UTSA Opens Teaching Lab for Construction Science

SAN ANTONIO — The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Department of Construction Science (part of the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning) opened a new multipurpose teaching and research facility, funded by a donation from locally based Bartlett Cocke General Contractors. The new Bartlett Cocke General Contractors Teaching and Research Laboratory will give students the tools to learn virtual design and construction techniques in a classroom setting.

The facility will provide students with first-hand experience in construction, design and management via visualization technology. It will feature state-of-the-art computer displays and software that can accurately and realistically model each stage of a building’s lifecycle from planning to construction, before physical construction even begins.

Two different classroom settings make up the research lab. The first is a 30-seat computer laboratory featuring a 10-foot-high screen, which functions as a traditional classroom setting for students to learn the basics of computer modeling. The second space includes a 15-foot interactive projector system, which students and faculty can use to create and manage building and data models used in the construction science and management industry.

“UTSA Construction Science and Management students and faculty will benefit greatly from having a unique space tailored to provide them access to industry-standard software and hardware,” said John D. Murphy Jr., dean of the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in a statement. “The Bartlett Cocke General Contractors Teaching and Research Laboratory will help in preparing students for the rigors of the construction industry. It will also allow students the opportunity to better work with its community partners, such as Bartlett Cocke General Contractors.”

Since UTSA started the Construction Science and Management (CSM) program, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors has been involved in helping the university’s students find success. For example, the company is a founding member of the UTSA Construction Industry Advisory Council (CIAC), which offers advice to the UTSA CSM program on current trends in the construction industry. In 2010, the company also started supporting CSM students through endowed and annual scholarships.

“Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is committed to the University of Texas at San Antonio because we believe it is integral to the San Antonio Community,” said Harry Moeller, president of Bartlett Cocke General Contractors and president of the CIAC, in a statement. “We are committed to the UTSA Department of Construction Science because we believe it is important to the sustainability of the local construction industry. And we are committed to the application of technology such as Building Information Modeling at the construction site to make our projects safe, our schedules faster and keep construction costs below budget.”