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An Innovative Partnering Approach: Industry Led Construction Labs

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Construction Industry Issues in the Classroom

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.175.1 - 23.175.11



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Paper Authors


Lisa M Holliday P.E. University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Holliday received her bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. After working for several years in the industry both in engineering design and estimating, she returned to the University of Oklahoma to pursue a PhD. During her PhD she was a Fulbright Fellow and a David L. Boren National Security Fellow studying earthquake resistant structures in developing areas and has studied structures in Turkey, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Haiti. She was also a National Science Foundation Teaching Fellow. She joined the Haskell & Irene Lemon Construction Science faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 2010. Dr. Holliday is a registered Professional Engineer and her current research focus is earthen construction.

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Matthew Reyes University of Oklahoma Orcid 16x16

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Matthew received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&M University. After working for several years in the construction industry both in the field and in management, he joined the Construction Science faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 2012. Along with his research interests in earthen construction and the Latino workforce, he is interested in teaching students to improve their visuo-spatial skills and abilities.

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Richard Cecil Ryan University of Oklahoma

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Currently The Board of Visitors Professor in the Haskell & Irene Lemon Construction Science Division and Associate Dean for Administration for the OU College of Architecture. Directly involved in the development and implementation of the labs described in the article.

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Kenneth F. Robson University of Oklahoma

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Professor Robson received his Bachelors in Environmental Design (1978) and his Bachelors of Science in Building Construction (1978) from Texas A & M University. In the summer of 1993 he received his Masters of Industrial Science in Construction Management from Colorado State University. He worked in the construction industry from 1978 until 1992 in a variety of capacities. He has served as a laborer, field engineer, assistant project manager, project manager, estimator and vice president for various small to medium sized construction companies and as an owner's representative for a national development company. He has managed and estimated construction projects in Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado. After receiving his Master’s Degree, Ken was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Arizona State University for one year before joining the faculty at The University of Oklahoma in the Fall of 1994. Professor Robson has served as the Director of the Haskell & Irene Lemon Construction Science Division since 1996 and is currently the Robert E. Busch Professor in Construction Science. He is teaching the Introduction to the Construction Industry, Leadership in the Construction Industry, International Construction and the Construction Safety Management Class.

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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.

Holliday, L. M., & Reyes, M., & Ryan, R. C., & Robson, K. F. (2013, June), An Innovative Partnering Approach: Industry Led Construction Labs Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19189

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