School: Michigan State University
Major: Construction Management
Company: DeMaria Building Company
Internship from 5/11/15 — 7/24/15
This summer I worked with DeMaria Building Company (Novi, MI) on two seperate job sites both located in Michigan. The main project I worked on was the new Consumers Energy Service Center located in Livonia, MI and the secondary project was the Blue Water Bus Transfer Station in Port Huron, MI. I worked with the same supervisors for both projects.
The new Consumers Energy Service Center was an incredible project to be apart of.This was a design-build project that created very unique problems that I did not experience with the Blue Water Project as well as being a LEED Version 4 project. One of the biggest things we had to work around with the Consumers Energy project was that the employees still needed to be able to work while we built their new serve center on the same property. For this reason our project was a two phase project with the first stage involving minor demolition of small structures on their property in order to build their new service center. Phase two which is set to begin December of 2015 with involve the relocation of all employees to the new building and the demolition of their current building in order to make room for their new parking lot. With this project being a LEED Version 4 project there were very strict guidelines that we had to follow ourselves as well as our subcontractors.
The Blue Water Bus Transfer Station was a much simpler project for me to work on. Since this was a brand new building their were no employees that needed to be relocated. This project began on an empty lot in Port Huron which had its own unique issues but still was better than trying to build on a lot with an existing structure. This project consisted of two small buildings, an awning, and a parking lot. One of the biggest issues we ran into was when we were doing grading for the site we ran into an old oil tank that still had oil in it. We had to remove the tank and clean the area before we could continue.
What results did you achieve on the project(s), and what impact did they have on the company?
My main job for both sites was to take care of the submittals and meeting minutes for all meetings. While learned the submittal process I realized how important it was for me to stay on top of all submittals in order to keep the project on schedule. There were several instances where I had to call subcontractors and remind them to turn their submittals so we could continue with the project. It was also very important that I created accurate meeting minutes for our Owners Meetings, Subcontractor Meetings, and Scope Review Meetings. There were many times during these meetings where subcontractors would notify us of when they would have certain things completed and it was very important that these were documented in the meeting minutes so that we could hold them accountable. One of my other responsibilities was conducting site wide safety inspections. I had a check list that I would go over as I walked the job site to make sure that I was covering all areas of safety. I am proud to say that during my time with DeMaria there were no injuries on either job site.Though out my internship I realized that every small thing that is done on the job sites has a large impact on the project and on the company. Lost time on the job site means lost money for the company and usually an unhappy owner.
What real-life technical or business skills did you learn during the internship?
The most important business skill that I learned this summer was communication. Communication is what brings an entire project together. I spent most days sending emails, making phone calls, or walking around the job site talking to the subcontractors. Creating good relationships with owners and subcontractors is very important for the future. If you have a great relationship with these people, you are much more likely to be selected for their jobs in the future and you will have subcontractors that all willing to bid your projects again.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Working with DeMaria was a unbelievable experience. I made numerous connections with their employees and the subcontractors that will be great for when I graduate. I also learned how to use numerous computer programs that are vital to projects that I will use for projects in the future. Most importantly is the communication skills I learned from the Project Superintendent. With his experience he knew the types of things and the way to say them to owners and subcontractors to help our company get what we needed.
Where do you think technology will make the biggest impact in construction in the next few years, and how will it do that?
I think one of the biggest ways technology will impact construction will be drones. I believe that their is a big market for drones in surveying job sites and for getting camera angles that we would not normally be able to get. We can use drones to get shots of buildings from outside the building at heights that we couldn’t normally.