June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.175.1 - 23.175.11
An Innovative Partnering Approach: Industry Led Construction Labs AbstractThe University of Oklahoma’s (OU) Construction Science (CNS) program was challenged withimplementing a hands-on materials and methods lab to support related coursework. With the helpof the Board of Visitors (BOV) and industry partners the division created the ConstructionFundamentals Lab (CNS 2812). The industry partners procured a facility to hold the labs andprovided trade instructors to teach the hands-on skills. The course objective was for studentwork crews to construct a mockup of a typical exterior wall section on a formed reinforcedconcrete foundation. The wall section included finished sheetrock, metal studs, insulation, in-wall blocking, CMU and a brick veneer. Limited plumbing, electrical, HVAC and acousticalceiling installations were added as part of an interior space created by connecting two of theindividual wall mock-ups. Each stage of the wall section construction was taught by a tradeprofessional from that particular trade and most materials were donated by suppliers. Forexample, during the concrete foundation lab session, the concrete was donated by a local ready-mix supplier and the concrete installation was taught by a concrete contractor’s superintendent.The wall section was adapted from a set of project plans that are also used in plan reading,estimating, scheduling and project controls courses. As part of the nine lab series, students wererequired before each lab to prepare pre-construction submittals (including dimensioned andlabeled work sketches for what was to be built), material specifications, installation tolerances,building code conditions in force, quality assessment guidelines or conditions (includingworkmanship), safety requirements and equipment for each installation. After completing theinstallation, students submitted a post-construction submittal assessing their work and includingas-built measurements, a write-up of how the work conformed to preconstruction submittalrequirements, an assessment of workmanship, photos supporting the results, and a summary ofwork or management issues faced in meeting the standards.The authors offer this replicable model for reinforcing the concepts of material and methodstolerances, code and specification compliance, quality management, and safety concerns as thebasis for other engineering and construction programs to explore in the development of similarlab experiences. As part of this paper the authors share their observations related to the initialcourse offering. The authors feel that many learning objectives can be met by the inclusion ofpreconstruction and post-construction activities with the physical construction of the simple wall.Partnering with industry benefits the program by providing facilities, materials, and instructionwhich in turn benefits industry by providing a path for university involvement and recruitment.
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