THE FUTURE OF HOME CONSTRUCTION

Module 1: Introduction to Home Construction

Homebuilding has a long history in the United States. Owning a home has long been considered part of reaching the American Dream. In this module, students will learn about where the home construction industry began and where it is now, as well as where it's headed. Students may not own a home just yet, but they'll learn about some of the costs of owning and taking care of a home. The construction industry has a lot of moving parts! This module will begin to explore things that companies have to consider to stay ahead of the pack.Homebuilding has a long history in the United States. Owning a home has long been considered part of reaching the American Dream. In this module, students will learn about where the home construction industry began and where it is now, as well as where it's headed. Students may not own a home just yet, but they'll learn about some of the costs of owning and taking care of a home. The construction industry has a lot of moving parts! This module will begin to explore things that companies have to consider to stay ahead of the pack.

Module 2: Academic Foundations for Careers in Construction

Math and home construction go hand-in-hand. Think about what a house would look like if the angles were wrong or if it wasn't standing on a balanced foundation. What if doors and windows weren't installed correctly? So many things could go wrong if a house is built or renovated without accuracy. That accuracy is thanks to math. The specific formulas used in measuring, calculating angles, making correct conversions, and breaking up a whole into its parts can mean the difference between a solidly built structure and a house that is standing on shaky ground (and probably not for too long!).

Module 3: Technical Skills in Home Construction

In this module, students will learn about construction drawings, or blueprints. They will examine the various techniques for reading drawings, including familiarizing yourself with common symbols and abbreviations. They will also learn about the various types of drawings that you may come across when you work in the industry. They will understand the various views of blueprints as well as manufacturing drawings and prints. In addition, students will be learning about safety standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They will also learn about standards established for the testing and use of various materials by ASTM International. Further, this module will address determining what tools, machinery, and equipment a business will use and how these items are procured. Finally, we'll review some industry publications and recognize why it is crucial to stay connected to the information these publications provide.

Module 4: Project Planning in Home Construction

In this module, we'll take a deep dive into project planning in home construction. Students will develop further understanding of the construction and project management processes and how these processes are integrated into the entirety of the project. We'll discover important planning steps to consider to avoid problems with estimates, confusion over construction drawings or revisions, and job site problems. Students will identify industry best practices when it comes to crafting the best plans and coming up with creative solutions to common and not-so-common complications that may occur.

Module 5: Safety and Health in Home Construction

Safety is the most important consideration in every industry, but perhaps even more so in construction since there are so many things that can go wrong on a job site, from incomplete (or no) training on equipment use to various slip, trip, and fall hazards. There are regulations set forth by the government, specifically OSHA. Companies are required to comply with these regulations. Many go steps further and develop internal safety plans and controls. As a construction manager or a worker, you have a responsibility to keep yourself, your environment, and your co-workers as safe as possible. In this module we'll focus on some of the conditions on job sites that are responsible for the most accidents, injuries, and fatalities. We'll also discuss steps a construction company can take to ensure the safety of everyone on every job!

Module 6: Contracts and Regulations in Home Construction

Contractors have a lot to manage. In addition to the overall management of a building project, there are contracts with owners, contracts with subcontractors, training and managing employees, and, of course, safety. With the weight of all of these things placed squarely on the shoulders of a general contractor, it's essential that she or he knows the best practices within the industry to keep the construction company safeguarded against lawsuits or being swindled by a disreputable subcontractor. This module provides guidelines for contracts, advantages and disadvantages of using subcontractors, and how to best communicate with employees for the utmost effectiveness and efficiency.

Module 7: Careers in Home Construction

In this module, we'll explore careers in home construction more in-depth. Included here is information about the expected growth rate, training needed, certifications and licenses required, and the earning capacity for specific jobs. We'll also cover OSHA requirements and why safety must be the primary concern in every construction situation regardless of specific job duties. Students will begin to hone in on the demands and qualifications for certain jobs and perhaps find direction for the career path that a student wants to pursue.

Module 8: Owning a Construction Business

Owning a business can be a big undertaking. There are people to hire, customers to get, and an entire infrastructure to build based on your vision. But the process can be simplified by understanding the steps necessary for success. Creating a business plan is one of the best ways to identify the things that are important to you and to your business. In your business plan, you can establish your goals, processes, and timelines. Since construction companies can be costly to start given all the equipment and tools necessary to complete projects, you can pinpoint ways to finance your venture and earn revenue. When you build your team of employees and independent contractors, you can be sure that you are hiring those who share your vision and can help to create the culture you want for your organization.

Module 9: Green Construction

Green homes are the future and, in some ways, the past. Builders are looking both backwards and forwards in approaches to green, environmentally-friendly building practices, materials, and assemblies. They're looking back at materials that have been used for centuries and finding new ways to make these materials more durable and efficient for today's homeowners. They're also looking ahead at how improved methods can add energy back to our environment and stop the depletion of the planet's natural resources.

Module 10: The Future of Home Construction

The home construction industry has been quicker than most business sectors to adopt new technology. There aren’t many construction sites that don’t rely on smart technology like phones and tablets to communicate and get up-to-the-minute changes and work orders. Construction companies are using drones, 3D printers, and robots. Just a few decades ago, these changes would have seemed absurd to even think about. Who would have ever thought you could use a printer to literally construct a house? These changes are as exciting to homeowners (and our planet, which is reaping the benefits) as they are to anyone entering the exciting field of home construction.

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Course Description:
This course introduces students to the evolving industry of construction! In addition to building on standard concepts such as technical skills, project planning, and regulations, students will learn about the variety of career possibilities within construction. They will also explore the entrepreneurial side of construction and discover what it takes to start and run your own business in this field. Finally, the course will look towards the future and analyze trends in green materials, energy efficiency, and technology to determine how these will impact the homes we build and live in.