Interdisciplinary Cal Poly Team Ranks High at Construction Management Competition

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at Cal Poly was awarded third place in the four-year college category of the NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition January 11.

Sixty teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual competition at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida. It challenged students to solve a real-life construction management problem to develop a 32-acre parcel of land by determining costs, scheduling, marketing, the design of the homes, and a feasibility analysis for the project.  In front of an audience of peers, this solution was presented to an investment committee who judged the student proposals.

The Cal Poly team was led by construction management senior and team captain Eric Bet (Woodside); with teammates agricultural business student Bercut Smith (Pasadena); architecture students Billy Blaha (Alpharetta, Georgia) and Joe Lynch (Petaluma); business students Tiffany Chen (Fremont) and Sam Godfrey (Poway); and construction management students Keenan Brekke (Oakland), Zak Faber (Santa Rosa), Kyle Haggard (Danville), Jeffrey Hammond (Paso Robles), Peter Lee (Broomfield), Jimmy Materne (Fresno), and Jeremy Suryadi (Fresno). The team was advised by construction management faculty members Scott Kelting and Stacy Kolegraff.

“I’m proud of the professional proposal our team put together over the past several months,” Bet said. “This experience truly exemplifies Cal Poly’s motto of Learn by Doing and will be remembered as one of our most valuable experiences in our education as we embark on our careers.”

Kelting added: “This competition is invaluable for the students, as it immerses them in all management aspects of the home building industry from land acquisition and development to applying their skills in construction operations, finance, purchasing, marketing and sales. The students were able to practice what they learned in school along with feedback from industry professionals and alumni to solve a real world problem.”

Cal Poly teams are no stranger to the podium at NAHB student competitions. This year’s third-place award marks the 12th time since 2001 that Cal Poly has finished in the top five at the competition. Cal Poly placed first in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

More than 100,000 builders, remodelers, students, faculty members and suppliers packed the aisles at the 2017 International Builders’ Show, Design and Construction Week. Students learned about new products, many focused on home technology and increased energy efficiency.

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