BCS seniors present final project

April 28th, 2016 Comments Off on BCS seniors present final project

(Photos by Marissa Landon)

Building Construction Science students in Assistant Professor Michele Herrmann’s senior studio presented their final projects on April 27.

For the project, students prepared cost estimates, schedules, three-dimensional site utilization plans and stormwater pollution prevention plans for a three-story assisted living facility. They also evaluated hypothetical subcontractor bids and assessed real-world business decisions such as whether to work overtime to complete the project on time, versus finishing the project after the scheduled completion date.

Ches Fedrick, a senior project manager at Innovative Construction Management, and Preston Clowney, a project manager at Yates Construction, provided the students with feedback about their projects.

BCS featured as State Spotlight

April 28th, 2016 Comments Off on BCS featured as State Spotlight

Building Construction Science students building walls in studio class: Evan Hodges (ech232) in purple shirt, Jeffrey Bassett (jhb351) in vest with orange bands), and Austin Rennie (amr883) in light green shirt. (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Shoring Up the Semester

Sophomore building construction science majors (l-r) Evan Hodges from Slidell, Louisiana, Jeffrey Bassett from Long Beach and Austin Rennie from Fayetteville, Tennessee, wrap up their semester coursework at Howell Hall by building walls as part of a studio class assignment.

NYC construction authority discusses modular construction advantages at MSU

April 8th, 2016 Comments Off on NYC construction authority discusses modular construction advantages at MSU

His first time to the state of Mississippi, Erik Antokal, director of strategic initiatives for FC Modular LLC, presented “High Rise Modular: New Frontiers of Scale in Offsite Construction” at 2 p.m. in Giles Hall’s Robert and Freda Harris Auditorium on Thurs., April 7.

FC Modular, a startup company located in Brooklyn, N.Y., is the only American company currently specializing in high-rise modular buildings.

Antokal began by explaining the benefits of modular construction.

“Land, labor and materials are cost drivers in construction and are unpredictable. Modular systems solve that problem,” he said, explaining that with modular construction, you can predict costs and time and pre-build. “Beat the market, essentially,” he added.

Referring to the process as “concurrent construction,” Antokal explained that one of the many benefits of modular construction is saving time; FC Modular is able to work in their factory building modules at the same time the general contractor is working on site on the excavation and foundation.

Antokal also said modular construction is better for workers, who are able to go to the same job site each day and work indoors in a safer environment. He explained that much of the “heavy lifting and moving” is done at night when less workers are present, which is more efficient and safer.

The presentation wrapped up with discussion about FC Modular’s current project, which, when complete, will be the world’s tallest modular high-rise building at 32 floors and 322 feet tall. Located at 461 Dean Street, the building includes 363 rental units and is entirely modular space – even the elevator shafts. Designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification, construction is expected to be completed soon.

A Tufts University graduate, Antokal oversees the company’s external communications and internal investments. He previously was the company’s workforce and partnerships manager and, prior to that, commercial revitalization program manager with NYC’s Small Business Services Department.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Building Construction Science Program is one of only two studio-based construction programs in the U.S. For more, visit caad.msstate.edufacebook.com/CAADatMSUtwitter.com/CAADatMSU
and tinyurl.com/CAADatMSUYouTube.

Information on the BCS program is found at facebook.com/MississippiStateBuildingConstructionScience.

For more about FC Modular, see www.fcmodular.com or twitter.com/FCModular. Also, be sure to watch the video showcasing modular construction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKqrzM46Dag

Modular construction authority visiting MSU next week

March 31st, 2016 Comments Off on Modular construction authority visiting MSU next week

During an April 7 MSU visit, Erik Antokal will discuss his New York company’s construction of the world’s tallest modular high-rise building. He is director of strategic initiatives at FC Modular LLC. (Photo via Antokal)

During an April 7 MSU visit, Erik Antokal will discuss his New York company’s construction of the world’s tallest modular high-rise building. He is director of strategic initiatives at FC Modular LLC. (Photo via Antokal)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

A top administrator of a New York City high-rise modular construction company will speak Thursday [April 7] at Mississippi State.

Erik Antokal’s campus visit is sponsored by the university’s Building Construction Science Program in the College of Architecture, Art and Design. Open to all, his presentation titled “High Rise Modular: New Frontiers of Scale in Offsite Construction” begins at 2 p.m. in Giles Hall’s Robert and Freda Harris Auditorium.

Antokal is Director of Strategic Initiatives for FC Modular LLC that currently is building a Brooklyn apartment complex which, when complete, will be the world’s tallest modular high-rise. For more, see www.fcmodular.com or twitter.com/FCModular.

