Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Pulte Hosts High School Design Class
Students at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Ill., got a chance to extend their learning outside of the classroom for two days in May when they participated in a seminar hosted by Pulte Home Corporation.
|Students at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Ill., don hard hats as they tour Pulte’s Creekside master-planned community as part of their two-day workshop with Pulte representatives.
Students at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Ill., got a chance to extend their learning outside of the classroom for two days in May when they participated in a seminar hosted by Pulte Home Corporation. Gail Van Sickle, an instructor at Jacobs, and John Hazard, construction superintendent for Pulte Home Corporation, planned the two-day workshop for students in the Residential Design class.
"The high school is within walking distance to our model homes," said Hazard, who oversaw the field trip to Creekside, a master-planned community of semi-custom homes and luxury townhomes. "It is a perfect working relationship that is mutually beneficial. The students got to see how homes are built and we, at Pulte, get to demonstrate the quality and attention to detail we put into every home we build."
The first day of the workshop, lead by various Pulte representatives, focused on the challenges and procedures of finding and buying land; how houses are designed; how models are chosen for particular target groups; and how the sales process works.
The following day, Pulte representatives took the students onwalk-throughs of the models. Students were able to see finished homes as well as those at the pre-drywall stage. That, says instructor Van Sickle, gave the students a better understanding of framing and the mechanical and plumbing systems of a house. At the end of the tour, the students’ homework assignment was to write an evaluation of the models and turn it in to Pulte.
"It went really, really well," said Van Sickle of the workshop. "They were very interested in looking at the model homes, although they were frankly mostly interested in the interior merchandizing." The tour, she said, helped to bring together in a tangible way all the components they had learned about during the semester.
The culmination of the class was a final project in which students were asked to design a home using what they had learned both in class and on the field trip to Creekside. According to Van Sickle, since the idea was such a success, she will definitely do it again the next time she teaches the design class.