Auburn Students participate in the Associated Schools of Construction student competitions

Auburn Students participate in the Associated Schools of Construction student competitions

A team of seven Masters of Building Construction students, led by Professor Salman Azhar, participated in the 30th Annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competition in Reno, Nevada recently and brought home two prizes. The team took part in the Integrated Project competition at the Region 6/7 ASC competition. The students, Claire Gilbert (Captain), Tiffany Blackmon, Mark Walsh, David McTier, Francisco Eliza, and Trent Huffines won third place in the Integrated Project. Douglas Martin, who was an alternate, was on a team of alternates which won second place in the alternate competition.

According to Clark Construction Group, the methodology of delivering major building construction projects continues to evolve, with more negotiated forms of contracting taking the place of lump-sum bidding of old. Members of the delivery team had to exhibit high levels of collaboration and sharing risk and reward in the Integrated Project Delivery. Because this project delivery methodology was evolving, the extent and nature of the risk/reward sharing varied widely from project to project, and even between participants within a single project.

“The Integrated Project competition focused on the design and construction of a large, complex facility using an Integrated Project Delivery approach, based on a real-life project for the Clark Construction Group,” said Gilbert. “Clark Group’s intent was to show the teams the cutting-edge projects and delivery methods they deal with, and the perspective of the senior level people who are making these happen. As individual members of the delivery team, we assumed roles such as the general contractor, the design professional, a drywall subcontractor, and an architect working with an owner.”

“For the competition, there were several deliverables such as schedule, estimate, issue resolution log, risk management plans, site lay out plans, safety lay out plan, and construction management plans,” added Gilbert. “We had mock meetings and our faculty prepared us for critical thinking, which formed a bulk of the oral presentation.” According to Gilbert, preparation for the competition started in September on 2016. Professors Salman Azhar, Anoop Sattineni, Alan Bugg, and Mark Tatum made presentations about the project delivery methods; safety, quality, and risk planning; lean construction; and sustainable design.

The teams had to work through the subject project, identifying problems, and solving them in an integrated format. The goal was to complete the project at the lowest possible cost and time, while staying true to the Owners’ project criteria requirements. The competition, organized in different stages, culminated in a written report and oral discussion/presentation. According to the organizers, the teams had to be familiar with the concepts and application of the principles of Design-Build, BIM, LEED, and all general pre-construction services.

Auburn University finished in third place, with Stanford University and the University of Southern California finishing first and second, respectively.

The alternate competition included nearly 180 students from several universities who were organized into 26 teams. Martin, as an alternate for the graduate team, participated in the competition hosted by Rudolph & Sletten, Inc., a leading general construction company in California. “Our problem was to demolish an existing building and retrofit it for a sheet metal fabrication training facility,” said Martin. “We had to create a detailed cost estimate, schedule, risk mitigation, site utilization plan, as well as an asbestos abatement program. Our team placed 2nd in the competition.”

The Associated Schools of Construction is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.