RCMC: Challenging Builders-to-Be


Penn State students pose with their first-place trophy.

The NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition celebrated 25 years of challenging student builders Jan. 21 at the Westgate during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

It’s a marathon of work for the 54 student teams, the judges and event organizers — but when you see a group of high school kids dancing joyously with their first-place trophy, you understand why it’s worth it, said student chapter director Greg Zick.

The team from Penn State University took first-place honors in the four-year college category, while Tarrant County College South in Texas garnered the top award for the two-year college program.

And because there is no more room to engrave another school name on the trophy for high school programs, the winners – Williamsport Area High School in Pennsylvania – don’t have to return the trophy after displaying it for the year. “They were basically running around outside the Westgate with the trophy over their heads,” Zick said.

Each category had a different problem to solve and then present to the judges, who were acting as a fictitious company’s senior executive team during the competition.

For instance, four-year schools had to create a business plan for a residential development that included construction schedules, risk management, marketing, floor plans and green building initiatives. “You will need to convince the senior executive team that you have a viable project that will meet the company’s goals of building excellent communities while achieving the financial objectives of the company,” the students were told.

After two days of presentations and judging, 900 students, advisors and building industry professionals waited anxiously to hear who won.

“Just showing up for this challenging competition is an accomplishment that you should be proud of,” NAHB CEO Jerry Howard told the students.

See the full list of winners. Project descriptions for the 2016 competition will be posted this fall. For additional information about NAHB Student Chapters, contact Greg Zick at 800-368-5242 x8493.

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