A Tufts University graduate, Antokal oversees the company’s external communications and internal investments. He previously was the company’s Workforce and Partnerships Manager and, prior to that, Commercial Revitalization Program Manager with NYC’s Small Business Services Department.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Building Construction Science Program is one of only two studio-based construction programs in the U.S. For more, visit www.caad.msstate.edufacebook.com/CAADatMSU, twitter.com/CAADatMSU and http://tinyurl.com/CAADatMSUYouTube.

Information on the BCS program is found at facebook.com/MississippiStateBuildingConstructionScience.

For more information about Antokal’s program and visit, contact BCS Program Director Craig Capano, also the college’s Roy Anderson Endowed Professor, at 662-325-0732 or ccapano@caad.msstate.edu.

Giles Hall, home of the college and School of Architecture, is located at the intersection of College View Drive and Barr Avenue.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

BCS holds second annual Career and Construction Classic

March 24th, 2016 Comments Off on BCS holds second annual Career and Construction Classic

IMG_8573
The Building Construction Science Program recently hosted an event in Starkville for contractors, friends and alumni of the program.

The 2016 Career and Construction Classic began with a student competition on Wed., March 9. The Industry Advisory Board held their spring meeting on Thurs., March 10. Later that day, the program held a career fair followed by a crawfish boil and awards banquet, and the event concluded with a pool tournament (due to inclement weather) on Friday.

BCS would like to thank the sponsors and participants for their support.

A special thanks to the following companies:
Adams Construction Company
Brasfield & Gorrie
Century Construction
C Sharp Construction
Doster Construction Company
Garney Construction
Graham Roofing
Hoar Construction
ICM Construction Management & Consulting
JESCO
The Lemoine Company
Linkous Construction
Performance Contractors
R.C. Construction
Robins & Morton
The Ross Group
Roy Anderson Corporation
Stanley Black & Decker (Howard Lewis)
Turner Construction Company
Yates Construction

BCS also extends its gratitude toThe Lemoine Company for organizing the BCS Student Competition on Wednesday.

Career Fair:

Crawfish Boil:

Pool Tournament:

(Photos by Marissa Landon)

BCS featured on WTVA News

March 11th, 2016 Comments Off on BCS featured on WTVA News

Construction industry rebounding, recruiting new workers

By Gabe Austin | WTVA

People in the construction industry say their business was not in a good place a couple of years ago due to the Great Recession.

Now, that has changed, which is good for college students who’ll soon be entering the workforce looking for jobs in the construction industry.

“We’ve seen a lot more work and good work,” said Roy Anderson Corp’s Chris Gray.

 Gray says the last two or three years had been rough for the construction industry here in the Magnolia State, but things are looking better.

“It’s not like where it in the past two or three years were the jobs were scarce,” said Gray.

Now, construction companies need to fill those jobs.

And that’s why Gray and others were at a career fair Thursday at Mississippi State University representing their companies.

“We are, everybody I think, most general contractors and our specialty contractors are looking to hire entry level people and start building back our ranks,” said Gray.

For college students, like Regan Horn, in Mississippi State’s Building Construction Science program, this is good news.

“It just really motivates us to worker harder in what we’re doing and trying to become better students and better workers when we join the workforce,” said Horn.

And for companies at the Building Construction Science’s second annual job fair, it’ll be these same college students they’ll soon be depending on.

“We think the Millennials can bring a whole new perspective to what we do, and really adapt technologies especially on how we can become more effective and efficient,” said The Lemoine Company’s Ruby Comeaux.

Building construction science students build kayaks

March 10th, 2016 Comments Off on Building construction science students build kayaks


(photos by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University)

Building construction science students in Visiting Assistant Professor Mike Duff’s Studio II course recently constructed wooden kayaks.

The class project involved construction scheduling, and students looked at complicated steps in the building process to plan their work accordingly.

One of the vessels was put to the test today by Hal Duff, son of Mike Duff, at MSU’s Chadwick Lake.

BCS to hold second annual Career and Building Construction Classic

March 4th, 2016 Comments Off on BCS to hold second annual Career and Building Construction Classic

careerfair03202015_1

Currently, there are 18 companies including design/build firms, construction management firms and general contractors signed up for the career fair who are seeking interns and full-time employees.

The Building Construction Science program will host the second annual Career and Building Construction Classic next week.

A career fair – open to all majors within the College of Architecture, Art and Design – will be held in the Building Construction Science studio area in Howell Building on Thurs., March 10 from 2 – 5:30 p.m.

Currently there are 18 companies, including design/build firms, construction management firms and general contractors signed up for the fair who are seeking interns and full-time employees.

