Originating from 16th-century Italy, Italianate is a style of Victorian architecture that was popular in the United States beginning in the mid-19th century. If you enjoy this style of Victorian architecture, you can find plenty of it in Brighton. A neighborhood near Cincinnati’s West End.


In 2022 we were contacted by the owner of an Italianate style building that was built in the late 1800s and had a coal chute out front. ln the Victorian era, most homes were heated with coal. A common source of heat before gas-powered heat became available. To facilitate easy delivery, some wealthier homes had these coal chutes built right in.


As much as we love Cincinnati’s rich architectural history; this particular artifact had become a bit of a hazard for pedestrians. Not to mention the chute also allowed moisture as well as unwanted critters.


The homeowner hired Hughes Construction to fill in their coal chute. To accomplish this, we built a new section of block wall and filled it with concrete and steel reinforcement. We also added waterproofing to the wall to keep moisture out and filled the remaining void.



The city asked that we backfill this void with Controlled Density Fill (CDF) also known as flowable fill. CDF is a mixture of Portland Cement, fly ash, sand, and water. CDF is a flowable, excavatable, self-compacting and self-leveling material. Which, after solidifying will have the structural characteristics of a well-compacted load bearing soil.



Flowable fill is great for applications like this one that require a fast-setting product for rapid foot traffic access and pavement overlay. It fills voids, levels itself, and will not settle or sag. It can be placed quickly without requiring compaction or inspection and can be paved over in just a few hours.

Do you have a project like this that needs attention?  Simply fill out our contact form and allow us to point you in the right direction.