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Bringing Constructibility Issues To Design Course What Contractors Want You To Know

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Professional Practice in CE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.267.1 - 7.267.5



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Paper Authors

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Douglas Cleary

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 3215

Bringing Constructibility Issues to Design Courses

Douglas B. Cleary Civil and Environmental Engineering Rowan University 201 Mullica Hill Road Glassboro, NJ 08028


This paper describes a teaching tool being developed to fill gaps in the typical student’s knowledge of the construction process. A CD-ROM and/or web site is being created to document construction practices in transportation, bridge, utility and building projects. It will also provide case studies of ways designs can be modified leading to more efficient construction. The information obtained from construction site visits, surveys, and interviews with construction site personnel is being organized in a way that makes the product interactive. Users will be able to focus on areas of construction of most interest. The tool provides a forum for contractors to detail the points they wished engineers knew about construction. The product will also contain miscellaneous information such as a glossary of construction terms and an overview of careers for engineers in construction.

Background and Purpose of the Work

The design content in Civil Engineering curricula across the country is being increased to address accreditation concerns through the introduction of capstone courses and design projects within other courses. Most students are now graduating with some relevant instruction and experience in design1, 2. However contractors note that the designs they are asked to build include features that are difficult or even non-buildable. Often significant field revision occurs to correct oversights, inconsistencies, or omissions in the plans at significant cost to the owner or contractor. Sometimes field revision is required to improve the economy of the work. Lack of experience or knowledge of construction practices on the part of the designer is often cited for these problems. One survey notes that employers are least satisfied with the proficiency of entry-level civil engineers and building science graduates in the areas of management, communications, surveying, and construction 3.

There is limited room in the undergraduate curriculum to include construction practices along with the required engineering science and design. Construction practices can be acknowledged in a limited frame during design courses and further covered through student club field trips and guest speakers. Information related to construction can be found in trade publications and journals devoted to the industry however students probably do not have direct access or the motivation to find these publications unless they are studying construction engineering. A structural engineering student is less likely to see these publications.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Cleary, D. (2002, June), Bringing Constructibility Issues To Design Course What Contractors Want You To Know Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11124

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