Penn State places fourth in NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student chapter won fourth place in the Four-Year College category of the NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition held at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando in January.

This competition challenges student teams to develop a real-life construction management proposal for a residential sub-division. After developing their problem solutions in the fall semester, teams travel and present their work to a panel of real construction company executive judges at the show. The competition attracted 34 four-year institutions from across the country.

This year’s competition site was an existing 32-acre, $45.8 million site in Decatur, Georgia, slated for redevelopment. The team developed a 97-page proposal for a 376-unit townhome subdivision development that includes four different floorplans built to meet the gold rating from the National Green Building Standard. The proposal also included thoroughly vetted market, financial and risk analyses and a land development plan.

The 2016-2017 team includes Emma Dickson (civil engineering and economics) as the team leader and project manager, Jack Dalton (finance) as the financial analyst, Alex Stack (civil engineering) as the land development specialist, Austin Will (corporate innovation and entrepreneurship) as the sales specialist, Josh Kappel (architectural engineering) as the chief architect and Giuseppe Ciotti (civil engineering) as the assistant project manager.

"Throughout my involvement with the competition over the past three years, I have learned valuable information about project management, land development, marketing and finance of a residential development project,” said Dickson. “This year's project in Decatur, Georgia, allowed our team to think beyond what we already knew and come up with a cutting edge, sustainable townhome development. Our team worked hard to address every detail of our proposal - and our hard work paid off!"

“Congratulations to the NAHB student chapter at Penn State,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.”

The Toll Brothers IBS Travel Grant, the National Housing Endowment IBS Travel Award and the University Park Allocation Committee generously provided the 2016-2017 team travel support. 

Since 2006, the Penn State NAHB student chapter has competed in the NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition at the IBS, which is typically held in Las Vegas, Nevada, or Orlando, Florida.

“Students will remember the competition for the rest of their lives. The judges were impressed with this year’s group, and we expect once again that the participants will be highly sought after when it comes to job offers,” said competition consultant, Dianne Slattery, Ph.D., Slattery Consulting.

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Sarah Lowe



Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394