Students enrolled in the Construction Management degree program at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville visited a luxury custom home under construction to learn more about a possible career in residential home building. Sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA), in conjunction with the Custom Builders and Remodelers Council (CBRC), nearly 70 students experienced an active residential building site for the first time.
The concept for the home tour first developed during a conversation between UNF adjunct professor and NEFBA associate member, David Hacker, and NEFBA Board member, Michael Lenahen, who owns Aurora Builders. Hacker mentioned that students in the UNF construction management program were taught a wide range of topics covering all aspects of construction, but their limited field exposure came primarily through internship opportunities with commercial construction firms. Lenahen felt something needed to be done to expose the students to career opportunities in residential construction as well.
Aurora Builders was constructing a 10,392 sq. ft. luxury custom home for a client in Ponte Vedra Beach and offered to host the construction management students and professors for a home tour. Not only did they enjoy seeing the concrete block and wood framed structure up close, but the students learned about the entire process from plan design to breaking ground.
At one location inside the home, students learned about the role of the architect, structural engineer, interior designer and contractor during the plan design phase. At another location, they were explained the bidding and estimating process, material specifications, and awarding of subcontracts. Then at a third location, the students learned about project administration and the role of the field superintendent.
Following a brief question and answer session, the students boarded the bus back to campus with many now considering a career in residential home building. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback received so far, NEFBA plans to partner more closely with the UNF construction management program to begin molding the minds of the next generation of building professionals.