction administrator is to determine that the intent of the design documents is being carried out. It is our responsibility to establish that the work being performed by the contractors is in the best interest of the owner.

Mike is a graduate of Kent State University where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Architecture. Prior to starting his design career, Mike earned a Bachelor of Quality Management from the University of Akron. He spent 12 years in the automotive and aerospace industries focusing on quality systems, statistical analysis, Total Quality Management (TQM), LEAN and continuous improvement. Mike drives continuous quality improvement for CBLH’s clients by applying this experience to architectural project implementation.

In his personal life, Mike is an ardent fan of baseball and football. He loves to cheer on his daughter from the stands or coach from the sidelines as she plays travel volleyball and other school sports.

Fun fact – Mike pitched for the Akron Zips baseball team as a scholarship athlete. 

With over 40 years of experience, Bill is widely recognized by his peers for his healthcare planning and design skills. Having previously worked for several national architectural firms, his portfolio includes a diverse variety of healthcare projects, including academic medical centers, community hospitals, and specialty care centers. His past clients include many of the country’s leading healthcare provider organizations.

Having lived and worked for the bulk of his career in Columbus, Bill now resides in Mount Gilead, Ohio. During his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife, as well as piloting his sports car around the Mid-Ohio course in Lexington, Ohio. A lifelong amateur astronomer, he recently built an observatory near his home, where he enjoys taking colorful astrophotos and showing others the beauty of the night sky.

Brian T. Hennies

AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Director

Brian is a native Clevelander and joined CBLH Design in 2009 after working in Los Angeles and Chicago. He is a registered architect in the state of Ohio and a LEED Accredited Professional through USGBC. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 2004 and Master of Architecture degree in 2005, both from Kent State University. Brian enjoys movies, playing soccer and spending time with his wife, and two daughters.

Fun Fact: You’ll often hear Brian quoting movies as part of his regular vocabulary.

Scott G. Weaver

AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Director

Scott is a graduate of the Master of Architecture program at Kent State University. After working in Columbus, Scott returned to his roots in Northeast Ohio and joined CBLH Design in 2014. His love for 3D modeling and rendering began at a young age and has translated successfully into his professional career. By utilizing ever-evolving digital technologies, Scott is able to translate two dimensional concepts into three dimensional visualizations of space. This ability helps clients better envision their projects and bring their dreams to reality.

While not at work, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and enjoying volleyball, snowboarding, hiking, and working on his car. When not outside, you can find him continually renovating his house or working on his coral reef aquarium.

Fun Fact: Scott has a passion for brewing his own beer. He has gone as far as installing draft lines throughout his house.

Natalie Symon

IIDA, EDAC, LEEP AP BD+C

Director

Natalie Symon leads our Interiors department. She joined the firm in 1977 when Don Spice, founding partner, hired her on the spot. She began work the same afternoon of her interview and has been delivering vibrant and functional interior designs to CBLH’s clients ever since.

Natalie earned her degree at Massey College and holds NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification.

Natalie maintains the firm’s commitment to providing sustainable design solutions and also believes in incorporating natural spaces when possible. She holds a certificate of merit in Healthcare Garden Design and is a member of: the American Horticultural Society, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK, as well as the Cleveland and Chicago Botanical Gardens. Natalie is also nearing completion of her final project from King’s College in London to receive her Certificate in Garden Design.

Outside of the office, Natalie enjoys spending time with family and her dog Kiki, the last of her show dog line. She is also an avid Equestrian showing horses in Equitation and Pleasure Classes (English Saddle Seat) year-round. When Natalie chooses travel, she enjoys visiting family and friends in Hawaii.

Jeffrey J. Valus

AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal

Jeff, a graduate of The Ohio State University, is a Principal at CBLH Design. His background includes the design and management of healthcare, educational, library and institutional projects. A resident of Medina, Jeff is a born leader and mentor. He enjoys guiding others by passing knowledge and inspiring emerging professionals in the workplace. His aspirations for the company are to embody culture into the organization by cultivating a creative, energetic atmosphere with a healthy work/life balance for the staff. Outside the office, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, skiing, golfing, and vacationing in the Outer Banks.

Fun fact – When Jeff was 12 years old, he was struck by lightning!

Michael D. Liezert

AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP

Principal

Mike is a 1988 graduate of Kent State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and began his career at CBLH Design over 30 years ago. While maintaining accreditations and certifications in sustainable and evidence-based design he became board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects in 2006. Mike’s focus has been the design of healthcare spaces that improve lives and patient outcomes thru thoughtful design as well as firm management oversight. Outside of the office he enjoys traveling, golf, spending time outdoors camping with family and friends and overnight canoe trips on the Allegheny River. Mike resides in Medina County with his family and their Australian Shepard “Jack”.

Fun fact – Mike’s musical tastes are at both ends of the spectrum from heavy metal to classic country… but not much in between.

Marc is a 1979 graduate of Kent State University where he received a Bachelor of Architecture. With over 40 years of experience, Marc has guided numerous projects throughout Ohio to successful completion and has directed the design efforts of the company since his hiring in 1985. His passion for design brings his knowledge of past experience together with the challenge of each client’s needs to create truly unique solutions.

His dedication for volunteering is evident in his involvement in many professional organizations as well as in his community. He is a current member in the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce, past board member of the Strongsville Schools Foundation and the American Liver Foundation, and a volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation.

Marc enjoys the competition of all sports and spends as much time as he can with his family. His wife, Jane, three adult children and a growing number of grandchildren make life exciting.

Favorite quote – “No man ever stepped in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” – Heraclitus