Blog

CAN what? – Canstruction Boston

The WIT CM Club is participating in Boston’s CANstruction competition and fundraising event! For those don’t know about CANstruction, it is a competition that helps raise hunger awareness and donates food to those in need. There are teams of people that create non-perishable, canned food sculptures to fit the year’s theme. This year’s theme is Heroes vs. Villains, and the CM Club is creating a Batman vs. The Riddler figurine sculpture for the competition. Once the competition is over, all the canned food will be donated to those in need.

We have completed the initial design phase and are starting to collect cans. Check out our designs below to see what we will be creating!

Canstruction Iso View 2
Batman vs. The Riddler – WIT & NEU Canstruction Boston 2018 Design Model

As you can see, we still have a lot to do before we will be ready to build the sculptures prior to the competition in October. If you are interested in collecting cans or building the sculpture, there is still time to sign up! You can sign up for the specific part of the event you wish to help with, or you can sign up for everything, it’s up to you!

Currently, we need volunteers to help set up the CANstruction design for the competition. Set up day is Saturday October 6th, and will start at 8:00am and finish at 8:00pm, unless we finish construction of the sculpture early. There will be 3 shifts lasting 4 hours each, and we are looking to get 5 people per shift.

If interested in signing up, click here or email us at cmclub@wit.edu! If you wish to learn more, contact us at cmclub@wit.edu or talk to the CM Club at the annual CM Club BBQ on September 25th.

 

Written by Andrea Fredericks (CM Club Acting President)

Fredericks Headshot

How Do You Revolutionize Building Design & Construction?

As a leader in education for the built environment, Wentworth Institute of Technology is on the leading edge of building innovation. The WIT College of Professional & Continuing Education recently asked professor John Cribbs to share his thoughts on a significant innovation, Building Information Modeling, or BIM, which promises to revolutionize the ways buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained. The CM Club thought it would be interesting to share this blog with our members.

 What is BIM?

Productivity in the construction industry is declining due, in part, to the continued reliance on traditional design and fabrication information typically found in two-dimensional drawings. While various sectors of the manufacturing industry have adopted the use of digital models for product design and fabrication, the construction industry is still heavily reliant on people, rather than computers, to read and interpret important data. In response to this, the AEC industry is becoming increasingly focused on Building Information Modeling, or BIM. Alternately defined as a process and as a digital object model, BIM is changing the way those in the construction industry understand and visualize a building from planning through final use, ultimately, improving productivity.

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) defines BIM as: a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such, it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable base for decisions during its life cycle.” Put another way, BIM describes tools, processes and technologies, that are facilitated by machine-readable documentation about a building, its performance, planning, construction and operation. Together, these varied parts create a Building Information Model, or interactive representation of a facility as it is designed or exists. Unlike traditional, 2d CAD drawings, and more advanced 3d CAD drawings, BIM combines the 3d CAD models with all the information required for designing, building and maintaining a facility.

The BIM Landscape

A shortage of skilled labor, along with shifts in supply-chain management and declining productivity have created a unique landscape for the growth of BIM in the AEC industry.  A recent study by McGraw Hill Smart Market Report, indicates that several factors, including the retirement of baby boomers, recession, and inadequate training for incoming workers have contributed to a significant labor shortage especially among specialty trade contractors, such as HVAC and the electrical trades. A similar study by the NIBS found that by the year 2020, the US will experience a shortage of nearly 1 million engineers.

At the same time, an increase in the use of technology in place of manual labor, greater process enhancement and project complexity have shifted traditional approaches to AEC supply chain management. Together with declining productivity, and the lasting impacts of the financial downturn of 2008, these changes have led to shifts in project management. Some in the industry have responded by reverting back to more traditional practices, relying on basic design, bid and build to win projects and recoup losses, while others have innovated new approaches to push the envelope in integrated knowledge-based project delivery. The purpose of this approach is to realize significant gains through shared expertise and knowledge, as well as the successful delivery of a project under budget and on an expedited schedule.

With the emergence of integrated teams, delivery methods for design and construction of facilities and supply-chain management techniques has come the growth of more transparent design and construction documentation methods, like BIM, which has been adopted at different rates throughout the AEC industry and building lifecycle.

The future of BIM

At Wentworth, the Miles and Eugenia Sweeney Department of Construction Management is committed to promoting these proven technologies through the introduction of a new physical lab/classroom space dedicated to integrated and interdisciplinary technology solutions. The new Bond Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Lab at Wentworth will provide students–from undergraduates, to part-time students, to corporate training partners–with access to state-of-the-art technology and expose them to tools and processes which are becoming AEC industry standard (many of which are BIM-centric). The lab offers a unique setting for cross-disciplinary education and is meant to foster a collaborative learning process which engages multiple academic departments as well as industry partners.

