May 16, 2018
April 13, 2018
A crane puts the 145,000-pound auger cast pile drill rig into place at the Canopy Hilton River Walk site.
We will use every bit of our skill to successfully build the Canopy Hilton River Walk, a 22-story hotel in downtown San Antonio on a zero lot line. We crossed one of our first big milestones May 6 when we placed the drill rig into the 20-foot-deep excavation hole.
Our team arrived by 5:30 a.m. and started the process of placing traffic barricades that closed Commerce and St. Mary’s streets. The 500-ton crane and its eight supporting semis carrying rigging and counterweights arrived at 6:30 a.m. and were positioned. An hour later, the auger cast pile drill rig, which weighs 145,000 pounds, arrived and parked at its lift position. It took three hours to position the crane in the intersection, place the outrigger dunning mats and set counterweights.
The operation took weeks of coordination, especially given the tight surroundings. Tall buildings, including a 24-story hotel across the street, fill the area, and the process of coordinating the closure of two busy downtown intersections took planning and constant updates to all stakeholders in the immediate area. Stakeholders included several hotels, businesses, and a church one block to the north.
“The team put a great deal of time and effort into this operation,” said Project Engineer Anthony Pallini. “We spent months planning the logistics with numerous entities in order to make sure that we were not missing key components of the undertaking. It was truly a Sundt team effort as the Texas Building District and Concrete Division relied on each other’s strengths to develop and execute the critical lift.”
Pedestrians are always around, but during the lift, foot traffic was kept away from the jobsite.
“When you shut streets down and put a crane in the middle of a busy intersection it’s going to attract people,” Senior Project Manager Fred Galvan said. “Also on a Sunday morning, we had to consider there’s a church one block down and the worship service occurred during our operation.”
The drill rig will be removed in June and the same process to install will be reversed using lessons learned from this first phase. In July, the project tower crane will arrive and take three days to put together. The hook height of the tower crane will be 306 feet, giving us two cranes in the San Antonio skyline. The second is located at the CPS Energy Headquarters project.
Click here to watch the project’s progress.
April 4, 2018
Sundt Regional Vice President Todd Calder.
Sundt Regional Vice President Todd Calder is a lifelong Texan who is based at our San Antonio office. The son of a builder, Todd has been in construction 24 years, including the past three and a half with Sundt.
The Texas A&M graduate has worked on projects that have reached values as high as $750 million.
How busy is our Building Group in San Antonio?
It’s no lie, we are a bit on the busy side, but we are always looking for our next challenge. Our Texas Building Group team is wrapping up the VIA – Stone Oak Park and Ride, in full demolition phase of the CPS Energy Headquarters Project, completing shoring, retention and excavation on the Canopy Hilton River Walk and just beginning foundations on the Comal County Jail and Sheriff’s Office.
What is it about Sundt that’s helping us win so much work in the Alamo City?
The answer is always hard work, grit and having the best people, right? But in addition, Sundt’s Texas team has been headquartered in San Antonio for approximately eight years, and you have to give credit to the team that laid the foundation. Our recent success is due to Sundt’s culture and specifically, this office. There is a great synergy and enthusiasm throughout all aspects of our business development, preconstruction, administrative and operations teams, and I think our clients can feel it, too. We like what we do and the challenges that come with it, and we enjoy doing it together as a team. And last but not least, the people and capabilities of our Sundt Concrete partners has proved to be a real value added to our clients.
Could you tell us a little about your family’s foundation?
I am the president of The Judy Calder Foundation, a charitable foundation with a primary focus on benefiting animals and equine-related causes. My aunt Judy loved animals, and at her peak, had a herd of about 50 Arabian Horses. She and my uncle left a good portion of their estate to the remaining horses, seven of which we still care for on our ranch north of San Antonio. We just gave our first wave of grants out this last year, which included an endowed veterinary scholarship at Texas A&M University, a grant to assist in emergency veterinary services for events like Hurricane Harvey, and many other, local animal-related charities. The foundation is a wonderful reflection of my aunt’s love of animals and allows us to actively enhance local causes that she would have been passionate about.
What are your favorite things to do away from work?
There was a time when I would have said golf but I hardly play anymore. Most of my focus over the last few years has been around my family, especially my very active younger kids, and renovating our family ranch house where we live. It was constructed in 1835, which actually pre-dates The Republic of Texas (yes to all of you non-Texans, we still reference our life before statehood), and has been a bear of a project, but a very satisfying one just the same.
Where do you most enjoy traveling?
I love the mountains, and any chance to take the family skiing. We have been to Colorado, New Mexico and Utah over the last few years, and my kids are as hooked as I was when I was their age.
Which book or movie inspires you?
I do not do nearly enough reading, but the last author I read with any commitment was Dan Brown. As for TV/movies, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that may allow us to give up animated features and start enjoying movies again.
January 24, 2018
Continuous Improvement Program Manager Dominic Daughtrey (center) shows Project Engineer Tyler Persyn (left) and Intern Meagan Garcia how to use the DJI Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian drone.
