My Engineering Internship at a Living Building Project

Emily Moffit | October 2022

Emily Moffit, an engineering student at Iowa State University, shares her experiences as a field engineering intern at the Stanley Center's living building construction project.

This summer I had the opportunity to be a field engineer intern at the Stanley Center for Peace and Security’s headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa. This project allowed me to make connections between classroom practices and the realities of sustainable engineering. While sometimes challenging, the intricacies of this project’s vision created a level of excitement with each push forward through phases of construction.

Gaining exposure to the high levels of communication and collaboration required from contractors, architects, and owners is an experience that I will never forget. From the largest portions of the building to the smallest, there isn’t a single material going into this building that hasn’t touched the desk of every party involved.

During my internship I was responsible for updating the daily log of contractors on site, taking daily jobsite pictures, maintaining the weekly update of construction progress, and going through daily and weekly jobsite safety walks. Although my experience was only 3 short months, I was able to see the immense progress made towards reaching the end goal of a living building, the first of its kind in Iowa. As I mentioned before this was an unforgettable experience and I am excited to see the doors this project will continue to open for sustainable practices in Iowa.

Emily Moffit was a field engineering intern with Graham Construction Company in the summer of 2022 working on the living building renovation of Stanley Center’s headquarters. Emily is expected to complete her Civil Engineering degree in May 2023 from Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering program.