Cynthia Correia (Department Chair)
Cynthia Correia graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Art. She is an accomplished furniture and lighting designer. After graduation she intended to become an art professor but her path was diverted by an interest in home design and building. Cynthia worked as a Design / Build General Contractor specializing in kitchens and Bathrooms in the bay area for 16 years. As a hobby she later became a developer, re-designing renovated homes in the East Bay. As a partner with 20/20 Builders, she won awards on these projects from the AIA. Some of her projects were featured in the S.F Chronicle.
Cynthia Correia is currently a professor of Carpentry and Construction Management at Laney College in Oakland California. She has been the Department Chair for the Carpentry department for the last 28 years. Cynthia has training in Passive house principals, RRP, BPI, Weatherization, Green Building and Sustainability. Currently she is developing curriculum and certificates in Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Fabrication for the construction industry. She was instrumental in the creation of a FabLab at Laney College. She has taught building of Tiny Homes and was a faculty mentor for the SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Net zero Tiny Home Competition between Colleges and Universities in the State of California. Laney College won awards for Best Architecture and Design/Construction for their 200 square foot entry “The Wedge” in October of 2016. The Carpentry Department currently is working on a grant from the City of Oakland to design and produce 2 tiny house prototypes to house the homeless.
Cynthia has been building affordable housing with the Carpentry Department in a partnership with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Rotary for the last 28 years and completed the building of the first Passive house in Oakland, Ca. in 2016. She enjoys roaming the Makers faire and is always searching for creative pathways to contextualize education using creativity, design and building innovation.
Karl Seelbach began teaching at Laney in 2009 and started full time in 2013. He was lead instructor on Laney Carpentry’s off campus project of the student built “Passive House”-an ultra energy efficient home. His expertise is home performance and energy efficiency: receiving certifications from the Building Performance Institute as a Building Analyst and Envelope Professional and from the Passive House Academy (Dublin, Ireland) as a Certified Passive House Trades-person and Certified Passive House Consultant. He was also part of the instruction team in the Laney Green Jobs Program. Karl developed a new class, “High Performance Building” and reworked all of the department’s Student Learning Outcomes. He has served on the Peralta District Facilities Committee and is currently serving on the Laney College Curriculum Committee. He has worked with the Oakland Unified School District while serving on a career pathways committee. He is a Board Member for Skyline’s Green Academy and has helped develop the Carpentry Program at Fremont HS.
Karl grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Renselaer Polytechnic Institute and has also resided in Germany and Switzerland -where he first started to build. Upon returning to the States, he has worked 24 years as a carpenter, field supervisor and general contractor specializing in design/build remodels throughout the SF Bay Areas. He has also developed a work training program in property management for non-profit homeless agency. He is an avid organic gardener who also enjoys hiking, traveling and swimming.
Education: 1978, Bachelors degree, University of Michigan
Licenses held: State of California “B” (1984)
#483142, 490300 “C-16” (fire sprinkler) (1986)
“C-36” (plumbing) (1986)
Certifications: State of California
Department of Public Health
Lead Project Designer #1196 Project Monitor #1196
EPA Certified Renovator #R-I-18634-15-00012
1978-1990: Maintenance and Construction Supervisor/Project Designer for Numenor Corporation, San Francisco. In charge of construction, design and budgeting. Responsible for over 40 individuals remodeling and maintaining over 1000 units of residential property and commercial real estate in more than 100 buildings throughout San Francisco, with emphasis in the Mission and the Western Addition. Projects included a 33 unit (2061 Mission) and a 40 unit (250 Taylor) gut-rehab apartment buildings. I dealt extensively with code compliance issues through the Bureau of Building Inspection (DAHI). I was the overall lead person in day-to-day management of staff, crews and subcontractors.
1990-1994: Belanger Construction and Home Repair. Self employed contractor in high-end remodeling.
1994-present: Alameda County Healthy Homes Department. Lead Project Designer, Project Monitor and Housing Rehabilitation Specialist. Managing projects dealing in housing deficiencies and lead-hazard remediation and training individuals in lead-in-construction and healthy housing disciplines.
2005-present: Laney College (the Peralta Colleges). Plumbing instructor for Laney’s Construction Department, class 232, Residential Plumbing. 2014-2016 as well as the above, I taught class 233, Residential Electrical in training low income individuals, home-owners and trade-persons in plumbing and electrical codes, tools and techniques as they relate to residential construction both new and remodel.
Certified in TracPipe CSST and Uponor pex
Related: Expert witness for the State of California Contractor’s State License Board, 1998-present. I have done inspections and written reports, giving opinions as to proper construction techniques, and estimating costs to repair.
HUD and EPA trainer for Healthy Housing and Lead-in-Construction
Present Position: Instructor Peralta Community College District
Universities, colleges, or technical schools I have attended, degrees obtained, and completion dates:
Humboldt State University 1974 Spanish Bachelor of Arts
San Diego State University 1968-1971 Undergrad classes
Previous position held:
President Green Builders of Marin Residential and Commercial Construction 1980-2009
29 years as a general contractor.
I have built and remodeled numerous residences, mostly in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Also light commercial construction, including 10 Head Start preschools, doctors’ offices, retail and other commercial projects.
Books and articles published: Green Building Guidelines, Stop Waste.Org
Multiple articles on Sustainability and Green Building for the Pacific Sun newspaper in Marin, Sunset Magazine, as well as Home Energy Magazine.
College-level or adult courses I have taught:
Green Building Certificate Program @ Sonoma State University Extended Education
The Sustainable Built Environment @ Laney College, Cypress Mandela Training Center, Oakland Green Jobs Corps., Merritt College & College of Marin
Building Performance, Forms & Foundations, and Construction Safety @ Laney College
OSHA outreach trainer. I teach and certify OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 courses.
Job Training Programs I have designed and teach:
Green Energy Training Services
Job Training Programs I created and teach:
Marin City Community Development Corp, Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation, San Francisco Conservation Corps, Civicorps (formerly Eastbay Conservation Corps)
Academic or professional awards or activities:
LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Green Building Professional, Green Point Advisor/Rater, BPI – Building Performance Institute Accredited Professional for Energy and Shell Certificates
OSHA 500 & 510 – Certified Trainer for OSHA10 & OSHA 30
Awards: California Legislature Assembly Sustainable Business Award, 2007 Safe-Bidco Green Entrepreneur Award, 2005 California Senate Resolution #1266, September, 2005 Certificate of Congressional Recognition 2005, Letter of Recognition from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2005
Matt has a design/build background and is particularly interested in applying design, construction and education towards social responsibility. After completing undergraduate work at The Evergreen State College, Matt went on to work with a variety of nonprofits and organizations that combine hand craft with a social mission, including a fellowship with Designcorps in Mississippi building relief structures after hurricane Katrina and an apprenticeship at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. Matt moved out to the bay area to work as a studio manager at The Crucible in Oakland, where he still teaches classes. Matt also co-authored the book ‘Reinventing the Chicken Coop.’ Currently, in addition to teaching at Laney, Matt is a Design Specialist at UC Berkeley’s Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation and is the founder of PRACTICE Community Design/Build in Oakland CA.