BYU-I students prepare for winter NAHB competition

BYU-Idaho students in the National Association of Home Builders are preparing to compete in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 19-21, 2016, for the Residential Construction Management Competition.

“NAHB is a club of home builders across the nation,” said Amandee Brown, the current project manager and a senior studying construction managment. “Each year they put on a collegiate competition, and we call it the four-year team.”

NAHB is involved with helping people find affordable and safe housing, according to NAHB’s website.

“Since 1990, this national competition has given students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company,” according to NAHB’s website.

Each September, students nationwide are given a challenge. Their university must meet certain specifications and plan out a neighborhood subdivision. In the competition, students are in charge of starting with a land plot and seeing the project through until the house is sold, Brown said.

“We have to have all the numbers, all of the estimates, all of the plans, all of the marketing, discovering the competition in the area, everything for this,” Brown said. “Then you compile it into a 100-150 page book.”

At the Homebuilders Show, the students will present their work to the judges and plead their case for why they should be the team to build the project, Brown said.

The competition reward means NAHB will incorporate the team’s ideas into the building process. The school also receives a cash prize and updated tools, Brown said.

“We welcome people who are from business, communications and accounting, but mainly, it is aimed to construction management and architecture,” Brown said. “But when we do have the other majors that are a part of it, the judges love that, and they always comment about it.”

Emily Ward, a senior studying construction management, said that being involved in NAHB is a great oppurtunity to meet other people and gain crucial sills.

Ward said she enjoys construction because she gets to see families find joy and excitement in their homes.

“I think that family and home are so key in our religion and that makes building homes is pretty cool,” she said.

NAHB has two different competitions including a four-year competition for everyone and a two-year competition for freshmen and sophomores, Ward said.

“In the two-year program, I got a good amount of exposure to how people design,” Ward said. “My first year, I didn’t have any clue what was going on, but it was good to learn how to work with a team and to understand how to use some of the basic programs and to organize things how it would be done in the real world.”

Ward said the NAHB team has one house to build in the two year program whereas in the four-year program, the students are in charge of a whole development. The four-year program follows a production development format with the purpose to build really fast with the same design. The two-year program follows a custom building format making it unique, typically higher quality with more detail.

“The four-year one, I feel, is a lot more intense,” Ward said. “You can also have a bigger team, so you learn to work with more people.”

The NAHB group meets together Thursdays at 5 p.m in the Mark Austin Technology/Engineering Building conference room. For more information, contact Brown at

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