Cal Poly SLO and Chico State Lead Reno BIM Competition for Construction Management

Industry Mentors and Vico Software Sets Them Apart


Boulder, CO - June 23, 2009 - Vico Software is proud to congratulate the Construction Management students at California Polytechnic - San Luis Obispo and Chico State University on their recent 1st and 3rd place finishes at the Associated Schools of Construction Management Reno Competition. The Reno Competition is a national showcase for CM students highlighting their understanding of real-world construction industry problems.


Each year, the students are posed with some industry problems from a leading General Contractor, and asked to solve the problems using their understanding of current industry practices, using whichever software programs they choose, over the course of a single day.

This year’s BIM Competition challenge problem came from Webcor Builders in San Francisco. The problem asked the students to model a large corporate campus consisting of three steel-framed office towers, each with a parking garage, and a tenant improvement on the campus.  These models needed to be expressed with Level of Detail 100 through 300. In addition to the models, the students needed to develop the construction sequence, schedule, estimate, and 2D and 3D logistics plan. And keeping with the spirit of real-world experiences, half-way through the competition, the Owner asked to change the three steel-framed office buildings to concrete!

“Webcor Builders is the proud sponsor of the BIM problem at the National Associated Student of Construction competition because we sincerely believe in the importance of teaching BIM skills at the university level,” stated Jim Bedrick, VP at Webcor. “The competition problem was derived from our actual projects. The true challenge is to solve the issues rigorously AND creatively under an intense deadline. This is a real-world scenario, after all.”

Professor Willem Kymmell from Chico State remarked, “This year there were nine teams from all over the United States competing in the BIM division. It’s very clear that universities now see BIM as an essential topic for Construction Management curriculum and that the industry is showing an ever increasing need for BIM skills from our graduates.” And Kymmell is leading the charge to educate these students. His textbook, ’Building Information Modeling’ (McGraw Hill 2008), is used extensively in classrooms around the world.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s program includes a heavy emphasis on mentoring. In preparation for the competition, the professors organized multiple teaching opportunities with Swinerton, PCL, Sundt, DPR, Rudolph Sletten, and Hensel Phelps.

Thai Nguyen, a Corporate VDC Coordinator at Hensel Phelps Construction in Denver, served as one of Cal Poly’s mentors. “It’s fantastic to know that the same cutting-edge BIM tools we’re using in current projects are being taught in college. These students will be able to step up and make an impact as soon as they join their first firm. Having a Reno Competition win on your resume is a real differentiator in today’s job market.”

Cal Poly also encourages extensive software use in the classroom. Each student is responsible for having their own laptop, downloading free software from sponsoring vendors, and using industry resources to stay current. The Cal Poly team relied on software coaching from Vico Software and Autodesk NavisWorks. This involved many remote learning sessions with trainers and sample problems over the weekends.

“Swinerton Builders believes in the importance of supporting university construction management programs both monetarily through the Swinerton Foundation and by our staff working directly with students as they prepared for the competition,” commented Dan Gonzales, Corporate Virtual Design and Construction Manager at Swinerton Builders. “In working with the Cal Poly team, Swinerton VD&C staff had the opportunity to do a few training sessions on Vico using GoToMeeting.  Having watched their presentation at the competition, it was great to see how much they mastered in such a short time.”  Mr. Gonzales added, on the record, “Coming clean with full disclosure, as a Cal Poly grad myself, I have to say, ‘Go Mustangs!’”

The winning teams are already hard at work documenting their problem and solution trees.  They are now responsible for coaching next year’s teams!

“The professors at Cal Poly couldn’t be more proud of our students,” remarked Elbert Speidel, professor at San Luis Obispo. “They deserved to win based on their depth of knowledge with model-based estimating and model-based scheduling. Modeling has almost become a commodity, so now we have the responsibility to teach our students how to blend technology with the art of scheduling and estimating. By scientifically basing these crafts on the model geometry and quantity takeoff, our students are learning very valuable 5D BIM skills.”

“We’re excited that the first and third place teams used Vico Software to help differentiate themselves,” stated Mark Sawyer, President and CEO at Vico.  “We take pride in our University Program – to date we’ve donated over $7.5M in software to students and learning labs around the world. Kudos to the professors who push their students to work on the leading-edge of BIM.”



 Cal Poly SLO Team
 Software Solutions Utilized  Chico State Team
 Jarrod Haering,
 Vico Software Virtual
 Construction Suite
 (Constructor, Estimator,
 Control, 5D Presenter)
 John Sunga, Senior
 Austin Gray, Junior  Autodesk Navisworks  Matt Watley, Senior
 Franklin Powlan,
 Microsoft Project  Tony Moua, Senior
 Garth Herrema,
   Juan Ojeda, Senior
 Brian Parker, Junior    Dustin Rothwell,
 Kevin Farrow, Junior    Juan Salmeron,
 Monica Valdez,
 Junior, Alternate
 Chris Maxwell, Junior,



For more information, please contact:
Holly Allison
VP of Marketing at Vico Software
Tel:    (978) 882-0170 x118 (eastern)
Skype:    reason8855

Twitter:    @letsbuildit