Professorship benefactors tour construction science facilities

Dallas-area homebuilders Nicole and Kevin Youngblood toured Texas A&M’s College of Architecture Sept. 28, where a professorship endowed in their names is making a difference for students at the college.

“The Nicole and Kevin Youngblood Professorship in Residential Land Development funds a range of teaching and research programs that benefit Master of Land and Property Development graduates,” said Geoffrey Booth, holder of the Youngblood professorship and coordinator of the MLPD program.

The Youngbloods are part of the Mitchell family, which founded History Maker Homes in Fort Worth in 1949. A $2.3 million gift from the Mitchells to revolutionize residential construction teaching at Texas A&M established two interdisciplinary professorships, two chairs and created the Mitchell Visiting Designer Lab, an extremely rigorous residential design studio.

Kevin, who heads History Maker Homes’ new showroom, reviewed building renderings created by students in a studio led by Mark Clayton, professor of architecture, using software that allows a user to specify a building’s finishes and color as well as its location and the time of day for a rendering complete with shadows and reflections.

The Youngbloods also saw a demonstration of the college’s Building Information Modeling Computer-Aided Virtual Environment, an immersive system for viewing details of a building’s exterior and interior, including its heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, plumbing, electrical and other systems.

“Kevin saw some real potential for History Maker Homes to apply the teaching and research going on at the college,” said Booth.

The Youngbloods, who visited the college with their children, Colson, 11, and Ellie, 8, also saw a demonstration of a new mobile phone app developed by Clayton and several business partners that provides designers and regulators quick access to fire safety codes, and toured Francis Hall, the future home of the Department of Construction Science.

posted October 8, 2012