Todd Usher is helping a team of seven Clemson University students prepare for the National Association of Home Builders’ Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC).
The students – all juniors and seniors in Clemson’s Construction Science and Management program – are competing with peers from across the country as they apply skills learned in the classroom to a real-world construction project. Each team receives a problem statement outlining an actual project for which they must produce working drawings, schedules, budgets, project management, sustainability standards, sales and marketing, and pricing/financial analysis; then, they must defend their overall proposal to a group of construction company executives.
“The Residential Construction Management Competition provides the most real-world experience these students are likely to have prior to graduation,” says Usher, president of Addison Homes, who prepped the Clemson team on sustainable construction methods and materials. “It’s a hands-on opportunity to put theory into practice.”
Having industry professionals mentor the Clemson team takes students well beyond their reference books, says Jason Lucas, assistant professor in Clemson’s department of Construction Science and Management.
“Having Todd come in and discuss his experiences provides students with a current market view and practical application of the theories we discuss in class,” Lucas says. “By going over the National Green Building Standard and ICC 700 worksheet, he took something that was abstract to them and put it into practical terms. This gives the students a real headstart getting into the RCMC project.”
The Clemson RCMC team received their problem statement Monday, Sept. 8, and will defend their proposal in front of judges – and an audience – during the International Builders’ Show in January in Las Vegas.