Free software program helped students at Brigham Young University develop real-world skills and excel in ASC competitions
The future is bright for college students aiming for careers in construction, and B2W Software is making it a little brighter.
Through the B2W College Program, universities and colleges with construction management curricula can incorporate B2W Software for teaching free of charge.
Across North America, schools use B2W applications to give students a step ahead in their academics and their careers and provide a hands-on experience with what real-life construction workflows look like. Brigham Young University in Utah is among the schools where students also use B2W Software to gain an advantage in the Associated Schools of Construction’s Student Competitions.
“Real-world software helps us gain a deeper understanding of what estimating looks like in heavy civil,” according to Julia Eisenstat. Eisenstat graduated from BYU in 2022 with a degree in construction management and now works as an estimator for a masonry contractor. She says the software was also a key to her team’s success in that year’s ASC competition.
The B2W Software College Program offers applications for construction estimating and bidding as well as resource scheduling and dispatching, job performance tracking and reporting, and equipment maintenance. The technology supports courses such as estimating, construction management, construction technology, civil engineering, construction science and other related fields.
Putting knowledge to the test
The Associated Schools of Construction, an organization of construction educators that further develops teaching concepts for students internationally, holds its Student Competitions annually and regionally. Construction companies sponsor these weekend-long events. They look to the competitions as opportunities to educate students as well as to identify future employees.
ASC competitions have multiple categories such as heavy civil, commercial, mixed-use, or designing practices. Teams with up to six students are given a real-world project to create an estimate and construction plan for.
Groups get the project specifications for the first time early Saturday morning. They then go back to their “war” rooms and start the intense competition. They have an absolute deadline late that evening to complete and present their solution.
Software provides a competitive advantage
Eisenstat says practicing with B2W Estimate bidding software in advance and using it in the competition paid off. In preparation for the competition, she met with other students on her team weekly and with industry professionals to understand completely how to use the bidding software.
The Brigham Young heavy civil team earned second place in the regional competition in both 2022 and 2023. In both years, the team finished just single digits in points behind the winner on a 1,000-point scale.
“The software gave us an upper hand by creating equipment and labor reports,” Eisenstat explains. “Knowing exactly how many pieces of equipment we needed and how many man hours it would take for us to complete specific scopes of work really impressed the judges. They were impressed by how clear our information was.”
Creating crews for various scopes of work in advance, for example, saved the BYU team a great amount of time on the day of the competition.
A career head start
While college classes provide future construction management professionals with a lot of information and preparation, Eisenstat appreciated how much she gained from access to the B2W Software. She feels that involvement with B2W set her and many others at BYU up for victory in the ASC competition and in their careers.
“Experience with this real-world technology made me a better estimator at my new job,” she explains.
Using B2W Software, according to Eisenstat, allowed students to learn through trial and error what would work and what would not. It also showed them how having software increases productivity in bidding and understanding a project.
“I believe that we as an industry have recognized the importance of having advanced bidding software,” Eisenstat concludes.
Clifton B. Farnsworth, PhD, PE (left), a professor in the civil and construction engineering department, and Julie Eisenstat (second from left) with members of the 2022 Brigham Young University Associated Schools of Construction heavy civil student competition team.