Michael Zaretsky is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. He is also a licensed Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional and the Director of the MetroLAB Design/Build Program. His research is focused around culturally, economically, technologically and environmentally responsive design for communities in need. His published work includes the book Precedents in Zero-Energy Design: Architecture and Passive Design in the 2007 Solar Decathlon (Routledge Press, 2009) and he is co-editor (with Dr. Adrian Parr) of New Directions in Sustainable Design (Routledge Press, 2010). In addition, he has had several articles published in architectural journals and presented at conferences around the world on Sustainability, Humanitarian Design and Appropriate Technologies.
Zaretsky’s recent research involves an interdisciplinary collaboration with the non-profit organization Village Life Outreach Project. Zaretsky is the director of the Roche Health Center Design Committee, who led the design and construction of a zero-energy health center in rural Tanzania. Following extensive research with the local community, with design and engineering consultants and within the University of Cincinnati, the Roche Health Center is the first-ever permanent health care facility in this region. The Roche Health Center opened April 1, 2011 and provides health care to as many as 20,000 villagers. In addition to providing health care, the building is a reproducible, low-cost, durable structure made of all local materials and techniques. It is now being studied by the district government as a precedent for rural health care through the region.
Zaretsky has led study abroad tours in Australia and Tanzania. He also engages students in community outreach work across Cincinnati.