Mississippi State team takes third in regional construction competition

November 5th, 2018 Comments Off on Mississippi State team takes third in regional construction competition

(Photos via Associate Professor George Martin)

By Jalyn Wallin | Mississippi State University
Building Construction Science major – class of 2020

Each year, the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) hosts a competition that challenges students to prepare and present a proposal to a problem statement in less than 48 hours.

This year, the Building Construction Science (BCS) Program helped prepare a competition team comprised of five BCS students and one architecture student to compete in the Design Build category of the competition. The team consisted of Hunter Bullock (3rd year), Blake Farrar (4th year), Kacie Lynn James (3rd year), Robert Montoux (3rd year), Chris Sharp (3rd year) and Jalyn Wallin (3rd year) . The faculty coaches were Visiting Associate Professor George Martin and Assistant Professor Saeed Rokooei. The Lemoine Company sponsored the teams for the third year.

The Region 2 competition was held Oct. 23-25, 2018 in Peachtree City, Ga.

The problem statement for the Design Build competition was hosted by McCarthy Building Companies Inc. to create a proposal for a new medical office building for a national healthcare provider. The team works hard to get as much together as they can with the information they have before competition day. Once at the competition, the team is thrown a curve ball and they have around twelve hours to create a proposal for the building. After the proposal, the team must give an oral presentation to the judges.

The Mississippi State University Design Build team came in third place overall this year.

Learning by doing: MSU building construction science students get real-world experience with tiny house project

May 10th, 2018 Comments Off on Learning by doing: MSU building construction science students get real-world experience with tiny house project

Students and others stand near the steel and concrete tiny house created as part of a two-semester construction project in MSU’s Building Construction Science program. Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the program is one of only two studio-based construction programs in the U.S. (Photo by Megan Bean)

George Martin, left, visiting associate professor in Mississippi State’s Building Construction Science program, discusses the wooden tiny house construction project with students Evan Hodges and Collin Manuel during a recent presentation on the Starkville campus. Martin was among faculty and construction professionals who toured the house and provided feedback to the students on their work. (Photo by Megan Bean)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Students in Mississippi State’s Building Construction Science program found completion of a two-semester tiny-house construction project a challenging experience, but the lessons learned were worth the work.

Nearly 30 students spent the full academic year working on several projects leading up to the design and construction of steel and wooden house frames.

MSU Assistant Clinical Professor Lee Carson and College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West guided students as they went through the process of designing, researching and exploring materials and fabrication methods, planning construction, and building every element of the structures. Students also were responsible for creating a comprehensive document explaining the entire design and construction process.

For fabrication, the students were split into two teams of 14 with a hierarchical structure of one project manager—West for the wood building and Carson for the steel building—as well as one superintendent and four foremen, with two or three crew members under each foreman.

During a recent presentation on campus, each student team discussed learning outcomes and challenges regarding their respective building’s foundations, interiors, and structural, wall and roof systems. MSU faculty and local construction professionals toured the houses and provided feedback the students could use for future projects.

The wood building is 8 feet wide by 16 feet long by 13 feet tall with 210 square feet of interior space. This includes loft sleeping space accessible by a ladder. The roof of the building is removable for ease of transportation, and the students built a “pop out” or extension for the shower that expands three feet and also allows for a balcony that reaches four feet out upstairs. Other features are a concrete foundation and floor, wood frame, fiber cement board siding, steel wall panels, vinyl reflective windows, metal roof, cellulose insulation, gypsum board interior walls and a V-joint pine wood ceiling.

MSU junior William H. Young of Madison, a foreman for the wooden tiny house, said the fabrication process challenged him and other crew members to work with unfamiliar materials. He credits the group’s success to its positive team dynamic and willingness to evaluate processes and find creative solutions in the face of obstacles.

“A lot of the things we were doing were pretty new to us, if not completely new to us, so there was a learning curve,” Young said. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned from this project is most of construction isn’t just about following directions, but fixing what is broken while you’re following directions.”

In addition to learning from West and Carson, the students also benefited from the expertise of representatives from West Point-based Graham Roofing and Meridian-based Glass Inc.

“Professor Carson also asked a subcontractor from Cell-Tek to show us how to properly hang drywall,” said sophomore Andrew D. “Drew” Pankratz of Taylorsville, also a foreman for the wooden tiny house. “There’s definitely a technique to it, and he showed us some cool tricks of the trade.”

For the tiny house with a steel frame and concrete foundation, the students had to build a structure that was 10 feet wide, 20 feet long and 13 feet tall, with 320 square feet of interior space including loft sleeping space. Primarily constructed of non-combustible materials, the building features light gauge steel studs, precast concrete wall panels, a glass curtain wall, fiber cement board cladding, steel wall panels, vinyl windows, a metal roof, gypsum board interior walls, plywood upper interior walls and a metal ceiling.

