The Cornerstone: Eric Roberts

President of the American Institute of Architects Nevada Chapter and vice president of SH Architecture

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

ACHIEVEMENTS: As an expert in green design, the 37-year-old architect has helped create a more sustainable Valley with such projects as the Northwest Career and Technical Academy and the LEED Gold-certified headquarters of Cashman Equipment. As president of the local chapter of the AIA in 2013, Roberts promoted the reach of Las Vegas firms to markets as far-flung as China and Saudi Arabia while encouraging creativity and community engagement here at home.

A LIGHT IN THE TUNNEL: “He’s been the captain of the ship as we recovered after a brutal recession,” says Brett Robillard, an associate with the architecture and design firm Gensler. “He’s garnered support locally and regionally for Las Vegas architects, and he’s really inspired the younger group. There’s a sense of joy when he’s talking about architecture, and that’s really refreshing.”

BUILDING TOMORROW: As Roberts takes the reigns of AIA’s Nevada chapter this year, his focus is on creating more jobs for the state’s architects. This means wading into the political arena: persuading state and local agencies to give preference to Nevada designers on public works, pushing for a comprehensive online state sales tax to pay for such projects, and convincing municipalities to offer incentives for sustainable design.

STATE OF THE ART: Roberts leads the city’s Urban Sketchers group, taking Las Vegans on monthly Downtown “sketch crawls.” “It’s so refreshing to be out there on a Friday morning with everybody walking around and to sketch a building—maybe it’s not Independence Hall in Philadelphia, but it’s ours, and it’s beautiful.”

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