Member of Penn College’s construction faculty attends D.C. symposium

An instructor of building construction technology was among the participants at a recent Residential Construction Professors Symposium in the nation’s capital, gaining perspective on relevant industry topics and exemplifying the practicality of a Pennsylvania College of Technology education.

Levon A. Whitmyer joined counterparts from Michigan State, LSU, Kennesaw State, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of North Florida — all of which, like Penn College, are recipients of Homebuilding Education Leadership Program grants from the National Association of Home Builders.

The symposium — which gave attendees an inside look at how the association regularly benefits the residential builders that comprise its membership — covered topics that ranged from legal issues, land use and liability to building systems, codes and standards, and government regulation.

The weeklong experience, held during late June in Washington, D.C., also included a pair of field trips.

The first was to the Housing Innovation Research Labs, an independent wing of NAHB that tests material and methods for government agencies, private manufacturers and the International Code Council. The second was to the Tallyn Ridge residential development in Frederick, Maryland.

“The uniqueness of this development was that it was the same piece of land that was used for the four-year Residential Construction Management Competition from two years ago, in which Penn College placed 13th out of 35 teams,” Whitmyer said. “It was very interesting to see how the land went from open ground to residential development in two years.”

The week provided participants with a welcome opportunity to compare notes about the work in which each is involved at their respective schools, and Whitmyer said “many new resources were discovered” for curricular use back home.

“I had the opportunity to showcase the programs at Penn College while there,” added Whitmyer. The other members found it fascinating how we incorporate the hands-on class work and turn it into a residential construction management degree. They couldn’t believe the list of construction industry giants that recruit our students on a yearly basis.”

In addition to networking with colleagues from other institutions, the instructor said the event broadened his understanding of what the association does for its constituents on a daily basis.