Building Science Graduate Students participate in ASC competition

Building Science Graduate Students participate in ASC competition

Building Construction Program graduate students placed 3rd in the Integrated Project Category after competing against 11 teams at the ASC competition held in Sparks, Nevada recently. The team consisted of Alex Getz (Team Leader), Caroline Garner, Embrey Bonds, Andrew Albach, Jeffrey Edwards and Houston White. Salman Azhar and Anoop Sattineni coached the team.

According to Houston White, the focus of the Integrated Project was on a large public infrastructure project called Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center or A.R.T.I.C, an existing structure in Anaheim, Calif., built by Clark Construction and opened in 2014. “It is a transit hub located next to Angel Stadium. It is an extremely aesthetically pleasing steel structure that is the only LEED platinum certified transit center in the world,” White added.

According to Alex Getz, the goal was to submit a comprehensive proposal as called for, addressing issues of cost, schedule, risk, and safety, with special focus placed on project delivery method. Each of the six members on the team had assigned responsibilities—Alex Getz (Project Executive), Drew Albach (Estimator, responsible for developing a project budget), Jeffry Edwards (Designer, BIM Director responsible for visuals and technology integration), Caroline Garner (Project Director, created LEED scorecard and safety plan), Embrey Bonds (Project Director created site utilization plan), Houston White (Project Manager created schedule). An additional 7th member, Carl Lyness, served as an alternate and competed in an competition sponsored by Rudolph and Sletten.

This was the first time in competition for the team. “It was exciting to see that so much is being devoted to the future of the construction industry,” said White. “There was a great deal of stress during the competition, but once we finished our part, it felt incredible. I think it is important for students to participate in these competitions. It provides a real world example of a project and the stress and struggles involved as well as the tenacity and teamwork needed to solve difficult problems.”

“With the exception of a few items within our proposal, all of the requested information were items that we had been able to learn extensively about in our studies within the MBC program,” said Getz. “While there is value to be had in learning and practicing aspects of construction management in a classroom setting, it was such a valuable experience to be able to put what we had learned to practice in a high pressure, time sensitive simulation. Beyond validating our ability to apply our knowledge of construction, it gave us a fantastic opportunity to work within a team setting and see how all of the small pieces of the puzzle that we learn about in class every day fit together to create a whole,” he added.

“Beyond the opportunities to participate in a real world simulation and network with working professionals, this competition did a great job of showing our team what we know and what we can do well, and also what things we don’t know well enough and areas in which we need to improve our execution,” Getz said. “The constructive critiques have given us an opportunity to identify and act on areas for improvement. By simulating a real world experience, we were able to work out some of the problems that would inevitably present themselves when we walked into our job on the first day. The validation that resulted in our successful execution within the competition will directly translate into confidence as we move into our professional careers. I would strongly encourage anyone to participate in an ASC competition if presented with the opportunity.”

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.

Picture: Front row, seated left to right: Houston White, Caroline Garner, Brey Bonds, back row left to right: Andrew Albach, Jeffry Edwards, Alex Getz, Dr. Salman Azhar,