In the Bond Virtual Design and Construction Lab, students can expect to:

  • Experience how project teams and various disciplines understand and visualize building and infrastructure projects through the engagement of BIM;
  • Get hands-on training in various software tools to manage information used in the design, construction, scheduling, and budgeting processes which directly impact overall project outcomes;
  • Learn how to visually understand a project in multiple dimensions or phases with different objectives;
  • Develop the skills needed to advance in a successful career in the AEC industry.

Technology offers another layer in which to understand a building or infrastructure. The appropriate use of technology has been shown to save time and money, enhance stakeholder collaboration/communication, and create better overall project outcomes when compared with more traditional methods. As the AEC industry begins to adopt and embrace these innovative approaches to designing, constructing, and operating/maintaining our built environment, we challenge our students, and partners, to do the same.

About the Author:

John_Cribbs

Dr. John Cribbs is an Assistant Professor of Construction Management at Wentworth Institute of Technology and serves as the Faculty Advisor to the CM Club. Dr. Cribbs earned his PhD in Construction Management from the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University. His research focused on Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows for enhanced quality control and labor time utilization for coordinated MEP and specialty trade equipment, from design-to-install, in retrofit environments. Before joining Wentworth, Dr. Cribbs served as a Principal at Green Ideas Building Science Consultants, based in Phoenix.

REFERENCES:
MCGRAW-HILL (2012). CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY WORKFORCE SHORTAGES: ROLE OF CERTIFICATION, TRAINING AND GREEN JOBS IN FILLING THE GAPS. SMARTMARKET REPORT.
ANSI (2007). NATIONAL BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING STANDARD. NBIM, 180.
WIT CPCE (2018) – https://sites.wit.edu/learn-lead/2018/05/08/how-do-you-revolutionize-building-design-and-construction/

How to Succeed in the CM Program!

Many incoming students may be curious on how to excel in the Construction Management program. There are some obvious ways, such as attending class and doing the assigned work, and then some other not so obvious ways. This should help you figure out what is best for you to expand your knowledge and succeed in Wentworth’s CM program.

So, first things first, attend classes and pay attention. Easy enough, right? Sometimes you may not want to go to that 8am, but remember you are paying to go to class and the topic in that class is important for your future career. It’s not as simple as just going to class, you need to pay attention and do the work in front of you. That includes taking notes, participating in class, asking questions, and doing the homework. Now, it’s not just about finishing up an assignment as quickly as possible.  Take your time and learn the information in front of you. Don’t memorize it for the test to immediately forget it afterwards, study and learn the material so you can retain as much as you can. The subjects and lessons are important, and they are used in the office or field after you graduate, so it’s good to try and absorb as much as possible.

Doing well in class and learning that information is obviously helpful and is a great start to succeeding as a CM student, but there are additional ways to expand your knowledge outside of classes. This is where the CM Club comes in. The club offers a plethora of ways to learn and do more with the construction industry. We offer several opportunities to go on site visits to see different types of construction sites, how each one is organized and operates slightly different from one to the next, and to see what you’ve been learning about in class in the field. Site visits also allow you to ask questions to the professionals that work on the site about the project.

Another way of learning outside of class is by attending the CM Club sponsored conference trips. We attend Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), and many other construction conferences in different states across the United States. Each conference is slightly different, but they all have lectures on different topics dealing with the construction industry and networking events. Industry professionals attend these conferences to stay on top of the newest information in the industry and continue their learning. Networking time slots encourage professionals to mingle with one another, but is also a great experience for students, as well. These people would be working for a company that you want to work for someday and is a great way to get your foot in the door. Many students have received contact information for co-op opportunities by networking at these conferences.

The Construction Management Club has several other methods to expand your knowledge of the construction industry. These include, but are not limited to: guest speakers, competitions, charity events, and more. Guest speakers consist of industry professionals visiting Wentworth to speak about specific topics dealing with the construction industry. This is a great way to learn more about certain subjects you may be interested in or a way to speak to an industry professional about what they do or to ask any questions about what they do. As for the competitions and charity events, the CM Club is involved in CANstruction, which is a competition to create a themed can food sculpture to help raise hunger awareness in Boston, MA.

