Schools team up for AIA-AAH health facility design contest

Zofia Rybkowski

Boong Yeol Ryoo

See competition video.

Mixed into four multidisciplinary teams composed of students from different schools and disciplines, four Texas A&M construction science students engaged last March in an intense, 48-hour competition to design and schedule the construction for a 13,000 sq. ft. rehabilitation hospital.

The American Institute of Architecture Academy of Architecture for Health staged the contest, the 2017 Planning Design and Construction Student Challenge, during the International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design and Construction in Orlando, Fla.

For the competition, Texas A&M construction science undergraduates Shashank Singh, Nikita Baghat, Ralph Salazar and Min Ma were each assigned to a team that included an architecture students from the University of Florida, a healthcare architecture student from the University of Kansas, and an architectural engineering student from Penn State.

“This arrangement is much more reflective of real life where people from different places gather to do work,” said Zofia Rybkowski, holder of the Harold Adams Interdisciplinary Professorship in Construction Science at Texas A&M.  Rybkowski and her colleague, Boong Yeol Ryoo, an associate professor of construction science, advised student competing in the Orlando event.

Because project cost was capped at $400 per square foot and the construction window was limited to 34 months, Rybkowski said the interdisciplinary teams had to make realistic, cost-effective design and construction decisions.

“The intent was to expose students to Integrated Project Delivery and Target Value Design, which are increasingly practiced in the design and delivery of healthcare facility projects,” she said.

“The number of different perspectives you get on one problem-solving activity was a highlight for me,” said Texas A&M competitor Nikita Baghat, adding that she enjoyed working with students who were taught in different ways.

Ralph Salazar, the Texas A&M student on the winning team, said their design provided “patients a soothing respite from the urban sprawl.”

Texas A&M construction science student Shashank Singh assisted the second-place team.


Sarah Wilson

posted May 1, 2017