Chapter Member: Jeff Samuelson, AIA, NCARB

Jeff Samuelson, AIA, NCARB

CEO and Founder, JZ Companies and ChalkLine4D


Raised in Dayton, Ohio, Jeff attended the Architecture Summer Program at Harvard University, prior to enrolling in UC where he graduated from DAAP. As an NCARB registered architect, Jeff earned his Georgia license in 1991 and Ohio license in 1996 then went on to found JZ Companies the same year. In addition to running his company, Jeff serves as one of two architects on the Ohio Board of Building Standards, a gubernatorial appointment.

What are some of the challenges you’re seeing in the building industry today?

Skyrocketing costs of materials combined with labor shortages are creating more challenges for the construction industry. Owners, builders, and architects desire to build complex shapes and angles in buildings without wasting several days of time and money laying out a project, and potential large schedule pushbacks due to the high chance of rework caused by imperfect layout (human error).

How does your experience as an architect give you perspective on those challenges? 

With traditional surveying, each point can be off by a quarter to half an inch. Which, over a large site, can add up to significant errors from the plan. After experiencing these problems with our own projects – resulting in significant costs to us in both time and money – we saw the need to design a system and processes that can quickly and efficiently layout even the most complex designs with incredible accuracy. We wanted to give architects more control of a project instead of having what can or can’t be done dictated by contractors.

Of your recent projects, which is your favorite? 

After our negative experiences with costly layout problems, we gave ourselves an ambitious goal: develop a system where, if an architect can draw it, the solution could project their plans, at full scale, on a job site work surface. We collaborated with University of Dayton Research Institute, aerospace laser suppliers, and some of the area’s most accomplished software engineers, architects, and builders, to develop ChalkLine4D utilizing aerospace laser technology along with patented set-up processes.

What accomplishment are you most proud of reaching? 

After five years of work, ChalkLine4D is live, and ready to present to architects, contractors, and other building industry professionals. Within 60 minutes of setup time, ChalkLine4D can pull in highly complex architectural drawings and project them onto the work site with a margin of error less than 1/32nd of an inch – smaller than the string thickness of a traditional chalk line (and aerospace tolerances).  

Tens of thousands of dollars can be saved on any given project by this innovative method for laying out complex designs. ChalkLine4D dramatically increases the efficiency of the set-up process and virtually eliminates the possibility or re-work caused by an incorrect layout.

With ChalkLine4D, we are solving for the “cycle of disruptions,” errors, and added costs that are created during the “layout process.” With our technology, the GC’s/PM’s/Owners/Architects can pull forward the accuracy of measurements, improving/continuing the workflow process.

What’s next for you and JZ Companies? 

We’re hosting open houses at our warehouse in Springboro from 11am-1pm July 13-15, July 20-22, July 27-29 and by appointment to show ChalkLine4D in action. Space is limited to please reply ASAP to We hope that now architects can design more creative structures while receiving less resistance from the field, ensuring what they’ve drawn originally can be built as designed. 

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