Alfred University News

Peter Roberts ‘99, president of Spherical Block, publishes article in Masonry Magazine on cutting edge manufacturing

Peter Roberts' company, Spherical Block, is located on Moland Road
Peter Roberts' company, Spherical Block, is located on Moland Road

ALFRED, NY – Peter Roberts, a 1999 graduate of Alfred University and president of Spherical Block LLC, recently published an article in Masonry Magazine on his company’s advances in concrete block design and manufacturing.


ALFRED, NY – Peter Roberts, a 1999 graduate of Alfred University and president of Spherical Block LLC, recently published an article in Masonry Magazine on his company’s advances in concrete block design and manufacturing.

Masonry Magazine is the leading trade journal in the concrete block industry. Spherical Block LLC,  located on Moland Road, in Alfred, has developed a manufacturing system for concrete blocks that interlock in arches and domes. The materials create affordable and energy efficient structures that are sustainable for longer periods of time than traditional roof structures.

In his article, Roberts notes concrete blocks, or units, built by Spherical Block are produced using molds and a manufacturing process that can produce eight blocks in a nine-second cycle. Blocks are beveled on the sides to create an arched or domed roof. Each block is also grooved to accept rebar, allowing for roof construction without the need for complex scaffolding.

“This masonry system creates extensive design flexibility for the architect, designer, planner, and ultimately the end-user,” Roberts notes. “This is a groundbreaking innovation that is at the nexus of high-efficiency modern manufacturing and traditional masonry arches rooted deep in the past. The end result is a beautiful array of architectural options that are affordable, easy to build, very high strength, fire-safe, and available wherever you can find concrete blocks.”

In addition to the Masonry Magazine article, Roberts also recently contributed two articles to Structure magazine: "Advancement in Masonry Today" and "A Structure as an Electric Battery." Those articles, he says, led to Masonry Magazine’s request for his contribution. In addition, Roberts delivered the 2019 keynote address at the 13th North American Masonry Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Spherical Block was founded in 2013 and currently has three employees. It partners with Southern Tier Concrete Products, also in Alfred, in the manufacturing of concrete blocks. Roberts earned a custom bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Alfred University, focused on masonry science, in 1999.