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Center for Education and research in Construction (CERC)

(Formerly the Pacific NW Center for Construction Research and Education)


With generous support from the local construction industry in Seattle, the Department of Construction Management took on an ambitious project to develop a nearby research and education center at the old naval base at Sand Point. An Open House was held on November 20, 2009 to thank donors for more than $2 million in contributions and to celebrate the grand opening of The Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education (PNCCRE). In January 2015 the PNCCRE was renamed the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC).

CERC features 25,000 square feet of space on two levels, providing a home for three areas of research and activity:

The Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Carrie Dossick, Professor in the Department of Construction Management, is responsible for the development and implementation of the Center to meet the needs of the CM faculty and students and industry.

Virtual Construction Lab
The centerpiece of this lab is a self-designed large semi-immersive display. Taking advantage of the high bay space, the screen is double height as well as three panels wide. The system was designed to be flexible and reconfigurable, so that we can make changes and upgrades
as technology improves. The current rear projection system includes 6 projectors in a 3 (wide) x 2 (high) array that creates a blended display 30'-6" wide and 15'-3" tall with 3072 x 1536 pixels in total.

The screen consists of 3 flat vertical panels at 20 degree angle to each other. This creates a screen that "curves" around the users who stand close to the screen, thereby creating a semi-immersive experience. However, given the large room, we can also project to an audience of 30 - 40 people. This display systems support research and education in virtual and augmented reality applications in planning, design, construction and operations. Mark Baratta, CBE
Director of Computing is the primary hardware/software designer for this system.

Methods and Materials Lab
The Methods and Materials Lab focuses on productivity, safety, and health studies. It incorporate two primary components: a large high bay space in which construction systems can be used to work on specified building components or materials using standard or innovative techniques, and an integrated high-speed data acquisition system to capture multiple-feed digital video and instrument signals using high speed wireless telemetry. This space was developed in collaboration with UW’s Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Department.

Construction Education
Several Construction Management classes are held each year at CERC, including CM 313 (Methods and Materials I), CM 404 (Integrated Design Studio), and CM 431 (Project Management II - Capstone).

In addition, CERC is used by the UWCM Department to offer professional development sessions for industry, on topics such as Lean Construction.

Lastly, our College, University and Industry colleagues, such as MCA of Western Washington and the Department of Urban Planning and Developement, use CERC to conduct their own trainings, meetings and special events. To learn more about using the facility, click here.

  UW Department of Construction Management
120 Architecture Hall, Box 351610 Seattle, WA 98195 T 206 543 6377