Major: Construction Engineering Management Technology
Company: Renascent, Inc.
Internship from December 21, 2009 —
Hello, my name is Ian LaTulippe. I am a Junior in the Construction Engineering Management Technology degree offered by Purdue University (through IUPUI). Since about 14 years old I was interested in the construction industry. I felt that it was something I could do for a living and feel a sense of accomplishment as I saw things constructed or developed. I had my first internship when I was 17 at a Development and Construction firm. That internship lasted four months, but it solidified even more that I wanted to be in the field of construction. Since then I have been interning with Renascent, Inc. (www.renascentinc.com). I typically work in preconstruction, and depending on the size of the job, I have managed a few. Primarily I spend time estimating the demolition of buildings. Renascent specializes in structural and selective demolition. Over the last few years we have torn down multiple buildings on different campuses, including two-15-story buildings at Indiana State University, and one-15 story building at the University of Tennessee building in Knoxville, TN. The largest projects I’ve been involved in this year are a multi million dollar project at Rolls-Royce (Indianapolis, IN location) and also a multi-million dollar project that is the demolition of the Davidson Justice Center (Maximum Security Prison) in Nashville, TN. It is a rewarding feeling to know that the razing of structures provides the way for newer/cleaner/energy-efficient construction.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
My internship has now spanned several years and my involvement in the company has grown over time. At the start of my internship I did a lot of clerical work and worked on bidding small jobs. Most of the jobs would be less than $50,000. Then I started to learn how to perform take-offs and enter them into bidding spreadsheets. As time passed and I became more comfortable with the work I was performing, my boss started to give me larger projects. Today, I work on numerous projects, ranging from a couple hundred thousand dollars to multi-million dollar projects. For the larger jobs my takeoffs and all my quantities and production rates that I put in HCSS are reviewed, but I am becoming more familiar with the processes of how buildings are demolished and what are all the activities and biditems that need to be included in a bid. I believe my growth within Renascent is something that my boss and president of the company are pleased with.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
The primary thing I’ve learned and I’m still learning is that in all of life, but especially in construction, you get out what you put in. The more time you spend estimating a job (reading the specifications, studying the plans and marking them up, getting numerous subcontractor quotes, etc) the more complete your proposal can be. The more time you spend setting up a job before your crew mobilizes (making sure a budget is in place, giving the superintendent all the contacts for subcontractors, etc.) the more efficient your job can be. Efficiency is time, and time is money. That is true for construction, and it is true for life in general.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
During my internship I received my 30-HR OSHA card. This won’t come as a surprise, but demolition has a lot of safety concerns. Falling debris, Tie-offs, collapsing structures, etc. There are just as many things that can go wrong with deconstruction as construction, if not more. My perspective has changed in accordance with my primary job. For instance, when bidding a large structure demolition (100′ tall) there are certain safety costs that you must include in your bid. Will safety measures need to be put in place to protect the public? Will you need to include PPE equipment for any tasks that need performed? Will you need to add different/more equipment to your bid to take the structure down safely? These are all things that need to be considered to ensure that your project can be performed safely and that your bid has everything covered that needs to be included.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America brings a sense of satisfaction in the work that the Construction Industry does. One of the articles/stories on the website had a quote that I believe sums up the attitude required to be successful in this industry, “always be willing to learn something new everyday”. To me that is what this industry needs more of. We can continue to build bigger and better if we work together, if we listen to the ideas of others. We can create and develop and construct infrastructure that we can all be proud that we participated in. I Build America embodies that best of construction. The teamwork, the hard work, the stories of growth and change. So yes, it’s true that I Build America, but I also like to believe that We Build America, and that we are better because of it.