3D modelling and computer simulations provide new ways for architecture students to study the relationship between the design and construction of buildings. Digital media help to integrate and expand the content of courses in drafting, construction and design. This paper describes computer-based exercises that intensify the student's experience of construction in several courses from sophomore to senior level. The courses integrate content from drafting and design communication, construction, CAD, and design. Several techniques are used to strengthen students'awareness and ability in construction. These include: Virtual design-build projects in which students construct 3D CAD models that include all elements that are used in construction. Virtual office in which several students must collaborate under the supervision of a student acting as project architect to create a 3D CAD model and design development documents. Virtual sub-contracting in which each student builds a trade specific 3D CAD model of a building and all of the trade specific models must be combined into a single model. Construction simulations (4D CAD) in which students build 3D CAD models showing all components and then animate them to illustrate the assembly process. Cost estimating using spreadsheets. These techniques are applied and reapplied at several points in the curriculum in both technical laboratory courses and design studios. This paper compares virtual construction methods to physical design-build projects and provides our pedagogical arguments for the use of digital media for understanding construction.