It was an international quandary at the Associated Schools of Construction’s (ASC) Region 2 Design-Build Competition last month. Ultimately, the five-member team from the University of Florida solved the knotty puzzle posed by sponsor Carolinas-based A M King, an integrated Design-Build firm with an established presence in the Upstate.
ASC is made up of eight regions: seven regions from the United States and Canada and one European region. Region 2 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
This was the second time that A M King provided the project for the Design-Build portion of the five-part, Integrated Project (IP) Delivery competition. Teams from six schools — Auburn University, Clemson University, Georgia Tech, University of Florida, Kennesaw State, and Seminole State — took on the pseudo role of Design-Builder in constructing a new facility for GAB Operations, LLC., a Mexico-based distributor of fresh and frozen produce. Student teams were informed that the building should serve as both the company’s U.S. headquarters and the main point of distribution from Mexico to the U.S. and Canada.
The battle began with each team receiving a congratulatory letter from A M King announcing their prequalification to bid on a greenfield cold storage distribution facility in Laredo, Texas. The project scope contained development of a seven-acre site in the Pinnacle Industrial Park within the City of Laredo; 10 loading dock positions and 76 additional spaces for trailer and employee parking. Participants were thrown several curveballs related to design of the 35,000-sf distribution portion of the facility. The greatest challenges included accommodating nearly 2,000 pallet positions across five temperature zones and strategic placement of a forced air room, USDA office and 10,000 square feet of class A corporate office space, employee welfare areas and a trucker dormitory. The final twist was that design of the project should take pandemic conditions into account, including social distancing measures for employee and visitor safety.
Each team took this information and then developed plans to comply with the specified requirements. They communicated their plans of action to the judges through written submissions and in-person presentations. At the end of the two-day competition, A M King crowned the University of Florida team as first-place winners. Seminole State’s team took second place and Kennesaw State came in third.
“The ASC Region 2 student construction competitions returned to an in-person event this year and it was an outstanding success,” said John Hildreth, Ph.D., Assistant Region 2 Director and Distinguished Professor and Interim Director at the Kimmel School of Construction Management at Western Carolina University.
“More than 200 students, faculty, and industry partners met in Peachtree City, GA for competitions in five categories. David Sawicki and the team from A M King again ran a first-class Design-Build competition. Six student teams from universities in the southeast developed and presented programming for a company headquarters and cold storage distribution facility. A M King did a great job of challenging the students while making it a fun and educational experience. We are excited to have the team of A M King as part of the Region 2 competitions,” said Hildreth.
A M King is committed to supporting and partnering with select universities in furthering design and construction education. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the ASC sponsors, facility and students,” said Dan Crist, A M King Vice President.
In addition to the ASC’s Design-Build contest, the Integrated Project Delivery competition for Region 2 also comprised the following categories: Commercial, Heavy Civil, Open Concrete Problem and Construction Risk & Finance.
About A M King
A M King is an integrated Design-Build firm based in Charlotte, NC with offices in Greenville, SC and Chicago, IL. An employee-owned company, A M King consistently and successfully delivers quality projects throughout the United States. With an experienced team committed to protecting clients’ assets, the firm provides property consulting, design, construction, and facility services in key market sectors including food processing, food distribution, industrial manufacturing, and corporate properties.
Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) is the professional association of construction educators and industry practitioners working together for the development and advancement of construction education. It promotes the sharing of ideas and knowledge and inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service. There are 143 four-year Construction Management programs of member universities and nine two-year member schools. Graduates from these institutions fill entry-level positions as project engineers, estimators, safety managers, superintendents, BIM managers, preconstruction, document control and communication positions, schedulers, etc.