Over the last semester I have learned many things about the construction industry and process. Here are some closing comments about the course as a whole.

During the first week of class we set out what we wanted to get out of the course. I put down I wanted to learn the steps in the construction process from requests for proposals to final completion of the project. I also wanted to learn about what makes something ‘constructible.’

Through the semester I learned about many of the steps involved in the construction process. I could make an entire list of what I learned here but instead I will include some highlights here and encourage you to head over to the main page for a more complete list of what I learned this semester in all the blog posts.

Highlights include learning the steps that go into the bidding process. This is critical information that I did not know all the details about before. I particularly appreciated learning about the different project delivery methods. I had heard about Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build before, but I did not understand the difference that the bidding stage made, and when one method would be preferable to the other. I also enjoyed being introduced to REVIT. Most internship and job applications that I am interested in require AutoCAD and/or REVIT experience, so I recognized the importance of the program, but I did not know what exactly it does or even had opened the program before. Even though we only had a cursory introduction to BIM, I understand the basic functions of what the program can do.  I also now know that my experience with AutoCAD will allow me to pick up REVIT fairly easily. One last topic that I would like to highlight are specifications. Five months ago I did not know how specifications for materials were given to contractors and certainly did not know how critical they are. Though the hands on activities such as FoodBuild I gained an immense appreciation for how important clear and specific specifications are to the delivery of the project to meet the owner’s and designer’s vision.

I also wanted to learn what makes something constructible, however I realize that was a naive request. The best way to learn how constructible a design is, is through experience in both the design and construction side of the industry.

FoodBuild took a fair amount of work and some guesswork, however, it facilitated learning the specifics of many parts of the construction and design process. I believe that it met its goal very well. Specifically, writing the contract was a learning experience because it involved making sure that there where no loop holes for the contractors. When I compare the FoodBuild activity with a potential K’NEX activity, I think sticking with FoodBuild is the way to go. K’NEX would definitely be easier for the students, but I think it misses several the key learning outcomes I got out of FoodBuild. As I said earlier, the detail that must go into writing specifications is a crucial lesson learned, and would be lost when using K’NEX because the only variable is the length of the part or exact type of connection.

Over all I learned so much this semester about the construction industry. Even though I want to go into design I understand how design fits into the entire process. Thank you Professor Reynolds, for a very informative semester. Now it is time to go study for the final…

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