Two construction management teams from Illinois State University participated in the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 3 Student Competitions. The Illinois State University’s 2020 Commercial Team placed first this year in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 Commercial Student Competition. The Commercial team consisted of Charles Mahay, Mike Boffa, Jake Harlow, Caleb Jacob, Brady Messman, and David Moser.

 “I think that this competition in the COVID era was a great experience and practice for the new changes in the Construction Industry. Not only did this competition give us experience with completing a bid proposal completely virtually, but it also provided us the experience of working as a team and presenting virtually as well.”—Caleb Jacob, Commercial Team

The Commercial Competition is capped at 12 teams from within the Associated Schools of Construction Great Lakes Region 3. Walsh Construction was the sponsor of this year’s Commercial Construction Student Competition. The project, a higher education athletic complex, was a real Walsh project.

Based on a problem statement received from Walsh Construction, the Commercial team attended a prebid meeting, and posted a request for information (RFI) to SmartBid using Project Notes. The team’s written proposal was submitted via SmartBid. In its virtual oral presentation, the team had to demonstrate full knowledge of the plans, specifications, problem-solving, methods of construction, presentation, and communication skills. In addition, the team had to apply scheduling and estimating techniques, risk management, budgeting, evaluation of client criteria, and team coordination. This required each team member to understand its role, but also be able to assist other team members.

Under Department of Technology Associate Professor Dr. Euysup Shim’s leadership and guidance, Illinois State University’s Commercial teams placed second in 2014 and 2019 and the Commercial teams placed first in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020. As Richard Miller, ASC executive director, stated, “A true leader is the person who drives the process forward while remaining nameless and watches in delight when those around them succeed and receive the recognition they truly deserve for their excellence.”  

The ASC Region 3 Pre-Construction Competition is a very competitive, extracurricular academic event where student teams from some of the top schools across the nation are chosen to participate and compete to showcase their construction management prowess. It is open to members of any ASC Region and is capped at a total of 10 teams. Each team has six members who are assigned a specific role with specific assigned tasks to complete. The roles include CEO, project manager, project estimator, senior superintendent, safety director, and QA/QC manager. The project and the judges were from Pepper Construction. The project was either a recently completed project or one the company is currently constructing.

The pre-construction project was a 181,000-square-foot, eight-story corporate office headquarters for ASC Region 3 Corporate located in Schaumburg, Illinois.  The building consists of four levels of garage and four levels occupied by office personnel. This project was a Core and Shell meaning that no interior finishes were included in the garage and office space such as drywall, paint, and carpet. It was mainly cast-in-place concrete with a metal panel and aluminum curtainwall exterior system. The owner, Pepper Construction, also included a green roof on the 5th level to bolster the terrace with a small amount of structural steel included.

“As the team captain, this year’s competition also helped me grow into leadership shoes, showing me that I have the potential to lead in the future with further refinement of my skills down the road. That is an experience you really do not get in school. My team performed like first-place material, and I am proud of all the work we accomplished.”

Anthony Jackson, Preconstruction team captain
Preconstruction team virtual oral presentation 1440x932
Preconstruction team virtual oral presentation

The Preconstruction team consisted of Danylo Hyvel, Dominic Bernabei, Jesus Correa, Andrew Tran, Anthony Jackson (team captain), and Ningning Si. Hyvel, and Bernabei participated in the oral presentation through Zoom with Pepper Construction judges.

 The Pre-Construction team learned about the means and methods that revolve around a firm’s preconstruction service and the early relationship that is established between owner, general contractor, and the design team, which is composed of architects and engineers. Understanding project scope and how it relates to each individual role is critical.