“If you’re trying to design this as a movable building, steel and concrete are not the choice of materials or systems, but I wanted the students to go through the process of having to use those materials because many of them had never done that before,” Carson explained.

Curtis A. “Curt” Wilson, a sophomore from Olive Branch who served as superintendent for the steel and concrete tiny house, said installation of wall panels and insulation was a tough, yet beneficial part of the project.

“Using two-inch insulation made it hard to find the studs and we placed them wrong, so that was the first challenge,” Wilson said. “Fastening the Hardie panels to the wall took two weeks, but it also was a great learning experience because of the difficulties.”

Carson, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from MSU, said the tiny house project provided a “huge learning opportunity” for the students to work together in an “intense, comprehensive environment.”

“We are really proud of these students. They put their sweat, time and heart into this project and have produced an incredible amount of work,” he said. “I believe the strength of what we’re doing in the studio classes is bringing the students’ knowledge base all the way through the design and construction process. They will be able to take a lot of this knowledge forward.”

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. Learn more at www.caad.msstate.edu, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

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

See the story in the Clarion Ledger.

See the story in the Daily Journal.

BCS second-year studio wraps up year with final presentations

May 1st, 2018 Comments Off on BCS second-year studio wraps up year with final presentations

Second-year building construction science students – led by Interim Director of the BCS Program and Associate Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design Greg Hall and Assistant Professor Saeed Rokooei – wrapped up the year with a final project presented on April 25 in the studios in Howell Building.

The final project, which students worked on for the last three weeks of class, covered pre-construction subjects such as quantity take-off, scheduling, project management and cost management.

Students were required to perform estimation and scheduling for the major divisions, and they used software packages such as On-Screen Takeoff and Microsoft Project in their individual submission and presentation of their +44,000 sf base project. 

 

BCS seniors visit Denver

March 9th, 2018 Comments Off on BCS seniors visit Denver

Photos and story by Regan Horn, senior BCS student

Senior students in the Building Construction Science Program at Mississippi State University participated in a field trip to Denver, Colo., the week of Feb. 19. This was part of an annual field trip week in which students from the BCS Program travel to metropolitan areas to meet with construction professionals, visit construction sites and observe urban environments.

Eighteen students in BCS 4126 Building Construction Studio 6 (taught by Assistant Professor Michele Herrmann) traveled to Denver with Visiting Associate Professor George Martin. This group was able to visit the following sites:

  • Charles Hay Elementary School (Fransen Pittman)
    • Hosted by: John White, Burns Morrison, and Jacob Miles
  • Clayton Elementary School (Fransen Pittman)
    • Hosted by: John White, Burns Morrison, and Steve Gilmor
  • Colorado State Capitol Building (Fransen Pittman)
    • Hosted by: John White, Burns Morrison, and Rich Mendez
  • Water Treatment Facility (Garney Construction)
    • Hosted by: Jefferson Lewis and Adam Theriault
  • Lockheed Martin Satellite Production Facility (Hensel Phelps)
    • Hosted by: Jonathan Couch

Activities such as site visits and meetings with professionals have a significant positive and long lasting impact on students. In addition to increasing the relevance of information addressed in the BCS curriculum, site visits and meetings with professionals provide additional reference points that faculty incorporate in studio projects and discussions. These experiences also expose students to the variety of career paths and professional opportunities available to them.

The BCS Program is committed to increasing the scope and value of educational experiences for its students by engaging with professionals; achieving this goal would not be possible without the generous time and commitment of many individuals, companies, organizations and institutes who supported and hosted BCS students during the 2018 spring field trip.

First-year building construction science students present tiny house frames

November 30th, 2017 Comments Off on First-year building construction science students present tiny house frames

First-year building construction science students – led by Assistant Professor Lee Carson and College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West – spent the semester working on several projects that prepared them and led up to the design and construction of two tiny house frames, one steel and one wood.

The students presented their work in front of classmates and several invited guests, including MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner, on Wed., Nov. 29.

When constructing the concrete foundation for both tiny houses, students learned in a hands-on manner about the nature of concrete, foundation systems, construction drawings and a quantity take off. 

The structural frames portion of the project taught them about the properties of steel and wood structural frames, framing assembly techniques, job management, basic spatial layout designs and basic design decisions.

Important lessons were learned during the construction process about the value of working together as a team and communication.

Next semester, students will continue to learn about more of the construction process through further work on the tiny houses.

Watch the video with Assistant Professor Lee Carson explaining the projects:

Watch the video of two students explaining the steel frame construction process:

BCS hosts lecture on arbitration in the construction industry

November 20th, 2017 Comments Off on BCS hosts lecture on arbitration in the construction industry

By Regan Horn | BCS senior

Starting off a series of lectures for the Building Construction Science Program, George C. Martin Jr. (president, Construction Management Inc. of Virginia and partner, Martin Industrial Park Venture LLC) presented on the topic of arbitration on Oct. 27.

