By Jennifer Davis
Students in the construction management program placed third overall in the Associated Builders and Contractors National Construction Management Competition in Las Vegas on March 16 to 18, 2006.
Adam Folkman, Damon Owens, Thomas MacCabe and Robert Johnston started working in February to put together a conceptual estimate, schedule, project management, safety and inspection control plans for a 42,000 square foot rehabilitation center in Virginia. The students could use approximately $7 million for the estimate.
“The overall experience in Vegas was exciting,” said Folkman, a senior majoring in construction management from Brigham City. “I hate Las Vegas for obvious reasons to anyone who”s been there, but we had a good time and established good relationships among team members and professors.”
The students placed first in the Project Management and Scheduling category, and second in the Estimating category among 23 schools from across the country.
“We go there expecting to do our best, and many times that means we hopefully place,” said Kevin Miller, assistant professor in the School of Technology.
The plans the students put together were strictly for competition. The actual rehabilitation center in Virginia is almost completed.
“Conceptual means general plans but not detailed plans,” Miller said. “The architects have drawn the idea, but the students figure out how much it would cost from the ideas the architects have drawn.”
Preparation for the competition started in February. Students worked approximately 20 hours per week on the project, but after all of the preparation, students were surprised to have a second floor added to the project when the competition started. Students had to revise their plans, and had an additional $2.4 million to work with.
“For two days, the students were 100 percent caught up in the competition,” Miller said. “You had all the preparation, but then the fire hits when adding a second story.”
The team anticipated there would be some changes thrown in because it was a conceptual project, Folkman said.
“We were able to prepare well and anticipated some of those things, which is a large part to why we did as well as we did,” Folkman said.
The addition of the second story adds a real-life situation for the students.
“The format was very much ”real world” and challenged the students to work well as a team under time constraints,” said Jack Darnall IV, chairman for the 2006 Associated Builders and Contractors National. “It was a learning experience for students and faculty alike.”
There are three main national competitions for the construction management program put on by Homebuilder, Associate Schools of Construction and Associated Builders and Contractors.
Another group of BYU students in the construction management program recently placed first in regionals for the Associate Schools of Construction competition in Reno. Dan Vincent, Greg Cummings, Brion Webb, Brian Wilcox, Tom Robinson and Andrew Leavitt had 18 hours to estimate, schedule and prepare a presentation for judges. The presentation consisted of meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design requirements for a 77,000 square foot government lab office building. The students didn”t know any specific project information until they arrived in Reno. The students will now go to Dallas for the nationals
“BYU does pretty well [in the competitions] because we”ve got good students,” Miller said.
Students like the construction management program because of the 100 percent placement and the high paying jobs after graduation, Miller said.
“The construction management program is pretty much the best program ever,” Folkman said. “It provides an excellent education that not only applies to management of construction processes, but business management as well. BYU is recognized as one of the top construction management schools in the country.”
The program is a highly desired major but is not that easy to get into.
“There is limited enrollment,” Miller said. “About 50 percent get in of those who apply. To get in, we look at leadership, experience and GPA. Each is weighted a third. You have to have a strong background in leadership and experience not just a good GPA.”