Holly Burke

Cal Poly construction management students have, for the second year in a row, earned first place in the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Student Competition in Orlando, Fla.

The Polytex team developed a proposal for a 10-acre, 175-unit condominium in Addison, Texas. The students spent more than 300 hours on the project.

The NAHB has held the student competition for 16 years, and the Cal Poly teams have participated in the past six. Cal Poly students topped the 34 other universities in the competition. Nearly 105,000 builders and associates attended the international competitions.

“All (students) on the team had prior internship experience with other homebuilders,” said Jeremy Johnson, a civil engineering senior, the only non-construction management major on the team.

“We were able to apply our knowledge not only from the classroom, but from our previous experience. That really helped,” Johnson said.

“This is the strongest team we’ve fielded for this competition,” Barbara Jackson, a Cal Poly construction management professor and Polytex team coach, said in a press release.

“The team’s commitment to excellence and their prep work were extraordinary. I am particularly impressed that this team earned first-place scores from all six judges. That’s highly unusual.”

The students submitted 341 pages of architecture elevations, site layout, market analysis, demographics, construction cost estimates, building plans and a management approach.

“We were able to fly a couple of team members out to (Addison, Texas) to talk to city planners and local architects. We felt the current (building) had a claustrophobic feel, so we split the long buildings in half and created a walkway,” Johnson said.

Johnson believes that change helped the team win the competition.

The award included $2,000, a plaque and a traveling legacy trophy. The team was sponsored by the local Homebuilders Association of the Central Coast and national sponsors Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, Shea Homes and Syncon Homes.

“These students represent the future of Southern California’s construction industry,” Ram Fullen, division manager for Standard Pacific Homes Coachella Valley Division, said in a press release.

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