In his lecture titled, Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and Mediation in the Construction Industry, Martin discussed the other option of resolution in the industry.

Typically, BCS students do not learn about arbitration, mitigation and litigation until their senior year in the Professional Communication & Practice course; however, Martin’s lecture provided an insight into the world of dispute resolution for all BCS students.

Topics that were discussed during the lecture included what is arbitration, what are the benefits of arbitration and who is an arbitrator.

After the lecture, Martin was able to talk more with the seniors in Assistant Professor Michele Herrmann’s fourth-year studio about more detailed information on arbitration.

Martin has more than 35 years’ experience as a construction management professional including general contracting, property development, construction management and construction consulting. His construction career began with work on projects as a carpenter during school breaks throughout high school and college. He entered general contracting following completing a degree in architecture from The Catholic University of America. Initially, he was involved in estimating tasks and had the opportunity to complete design work while also serving as a construction engineering officer with the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Martin has served as project manager on a wide variety of projects including shopping centers, churches, schools, industrial, multi-family housing, medical and institutional and government facilities. Following a period of greater responsibility for acquiring new work, he assumed presidency of a general contracting firm and founded a new entity specifically focused on construction management. While continuing to perform general contracting work, he directed the focus of the business towards construction management. He currently serves as both construction manager and construction consultant for a variety of clients including utility companies (Pepco – 20 years), surety, private owners and institutions. As both constructor and consultant, he was involved in numerous claims recovery, adversarial and mediation proceedings.

BCS 3213 class visits Starkville Electric Department Warehouse

November 18th, 2017 Comments Off on BCS 3213 class visits Starkville Electric Department Warehouse

Via Edward Kemp

The BCS 3213 class visited the Starkville Electric Department Warehouse on Nov. 16.

The group was led by Tommy Sullivan, manager of engineering and operations, and Jason Horner, systems engineer.

While visiting, the class discussed the Starkville Electric Department’s processes and the contractor’s responsibilities of installation and energizing an electric service to a building. The students were shown many different types of transformers, meters, cabling, insulators, switches, fuses and breakers that are typically utilized by a utility company for power distribution to customers.

The group also viewed the city’s primary substation and discussed its importance and function in the local power supply.

BCS students participate in ASC competition

November 16th, 2017 Comments Off on BCS students participate in ASC competition

By Regan Horn, BCS senior

Each year, the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) hosts a competition that challenges students to prepare and present a proposal to a problem statement in less than 48 hours.

This year, the Building Construction Science Program helped prepare a competition team to compete in the Design Build category of the competition. The team consisted of Hunter Bullock (2nd year), Regan Horn (4th year), Cora Howell (4th year), Kacie Lynn James (2nd year), Robert Montoux (2nd year) and Harrison Walker (4th year). The faculty coaches were Visiting Associate Professor George Martin and Assistant Professor Saeed Rokooei. The Lemoine Company sponsored the teams for the second year.

The Region 2 competition was held Oct. 24-26 in Peachtree City, Ga.

The problem statement for the Design Build competition was to create a parking garage that could house 1,500 parking spots, a baseball and soccer field, as well as be created into a completely new building in 10-15 years. This year’s team presented a well thought-out and detailed plan of a mass timber parking garage, impressing the judges with the plan’s innovation. 

Each year, there is also an opportunity for younger students to participate in a shadow competition. They are given a similar but smaller project and asked to complete it in one working day. The only difference is the students are placed into groups with students from other universities. The Mississippi State students that participated as shadows were Tori Thompson, Jalyn Wallin, John McMahon, Chris Sharp and Bobby Fatherree. The shadow team that Tori Thompson was a part of placed first in the shadow competition.

BCS students follow condo construction progress

November 15th, 2017 Comments Off on BCS students follow condo construction progress

Via Edward Kemp

Building construction science students in Edward Kemp’s building systems course (BCS 3213) visited the Guest Drive condominium project site this week as a followup to their visit last month.

Students looked at construction progress related to the electrical, plumbing and water components of the project.

They were joined by Joyner Williams, chief building official for the city of Starkville. 

In addition to observing construction progress, Williams explained the building department review and inspection process in the city of Starkville.

 

 

BCS class visits Starkville condominium project

October 24th, 2017 Comments Off on BCS class visits Starkville condominium project

Students from the Building Construction Science (BCS) program at Mississippi State University recently went on a site visit to observe electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems for an eight-unit condominium project in Starkville.

Joyner Williams, chief building official for the city of Starkville, and representatives from Morgan Construction Company guided students through the project and discussed construction details with the students.

The group will visit the site again in a few weeks to see the construction progress.

The students are enrolled in a class on building systems (BCS 3213) led by Professor Edward Kemp that is part of the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Management at MSU.

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