HPAC Magazine

First Canadian team to make MCAA finals takes home the win

March 30, 2015 | By HPAC Magazine

McMaster University team wins MCAA's 2014-2015 Student Chapter Competition.

The team from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, received top honours for its efforts in the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) 2014-2015 Student Chapter Competition. This marks the first time a Canadian team has made the finals of this competition, and the first win by a Canadian team. The winners were announced during the association’s annual convention, which was held March 8 to 12 in Wailea, Maui, HI.

The runner-up team was from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. The other runners-up were from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.

Oral presentations by the four finalists were evaluated based on: overall quality of the oral presentation; feasibility of project management, organization and schedule; accuracy and completeness of project costs; and answers to the judges’ questions. Each finalist team had 20 minutes to convince the judges that they were best qualified to perform the proposed work on the project. Each team’s standing was determined based on a combination of oral and written scores.

The competition project, hosted by John Powell of Lawson Mechanical Contractors (San Leandro, CA), involved the construction of the 34 000-sq. ft. Segundo Student Services Center (SSC) on the campus of the University of California Davis, CA and the demolition of the building it replaced. This facility will service four Segundo residence halls and provide facilities for student advising, as well as centralized mail, study and recreation areas. The building will also provide offices for administrative staff, a maintenance shop, a convenience store and a laundry facility. The facility will be designed and built to meet LEED NC Gold standards. The university was seeking a design that utilizes the most efficient use of energy and other sustainable features such as passive solar heating. Bidders must also meet Disadvantage Veterans Business Enterprise requirements (15 per cent of total bid).

MCAA president Chuck Fell announced the winners, noting that, “This was a hard-fought competition and I commend all of the teams. There are no losers here today!” He went on to explain that the final four teams are recognized with monetary prizes, and that the prizes were doubled this year. The first place team received $10,000; the runner-up team took home $5,000; and each of the remaining finalists received $2,500.

MCAA received 24 written submissions from schools across the U.S. and Canada during the initial phase of the competition. Only four teams moved to the finals and the competition was intense.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc. (MCAA) serves the unique needs of approximately 2800 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service. We do this by providing our members with high-quality educational materials and programs to help them attain the highest level of managerial and technical expertise. MCAA includes the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Manufacturer/Supplier Council, the Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau.

For more information about the competition and the MCAA student chapter program, please contact Ann Mattheis at amattheis@mcaa.org.



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