Members of our team working on the Canopy Hilton along San Antonio’s historic River Walk recently took to the skies to avoid problems on the ground.
Continuous Improvement Program Manager Dominic Daughtrey held a training session with newly licensed drone pilots Senior Virtual Construction Engineer Mark Epstein and Engineering Interns Meagan Garcia and Matt Huffine for about 90 minutes using our DJI Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian.
The Canopy Hilton River Walk will be 22 stories with 195 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace.
Flights will take place before concrete is poured for the post-tension decks. The drone will be used to spot-check slab penetrations and sleeve locations, ensuring utilities are in the correct places and slab box-outs are the proper size before concrete is poured. Each time a clash is found in a post-tension slab, it costs the project between $10,000 and $50,000 to repair or resolve.
“With an incredibly complex project, it is one of our major goals to discover these clashes before they are constructed in the field,” Mark said. “Flights will also be performed following the concrete pour to monitor project progress, inspection and quality control.”
The craft will capture dozens of photographs and combine them using a program called Pix4D to create a jobsite orthomosaic, an aerial photograph geometrically corrected so the scale is uniform. Think Google satellite image (plan view) with 4K resolution. These plan views can also be geo-located with the use of precise ground control points. Aerial photographs are used to create a point cloud of the existing conditions and surrounding structures. A point cloud is a three-dimensional image and model that is created from the photographs based on the distance of the existing element from the drone. The model can be imported into the architect’s model to verify existing conditions and locations.
“On the Canopy project, we have a neighboring structure with a wall that is about 150 years old,” Mark said. “We’ve fully documented the existing conditions of that wall for any future questions, claims or otherwise. We’ve also created a point cloud model of it which accurately illustrates the location and will be used to proactively investigate constructability concerns.”
The hotel is one of the most high-profile projects going on in San Antonio. The 22-story facility will feature more than 3,000 square feet of meeting space, 195 guest rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
The Master Plan Project Overlay shows the complexity and tight confines on site.
October 18, 2017
We’re turning a former parking lot into 407 residences with numerous amenities in Tempe, Arizona.
It’s a unique project that had us transition from landowner to builder. Few things about Union Tempe Apartments, being built on the site of a former parking lot, will be commonplace for Arizona when the project is finished in July.
We owned the land, located not far from our headquarters in Tempe, for several years before selling it to the developer, The Opus Group. Opus is a family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies headquartered in Minneapolis with offices and projects across the country.
The 407 residences will “expand the downtown Tempe community to be more walkable, bike-friendly and economically diverse,” said Ryan Abbott, our Southwest District Building Group Manager.
Residents will have top-of-the-line amenities including a shared fifth-floor deck with a resort-style swimming pool, grilling area and outdoor lounges with cabanas and fire pits. There will also be a fitness center, dog walk and storage for more than 450 bikes.
The project will cover a city block and feature two towers, one 20 stories and the other 12. The first will have primarily studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The second will have 22 walk-up city homes and flats wrapping the first four stories. The building includes more than 31,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
We self-performed the concrete work, which helped in numerous ways. It gave us better control over quality and schedule and further honed our capabilities of constructing quality high-rise buildings. The teams building both towers often held a friendly competition to see which side could complete its work faster.
“Any project of this size brings complexity and I have appreciated Sundt’s willingness to plan, execute and problem-solve along the way,” said Opus Group Senior Vice President Lawrence Pobuda. “Most importantly, we have developed a real rapport – based on open communication and shared vision. We look forward to delivering this project on time, and on budget, and we feel confident we will do that with Sundt by our side.”
The Sundt team at the new Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology Building near Downtown Tucson is using advanced contracting and design principles to deliver this important project.
From the outset, meeting project timelines required by Caterpillar has been critical. The project team is using the Construction Manager at Risk delivery model to allow for phased guaranteed maximum prices (GMP). This phased approach has enabled the team to start the project earlier than a traditional approach.
“In a traditional delivery method, this project would never have met the aggressive timelines needed,” said Sundt Regional Director Ian McDowell. ”Using phased GMPs will allow us to finish seven months faster than conventional contracting would have allowed.”
The building has been designed with a narrow floor plate and high ceilings, which maximizes the amount of light that reaches the interior of the building. It has also been designed with flexibility in mind. Few walled offices exist in the building, allowing for a dynamic workspace that maximizes communication among team members.
The creation of collaboration spaces throughout the building is also key to the project concept. Conference rooms of varying sizes spaced throughout the building allow for spontaneous interaction among team members. This concept of collaborative spaces has been extended to dining and exterior spaces, as monitors are installed to allow for impromptu meetings almost anywhere employees might gather.
The building entry focuses on Caterpillar’s customers. The lobby is designed to celebrate work performed around the world using the company’s equipment. Design elements in the entry incorporate meeting spaces and equipment displays and use advanced display technology to show how customers are using Caterpillar equipment.
The building exterior incorporates numerous finishes that speak to traditional Tucson design and uses elements that reflect Caterpillar’s work. The exterior has been designed to allow employees to take advantage of the beautiful Tucson weather.