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Alumnus Develops Industry Collaboration Student Symposium

Mississippi State University School of Architecture Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn, (BArch ‘03), along with colleagues Hans Herrmann, and Michele Herrmann, won the ACSA Robert Brooks Collaborative Practice Award for Leadership and Practice for the Integrated Project Delivery Theater organized in January 2015. This award-winning symposium was designed to introduce industry collaboration principles to architecture students.

Professor McGlohn describes the project:

As projects become more complex and performance based, industry professionals must work together to provide functional, cost effective, and well-designed buildings. The allied disciplines of architecture, construction, and engineering are becoming interdependent, and more pressure is being applied to the relationships between owners, designers, and builders. Before they enter professional practice it is important to teach collaborative models of work to students.

The development and performance of a two-day symposium, entitled Integrated Project Delivery Theater, which uses problem-based vignettes and an industry partnership to demonstrate the importance of collaboration to architecture and construction students is the subject of this paper. As a framework, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) IPD guide was used to create six interactive vignettes that demonstrate collaborative characteristics of IPD: teams, process, risk, compensation/reward, communication/technology, and agreements.11 Although the symposium’s basis is IPD, the principles of collaboration are transferable to other project delivery methods.

There are four parts to the organization of the symposium: observe, discuss, practice, and identify. First, participants observe an introduction to the subject of the vignette. A discussion follows the observation phase, which is led by faculty. Participants then practice by completing the problem-based activity designed for each of the six principles. Participants share results of the vignette, and discussion follows, which is led by the industry professionals to identify real-life application of each principle. Above, in Figure 2, a diagram depicts the interactions between students, faculty and industry professionals. This cycle of activities occurs for each IPD principle.

Industry professionals from the AIA Firm of the Year, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, Turner Construction Company, and ADAMS, a program management consultant participated in the 2015 symposium and made these concepts accessible to the students through shared personal experience. This team of practitioners worked together to design and construct the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC), which was completed in 2011 and named by the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the top ten green projects of 2015.

The symposium was funded through a grant awarded by the Architecture + Construction Alliance (A+CA) and with funds provided by the authors’ institution. The grant was awarded in November of 2013. Planning for the symposium took place during 2014, and the event was held in January of 2015.

To view the submitted work go to: