With one heck of a presentation and project, the ACE Mentor Program team from Central Iowa took home top honors this week, being crowned National Champions of the 12th Annual CIRT Design & Construction Competition. After being selected from a record-setting sixty (60) entries, three teams contended in a presentation round during the CIRT Spring Conference in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2018.  A distinguished panel of judges headed by Michael Bellaman, President & CEO of Associated Builders & Contractors also included: Kevin Hilton, CEO of the Ironworkers Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT); Patricia Rodgers, CEO of Rodgers Builders; Mark Cain, President of Smoot Corporation; and Dan Johnson, President & CEO of Mortenson announced the order of finish as follows:

  • 1st PLACE and a prize of $5,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa for their Flexible Home entry: "One Shell of a House;"
  • 2nd PLACE and a prize of $3,000 went to ACE Mentor Program of Washington (Seattle/Team 2) for their Urban Block entry: "Releasing the Dragon;" and
  • 3rd PLACE and a prize of $2,000 went to ACE Mentor Program of Central Florida: Lyman H.S. Team for their Ideal School entry: "Delta Design."

It took the judges two ballots to ultimately determine a winner after carefully analyzing the team presenter's ability to make a coherent, well thought-out, clear presentation on the design/construction approaches within the project's objectives while being fully responsive to the competition package elements in the challenge/RFP. The judging was based on two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry.  The winning entry exhibited an extraordinary versatility and responsiveness to the criteria of the challenge, while remaining within the limits of constructability and budget.

"The energy, enthusiasm, and passion the three national finalist teams brought to the program made it a very special and memorable event; one we were very pleased to host on behalf of the entire design and construction community.  If this is any indication of the kind of character and diversity we are attracting to our ranks, then the future of our industry will be in good hands!"  stated Mark A. Casso, Esq., NAC, President of CIRT.  

The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This year experienced not only a record number of entries but also the highest number of ACE Affiliates represented with a total of 481 students and 297 mentors and professionals participating. The competition was live-streamed for the first-time ever and can be viewed on CIRT's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CIRTNews/videos/2130293166985939/

For more information about CIRT or the National Design Competition, visit www.cirt.org.