April 14, 2017
April 13, 2017
Sundt Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino.
Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino brings nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry to his new position with Sundt. He has worked on retail, themed entertainment, dining, housing, offices, manufacturing, recreation, K-12 and higher education projects.
Brian, who is working in our Irvine, California office, has a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Texas and is LEED-Accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.
What has been the most interesting thing about working for Sundt these first few weeks?
Its people. Construction companies are defined by a few things like values, leadership and technology. But one thing I have learned in my time in the construction industry is that the biggest factor in how a company feels and how it performs are its people. The people I met during the interview process were great – smart, professional, engaging. But I knew it was going to be hard to know how the company as a whole would be until I started to meet everyone on my first day at work. What I have found is a range of tenure – employee-owners who have been at Sundt for decades, some who are new just like me and everything in between, and all of them are driven, friendly and incredibly helpful.
How important was the employee-owner culture when you were considering whether to work at Sundt?
Moving to a company with a strong retirement plan was key. I started my career at an employee-owned company. I transitioned to another company after a few years with the hope that it would eventually offer some kind of retirement benefit but that never developed. So this move for me was targeted at a solid, well-run, well-respected construction company with an ESOP.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Usual Suspects.” What drew me in when I saw it and what keeps me going back is the depth and variety of the characters. That cast is amazing. But then add in the plot with its twists and the writing and it’s hard to find a better film.
What do you do away from work?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife and kids. Having a 12 year old and a 5 year old means full-time playing, homework, sports and after-school events and parties. We like taking road trips as a family. Last year our trips were to Santa Cruz and Monterey on the California coast and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in the Sierra Mountains. We are planning our next trip to Yellowstone.
March 22, 2017
Old Main on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.
Sundt’s work on the University of Arizona Old Main Renovation and Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix Sun Devil Fitness Complex has earned 2017 Arizona Leader Awards from the United States Green Building Council Arizona.
The winners will be honored at the Heavy Medals Awards Luncheon next Wednesday in Tempe. The awards recognize statewide innovation and leadership in green buildings and celebrate teams for their efforts to accomplish LEED certification.
Old Main Renovation is the winner of the Building Performance award. We successfully merged the existing structure, constructed in 1891, with safety upgrades, a new mechanical system and replaced plumbing, lighting and electrical systems.
The project has earned many honors, including three from the Design-Build Institute of America (National Awards of Excellence and Merit and the Western Pacific Region Merit Award), the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award, a Historic Preservation Award from the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission and the Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Crescordia Award.
USGBC Arizona awarded Sun Devil Fitness Complex the Community Champion award. The award recognizes a LEED-certified project that addresses the needs of an underserved community and meets the USGBC’s vision of healthy and sustainable buildings. The complex is a five-story, 70,000-square-foot student recreation center that features an indoor track, rooftop swimming pool, gymnasium, weight room, student lounge and more.
Arizona State University’s Downtown Fitness Complex in Phoenix.
March 15, 2017
One of the buildings under construction at Las Cruces High is the new cafeteria.
Construction is often a juggling act. Nowhere is that more evident than Sundt’s second round of work at Las Cruces High in New Mexico, a $40 million K-12 construction project that impacts most every corner of the school’s campus.
Between May and July, we’re completing a remodel of the fine arts classrooms, ROTC facility, nursing area and fieldhouse. New construction on the cafeteria and auxiliary gym will also be finished. The secondary gym is being added to accommodate the many sports that share space in the primary facility.
A second stage, which will be completed next spring, includes a remodel of the main gym, existing science wing, music building and vocational building. Crews will be constructing outdoor basketball and tennis courts, a greenhouse, site utilities and site work/hardscape and taking down the old fieldhouse and arts building.
“Every building we’re working on will get flipped to another building,” said Project Director Joe Riccillo.
The second stage gets started this summer when fewer students and faculty are around.
“Everything is phased around spring break, summer and Christmas for delivery dates,” Joe said. “It doesn’t do much good to turn over a building in February. You have to wait until spring break for people to move in.”
Working on an occupied campus raises potential safety hazards that took time and thought to overcome. Joe credits Project Manager Brian Higgins and Project Superintendents Mike Dominguez and Henry Espalin with developing solutions.
“The most important thing is keeping kids safe while doing all this phased work,” Joe said. “We’ve created pathways for students to get to and from buildings and a signage system that shows them where to go.”
It’s our second project at the school, making the site familiar ground.
“Doing Phase 1 gives the school district the confidence that we can finish Phase 2 on or ahead of time,” Mike said.
Students were so happy with Phase 1 that they posted a video in late 2015 showing off their school spirit and new-look campus.
“There’s no greater reward than seeing the benefit of the project and what kind of pride the students take in their new building and their school,” Joe said. “It’s like having a virtual tour of the building.”
February 24, 2017
Pepperdine’s Outer Precinct Hall will have 458 on-campus beds.
Upperclassmen are getting new first-rate housing at Pepperdine University.
The Outer Precinct Residence Hall will be a 120,000-square-foot student housing facility with 458 on-campus beds, most of which will be four-bedroom suites sharing two bathrooms. The primary residents will be juniors, many of whom are returning from study-abroad programs.
“We feel privileged to have the opportunity to work for such a well-respected university,” said Vice President and Southern California Regional Director Robert Stokes.
The project is being designed to a LEED Silver equivalent and is scheduled to be finished in August 2018. Conditions in Malibu are so nice (average high of 77 in July and low of 48 in January) that air conditioning for the housing complex will only be installed in community spaces. The housing units will have windows for natural ventilation and radiant heating in the floors to take advantage of the area’s temperate climate.
Two older dorms were removed to make room for the new building. Over the past 40 years, the former dorms were homes to some people who now work in the campus construction office.
“One thing the university understands is that this is more than just student housing,” Robert said. “This is where people make lifelong relationships. The university considers this to be a pivotal project that will help grow the Pepperdine family.”
A team from Cal State University Sacramento won the concrete competition at ASC.
For the seventh consecutive year, Sundt made an investment in the future of the industry by supporting the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition in Sparks, Nevada earlier this month.
ASC is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where sharing ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.
“The ASC competition is a great opportunity for Sundt to get to know some of the brightest college students in the country,” said Sundt Vice President of Concrete Operations Sean Lynch. “We’re proud to play a role in educating the next generation of problem-solvers and construction leaders.”
We sponsored the concrete solutions category of the Regions 6 (Rocky Mountain) and 7 (Far West) competition. A team from California State University Sacramento won.
Our team put real-life issues before squads of college students who were tasked with developing the best approaches to solving the problems. The objective was to provoke critical thinking, display technical and presentation skills, promote teamwork and enjoy the experience.
The teams focused on the six-story, cast-in-place Sun Stone parking structure at San Diego State University, which is located next to two six-story student housing towers that were to be constructed concurrently with the garage. This problem statement focused on self-perform concrete and the teams were assigned to build the frame of the garage (e.g. slab on grade, walls, columns and decks).
The event was attended by students from dozens of colleges and universities. The conference is also a good venue for us to recruit interns who eventually could become important contributors as employee-owners.
Our concrete group was represented by Dinesh Reddy Allam, Shawn Blubaum, Kira Bruun, Michael Canter, Jesse McDonald, Tyler Menard, Gates Molitor and Carolina Silvas. Michael Morales ran our booth at the job fair. Tom Case and Dan Haag attended from our executive team.