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Learning the Ropes of Real World Architecture

Eric Bennett

Clemson University | BA Architecture | June 2007

Internship: Hennon Group Architects, PA

One of the country's top outlet and retail architectural firms, based in Mooresville, NC.

Favorite thing about his internship:
Eric: "The work environment. We are always busy, working hard, meeting deadlines and never bored, yet at the same time everyone was relaxed and never stressful. It was a great atmosphere to work in."

Greatest lesson from his experience:
Understanding how a building is put together from design to construction
Eric: "In school we just focused on design and modeling. That's all I knew. Here I got into construction to create them and how they go together and how critical they are to the process. It was a valuable and practical real-world learning experience."

His greatest contribution:
His ability to learn fast and become a contributing member of the team
Scott Hennon: "We tell our interns not to worry about being productive right away; rather, take the opportunity to learn the technology and how the office works. Eric was a sponge. He came in green and inexperienced, but he followed our training system and quickly got up to speed on the software. He became a value contributor to a team producing high-end work."

Featured Project:
Merrimack Premium Outlets
Outward retail center in Merrimack, NH

The project was a 430,000 square-foot retail center in a racetrack-style design that moves shoppers in a loop past every retailer through double-loaded corridors. It includes a 100+ tenant shopping area, a 5-tenant food court, vending areas and a playground.

The Challenge: compress delivery of construction documents by 3 months.

The Solution: The project was broken down to a kit of parts, with assembly of the kit serving as a rapid training session for the 6-person team working on the project. Using an ARCHICAD BIM model, the project is broken down into the super structural shell, architecture and detail to expedite design development and document production.