Student home builders team takes first place in national competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) took first place in the Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition, held during the NAHB International Builders Show on Jan. 20 to 22 in Las Vegas.

A total of 34 four-year schools participated in the competition, which gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company by completing a management project/proposal.

Penn State has competed since 2005-06 but has never placed higher than sixth.

This year's project consisted of a 40.7 acre site in Lebanon, Tennessee. Named Hamilton Centre, the site was designed as a Transit Oriented Development and involved the design of four home types and nine floor plans.

"Penn State's proposal included a total of 692 units including mixed use and commercial spaces. The combination of high density development (24.64 units per acre) and mixed product types allowed Penn State's team to market their development to a wide variety of buyers," said Chris Guyan, a senior in civil engineering.

The team includes Naci Al, senior in civil engineering; Stephanie Archer, senior in finance; Emma Dickson, sophomore in civil engineering and economics; Paige Donnell, a fourth-year architectural engineering student; Alec Galanti, senior in finance and economics; Jillian Grzywacz, senior in risk management; Guyan; and Victoria Riedinger, a fourth-year architectural engineering student.

They were advised by several members of the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center staff, including Katie Blansett, Bryan Heitzmann, Chris Hine and Brian Wolfgang as well as Tom Skibinski, instructor in civil engineering.

Penn State was recognized at the NAHB Student Chapters Award Ceremony on Jan 21. The team received a traveling trophy, a $1,000 check and digital scales from Calculated Industries.

Established in 1942, the NAHB is a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority.

Last Updated January 30, 2015