CANStruction Web Call Canstruction Boston Blog Post

The CM club has also partnered with Freedom by Design to help build a new summer camp cabin for the YMCA. These are just two of the many activities that the CM Club offers to students. Please visit the website or attend a meeting to learn more about what this club offers. Participating in CM Club events helps students take the information taught in class and allows them to see how it’s used in the field and enables students to learn about topics that may not be available to learn in class.

 

Written by Andrea Fredericks (Vice President – Acting)

Fredericks Headshot

Co-Op…? What? How? and Why?

Hello CM Department, my name is Anna Hall; I am a Senior in Construction Management!  Wentworth is a great school, ensuring to provide you with plenty of experience before graduation, thanks to the co-op program. In my Fall Semester of 2016, I attended the CMAA Rising Star, and National Conference in San Diego, with the CM Club. While attending such an event you not only gain knowledge and information from the people speaking and teaching, but you gain relationships with professionals in the field. During one of the mingling breakout sessions, I was talking with industry professionals asking advice as I was in the middle of searching for my first required co-op. I eventually stumbled upon Charlie Boylard, one of the owners of MBP – the company where I did my two mandatory co-ops and will be working at full-time upon graduation. Charlie provided me with knowledge, and what would become a life-changing opportunity.

As someone who took part in the optional, and two mandatory co-ops with the CM department. I felt as though I was always learning and coming back to school with a better understanding of what is discussed in the classroom. Some of my co-ops were hands-on, and some not so much. Working with a company that allowed me to grow, allowed me to learn all different aspects of what a construction manager does, and the task and responsibilities of the job.

The CM Department at Wentworth does a fantastic job helping you find a co-op or a job fitting your wants and needs. While Wentworth holds frequent Job Fairs, the CM Department also offers a CM only job fair in the fall semester to assist students with finding jobs, or companies that interest them.  Also, Wentworth has a website called WitWorks, which helps students search for job postings, for co-ops or full-time employment.

Learning as much as possible from each co-op and different position I took, applying it to what we learn in class, and taking time to learn about the technology and people in my industry, have prepared me for the next steps in my life. Graduating from Wentworth with a Degree in Construction Management allowed me to experience three completely different jobs, find me a company and a career in the Industry, and be confident that I will be successful in my career.

Written By Anna Hall (CM Club Acting President)

Hall

Why Become An Active Member?

Knowledge is power in all industries, but it has turned out to be especially true for the construction industry. When I came into this industry as a student I was extremely overwhelmed when trying to understand everything a building does and how to successfully build one. A construction manager needs to understand everything from excavating a foundation through building systems and finishes, along with all the installation procedures and logistics related to weather conditions or environmental impact; not to mention the cost estimating, scheduling, cost tracking, and all the software programs that are used. In order to learn as much as possible, I turned to the CM Club to supplement my in-class learning. The club has offered me so much valuable experience in the form of site-visits, networking, conferences, guest lectures, and just making friends with other CM students.

One of my favorite benefits of being an active CM Club member is being able to travel and attend conferences at a low price. So far, I have traveled to Las Vegas and Washington D.C. with the CM Club. My favorite event was CONEXPO in Las Vegas where there was over 4 million square feet filled with all the industry’s top companies in equipment, building materials, and new technology. The experience has been so valuable for my career and the connections made have expanded my network across the country. Some of the topics in discussion are so ahead of the industry and difficult to learn in the classroom and most people do not even know about them – there is so much to learn just from talking with leading professionals in the industry. These events will put you in the right place at the right time and will have you rubbing elbows with these people.

Another cool benefit is site visits. By being able to walk through some of Boston’s largest projects I have learned many new concepts, and challenges that professionals face every day. There is always something to learn from every person you meet, and every project visited.

The club also offers opportunities to work with your hands with volunteer build days. For example, we have started building a cabin for the YMCA in Canton at Camp Ponkapoag (construction will continue this fall, get involved). It has been a lot of fun so far to help out and get some more hands-on experience.

At the beginning of my Junior year, I was lucky enough to be selected as Treasurer of the CM Club. I was happy to accept the role, and my experience with the club has become even better. As an e-board member, I have developed better relationships with professors, students, and professionals. Active membership is a great thing to put on a resume and being a board member is even better. I feel that the position makes me more competitive for any job I apply for. The position shows that I have experience in a leadership position, which is a trait that many companies desire. It is also very rewarding work to help other students gain experience and learn new things.

The past few years have been transformative in my career thanks in large part to my involvement in the CM Club. I have grown my network, built up my resume, become knowledgeable in the newest technology and biggest problems, and have had a lot of fun in the process by meeting so many great people.

 

Written By Michael Iascone (CM Club Treasurer)

Michael Iascone Headshot