After the fair, the program is hosting a crawfish boil at The Poor House.  Any student that attends the career fair and talks to at least two potential employers can attend the crawfish boil free of charge. Students not interested in the career fair may purchase a ticket for $10.

On Fri., March 11, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) student chapter and the BCS Program are hosting a golf tournament at the MSU Golf Course. It is a best ball tournament with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.  Details for the golf tournament may be found in the brochure.

For more information or to register for the golf event please contact Laura Mitchell at 662-325-8310 or lmitchell@caad.msstate.edu.

Building Construction Science seniors take NYC

February 29th, 2016 Comments Off on Building Construction Science seniors take NYC

The Building Construction Science Class of 2016 visited New York City from Feb. 8 – 12, 2016. Assistant Professor Michele Herrmann, Esq., scheduled the trip, which included the following:

  1. RARTerrance Richardson (BCS Class of 2012) showed the group The Hudson Yards Development and the $220 million residential tower RAR is constructing on 30th Street, adjacent to the High Line. The 315,410 square-foot, high-end residential building will feature amenities such as a pool, sauna, and bowling alley. Richardson spoke with the class about the challenges of working adjacent to the High Line and constructing buildings above operational subway lines.
  2. EWhowellEW Howell provided a tour of an $11 million renovation and townhouse conversion for the Hewitt School. The project team discussed the challenges of working in an occupied school located in a high-end residential neighborhood.
    United Nations web
  3. AWSKathy Farbod, project architect for the United Nations, provided a tour of the U.N., followed by a tour of the sublevel basement renovation by Alexander Wolf & Sons following damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Here, the students learned about the complexities of receiving material deliveries in a location with unprecedented security measures.
  4. TNickelT.G. Nickel provided tours of:

  • The Enclave at the Cathedral, a $130 million residential building being constructed on the property of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The students learned about sequencing the construction of fifteen floors containing more than 400 residential units.

  • The Bryant, a $120 million hotel/residential tower adjacent to Bryant Park. Here, the students observed connection details for securing precast panels to the structure of the building.

  • High Line 29, a $102 million residential complex adjacent to the High Line. The students learned about wind tests performed prior to construction and the challenges of delivering materials to the proper location on site using material hoists.
    (T.G. Nickel site photos by Steven Giordano)

 

The BCS Class of 2016 thanks the following entities. Without their support, this trip would not have been possible.

  • AGC NYS
  • Alexander Wolf & Sons
  • EW Howell
  • Lipsky Enterprises
  • RAR
  • T.G. Nickel
  • United Nations

DesignIntelligence features MSU Building Construction Science Program

February 24th, 2016 Comments Off on DesignIntelligence features MSU Building Construction Science Program

Building Construction Science - ribbon cutting for construction site trailer  (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

The Mississippi State University Building Construction Science Program dedicated their new Construction Training Research Lab in the fall of 2015.  
(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Building Construction Science - ribbon cutting for construction site trailer  (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum gets a tour of the Building Construction Science Program’s Construction Training Research Lab.
(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Intelligent Project Delivery | Ron Perkins | DesignIntelligence

Principal catalysts for the rapid evolution of technology adoption

Not all that long ago, the most advanced technology being deployed on a jobsite was a copy machine and a calculator. We have come a long way from those days and on some of today’s high-tech project sites the technology being routinely deployed would have been considered science fiction in decades past.

I believe there are three principal catalysts for this rapid evolution of technology adoption throughout the AEC industry.

1) The United States Department of Commerce Technology Administration — National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) funded a study in 2004 entitled Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the U.S. Capital Facilities Industry. This study concluded that the AEC industry was behind all other industries with the exception of farming when it relates to the adoption of technology to conduct business. The billions of dollars of waste due to the inefficiencies in capital projects alone got the attention of the federal government, most particularly the General Services Administration (GSA).

2) The introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM) practices, standards and software technology. While the initial adoption curve of BIM standards was relatively slow, the rate of current adoption and the ensuing breadth of projects that leverage these practices has put significant demands of technology usage on current projects. When the GSA mandated that all federal projects use BIM it had a widespread affect with contractors looking for work during industry low points in 2008 which subsequently forced these firms to embrace more technology usage on their projects.

3) An incredible development pace being set by both software and technology hardware providers. Computers are getting smaller and more powerful. Smart phones are in everyone’s pockets. Businesses and consumers are all using cloud storage and services. Digital displays have higher resolution and printers are faster, cheaper and print at higher res too. Add to that all of the innovation being seen in 3D laser scanning equipment, virtual reality and visualization tools using gaming engines and we are experiencing technology that not long ago we could hardly even imagine. Who in this country hasn’t heard about 3D printing and drones?

