L-Rej Awit, Arsenio Figo, Grant Hoffman, Aria Mascall and Helena Zikov, known as the Cardinal Design-Build team, bested 21 other teams from around the nation in a two-phase competition culminating at the 2022 Design-Build Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.
The competition format is based on a true procurement process, said Professor of Practice Dean Papajohn, who is faculty advisor for the DBIA-UA Chapter. Industry partners encouraged Papajohn to establish the chapter when he joined the faculty in 2015. Design and construction industry professionals recognize the DBIA competition as one of the premier events students can participate in, he said.
Cardinal Design-Build first responded to a Request for Qualifications, then a Request for Proposals for a parking facility with classrooms and recreation spaces on a college campus in Michigan.
Hoffman estimates the team members spent a combined total of at least 1,000 hours on the project since the start of the fall semester. The team provided a full estimate cost of the $30 million dollar building, as well as a construction schedule, full model design, and a 70-page narrative describing the students’ approach to construction.
Papajohn attributes the win to the students’ collaborative team culture.
“They helped each other out as needed, encouraged one another, and kept a positive outlook even when things got busy or confusing,” he said.
For Hoffman, the victory was an important boost at a time when he’s preparing to graduate and begin his career at Sundt Construction.
“I've helped prove to myself that my goals are achievable, no matter how far-fetched they seem. While I knew we had the team and capability to win, it's still hard to picture that happening sometimes, and having that payoff is worth every bit of time.”
Hoffman has found the competition experience just as valuable as an internship.
“Taking advantage of the opportunities we have is so important. When that work pays off, it feels absolutely amazing,” he said.