Raising the bar for excellence in Construction Management education

The Construction Management (CM) Program at UH is reaching great heights, which is not surprising as student enrollment in this emerging department ranks the second highest among all of the departments in the College of Technology. Rapidly becoming a rising star among CM programs throughout the United States, the program has become one of the nation's largest in a short period at a growth rate of more than 100% since 2007.

Experienced faculty with strong connections to major commercial and industrial construction companies, and the focus on process and industrial construction have been influential in the CM program's success. CM faculty brings "real world" experience into the classroom through project case studies, field trips and presentations from leaders in the industry.

Working with the UH Facilities, Planning and Construction Department which provided scheduling support, Professor Lana Coble's experience was tapped as a project leader for the January 8 demolition of the MD Anderson Cancer Center HMB/Prudential Life Insurance Building at the Texas Medical Center. The 21-story, 500,000-square-foot landmark, on the current Texas Medical Center campus, opened in 1952 and was the third largest to be imploded in the state. It will be replaced by a new clinical building that will connect to the Duncan Building and Mays Clinic. Implosion is a controlled demolition that occurs in a predetermined sequence to minimize physical impact and control the delivery of building debris to the ground.

Although the actual implosion did not take long— only 15 seconds — the preparation and coordination stretched over a two-year period. "The implosion of this historic building was one of the most fascinating projects that I have completed as a consultant. As with all major construction projects, mutual trust and strong collaboration, are keys to their success," said Professor Coble. An immense coordination effort, 39 neighboring property owners and seven regulatory agencies were required to give their approval before finalizing the plans for the implosion. The MD Anderson Cancer Center, Vaughn Construction, Broaddus & Associates, CDI Engineering Group, Sabre Demolition, and all of the neighboring institutions were instrumental to the project's planning and ultimate implementation.

"I am teaching because I believe in mentorship and want to foster the development of future construction professionals. My career has been extremely rewarding and by coming to UH, that reward has just increased exponentially," Professor Coble said.