Firms of all sizes are embracing these technologies on projects that range from a few million dollars in total value to the one billion and higher mega-projects. We are even seeing the creation of new positions within these firms to address these needs. BIM Managers have now been around for a few years, but the title VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) Manager or Engineer has started to show up in firms across the country. This has also led to relatively new terms like Information Mobility that elicits the concept of using and sharing the right data on the right device, or medium, at the right time.

There are many examples and use cases of this happening from both the clients and the vendors providing these products or services. In the end of course contractors are paid to build buildings and the technology is only supposed to assist in that process. Applying these technologies and developing the best practices to meet the actual business challenges the technology addresses is the priority.

Technology designed to enhance communication and collaboration has been one of the areas where we have seen significant enhancements. BIM platforms such as Revit® have converted the standard 2D AutoCAD® process that consists of lines and arcs into a 3D model that is created using a database that includes a tremendous amount of metadata to use during design, build, testing and other project phases. NavisWorks® software enables users to review integrated models and data with everyone on the project. The adoption of these BIM tools has certainly had a tremendous impact the collaboration happening around the project and has brought on another term widely used around the project site “BIM coordination meeting.”

Williams Scotsman, the largest construction trailer rental company in the world, developed a delivery method called techsuite™. As the name implies, this high-tech trailer solution is what they call their “answer to BIM” in the field. Their clients can now order a trailer fully decked out with whatever technology needed to either purchase or rent for the duration of the project. This practice has helped contractors of all sizes embrace the latest technology simply by adding it to the monthly rent. Williams Scotsman recognizes that one of the greatest changes they have seen is that the traditional plan table is being replaced with digital displays. Often times these displays have interactive touch capabilities that work well with the popular document management solutions being used today like Bluebeam Revu®, PlanGrid and SmartUse by Newforma.

Many of the largest Fortune 500 tech firms are also developing new products specifically designed to serve the AEC industry. Hewlett Packard has been entrenched in the AEC industry for many years. During 2015 they announced truly innovative solutions for the jobsite and AEC offices. Their new PageWide Technology production printer spits out blueprints as fast as a copy machine makes a copy. The device they announced at Autodesk University, the Design Jet T830, was designed specifically for the construction site and includes enhancements like being WiFi enabled, faster speed and best of all a much lower price than previous devices.

Most people probably saw the announcement when Facebook bought the Virtual Reality platform Oculus for billions of dollars. How many people stopped to wonder how that would impact communication and collaboration in AEC? Unity, the largest gaming engine in the world did. Couldn’t you just see what would happen if you pair the actual geometry from a Revit® file to a gaming engine. It turns a real project into Call of Duty®. Not the guns and bombs of course, but the ability to free roam throughout a non-existent building in an immersive experience could have a real impact on the low tech users throughout the entire AEC industry. Unity evaluated the AEC industry for nearly two years, anticipating there could be a significant opportunity as the industry started to adopt visualization tools and related practices. Their final decision was to partner with a firm that has extensive experience in the AEC industry that could help them meet their objectives in a much shorter term. VIMtrek™ was developed on the Unity platform and had already built an application that converts Revit® content into the gaming engine while leaving all of the Revit® metadata intact.

Many technology providers have been expanding their interest into the AEC industry. Samsung Business has seen firsthand the results of using their Gear VR goggles that are powered by Oculus, to streamline decision making with owners and contractors. Their full product line is actually already widespread throughout the industry. Samsung smart phones, ruggedized TAB Actives tablets and their broad family of digital displays are in use on many jobsites.

The reality is that the technology adoption occurring throughout the AEC industry today has created significant challenges for contractors and other users while at the same time has got the attention of a huge number of technology providers. The one thing that everyone agrees on is that the AEC industry is no longer behind the curve. In fact, in numerous ways the AEC industry is leading the charge in many of these fields. Consider the 3D printed buildings being studied by the University of Southern California (USC). Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art and Design just launched their Construction Training and Research Laboratory (CTRL) program to assure that students are not just educated in the technology available to them today but learn how to incorporate the use of drones, 3D laser scanning, 3D printing and many other developing technologies into the design and construction processes of the future. No doubt Mississippi State will be the first of many.

The AEC industry needs to adopt these practices in order to address the ever increasing needs of technology demanding projects as well as the needs of building owners and developers who need to manage and maintain these buildings for decades to come. It is also a crucial part to attracting the brightest and most creative minds of the next generation to consider the AEC industry as an exciting and challenging field to enter in to. All things considered, there has never been a more exciting and demanding time to be part of this incredibly dynamic industry.


Ron Perkins is the president of Jobsite Tech Group and an active member of the Associated General Contractors (AGC). He has been involved in the AEC industry for more than three decades and has been very involved in technology deployment at the construction site for a number of years.