Michigan State Wins Student Builders Competition (Again)

This year's student builder's competition saw a repeat winner for the first time since 2005.

MSU 4-Year Program Team Members (From Left to Right): Taylor Howes, Aundrea Cole, Alex Beem, Danyel Zmudka, Eric Fantry and Kyle Broccardo. Not Pictured: Evan Harless, Jake Garbarino, Matt Zenk, Sabrina Maniaci.

Move over, New England Patriots. There’s a new dynasty in town.

For the second consecutive year, the Michigan State University Construction Management Competition team took first place at the recent National Association of Home Builder’s Student Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. It marked just the third time a school won back-to-back in the event’s 29 years.

The NAHB’s student competition is an opportunity for teams of students from various colleges and universities to put their knowledge of construction management to the test. The competition requires teams to develop a plan for the construction of a residential construction project from concept to closing.

Every year, the competition supplies students with a new project in a new geographical location. This year’s project required the students to develop a plan for an “age-restricted active adult residential development” in St. George, Utah.

The MSU team’s winning proposal can be viewed online. Within its fifty pages, the six-person student team has mapped out an impressively detailed summary of the project that includes an estimated work schedule, market analysis, financial and risk analysis, and layouts for the proposed buildings.

According to the NAHB, the competition is “a vehicle for the best and brightest college and university students interested in residential construction and development to prepare for and get excited about a career in the homebuilding industry by interacting with and learning from industry professionals.”

Once the students finished their proposal, they stood before a panel of five judges and an audience at the International Builders Show to defend it. The judges were senior executives of development companies, which allowed them to ask the kind of questions such a proposal would face in the real world.

“The MSU team presented a large-scale successful housing project like professionals,” said Vito Castellana, owner of VIP Homes. “Their futures behold big things for our industry.”

Video of their full presentation can be found here.

Teams from Brigham Young University and the University of Wisconsin-Stout finished second and third, respectively, out of the 40 four-year programs that participated. The NAHB also runs competitions for college students in associate programs, and for high school students interested in architecture and construction management.

While many people are rightfully concerned with the lack of young people seeking out the construction industry as a career path, events like these are a great way to get students in higher learning interested in construction industry jobs.