The Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech focuses on the development of a critical understanding of construction means and methods as well as management processes. It provides undergraduate students with a complete and diversified grasp of the building industry through technical and managerial courses which emphasize self-motivation, communications, imagination and leadership. It further maintains parallel general education and professional dimensions of study.
Virginia Tech fosters a "Hands-on, Minds-on" approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. This approach to learning has always been the department's philosophy as our students actively transform knowledge to practice through labs and the platform of the integrated studios. The "Integrated Construction Studio (ICS)" course, which is unique among contemporary institutions, is an example of integrative learning. Each semester, the ICS course brings together Construction Engineering and Management Juniors and Seniors and Building Construction sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students (over 130 students) to conduct pre-construction management of a real project. Students within each grade level form teams of three to six members, which are then paired in larger teams of one sophomore team (structural sub-contractors), one junior team (mechanical sub-contractors) and one senior/graduate team (general contractors) each. Teams work together throughout the semester, culminating in a competitive, formal bid for a construction project similar to the bidding process construction companies undertake. The studio environment for the ICS course allows it to be catered to teams and also each individual student.
"During the Department's last accreditation, Integrated Construction Studio was listed as a strength for the department, based on auditor and student input".
Our multifaceted graduates will possess a strong educational base and technical competencies combined with the people and communication skills necessary to be successful in the global construction industry of the 21st century. The BC degree options are designed to better equip construction industry professionals with the necessary tools for excellence in all phases of the built environment. The BC curriculum is reviewed annually by the faculty during the summer retreat and periodically by the Industry Advisory Board to ensure it is meeting the needs of the profession and of society.