MIA president Brett Rugo, Rugo Stone, educates the OBO staff about standard quarrying techniques.

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) recently conducted a full day of training for 50 architects, engineers, and project managers at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO).

These OBO officials are responsible for the building, restoration, and maintenance of U.S. embassies around the world. Most existing and planned embassy buildings feature extensive use of natural stone.

“The U.S. State Department’s OBO chose the MIA to help train its staff on stone properties, anchorage requirements, and testing details among a host of topics,” shared Gary Distelhorst, MIA executive vice president. He added, “The training of key government officials who have choices about the products they select is a continuation of current efforts to expand the knowledge of members of the architectural and design communities.”

MIA’s technical director, Chuck Muehlbauer, led the training session. His years of experience in the industry, knowledge of critical testing requirements, and presentation skills provided the OBO officials with a great program. Washington DC-based MIA president Brett Rugo, Rugo Stone, also assisted with the seminar.

"My agency will often use natural stone as a building cladding for its new embassy compound building program. Aesthetics and performance of this material is critical. I found the training on stone use, design, testing provided by the Marble Institute to be very useful" stated, Steven Gigliotti, RA Project Architect, Overseas Buildings Operations, United States Department of State.

Participants of the training session received a copy of the MIA’sDimension Stone Design Manual.