February 8, 2017
January 18, 2017
Steel workers get ready to lift the final beam to the top of the Banner-UMC Tucson tower on Jan. 18.
The Banner-University Medical Center Tucson joint venture construction team celebrated the building’s topping out Jan. 18, signaling the end of structural steel work on the 670,000-square-foot healthcare facility.
Steel work took about five months to complete and the combined material was tall enough to reach the top of Mount Lemmon, the 9,171-foot peak located north of Tucson. But there’s still plenty to do before the facility begins welcoming patients in a little more than two years, including:
- Placing 17,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to build a 3-foot-wide sidewalk from Tucson to Phoenix;
- installing more than a million pounds of ductwork;
- putting in 1,700 plumbing fixtures;
- setting up 19,000 light fixtures.
December 2, 2016
Two of a kind: the Heath Sciences Education Building (left) and Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (right) sit side-by-side in Downtown Phoenix.
After almost two years of construction, a brilliant new copper building is welcoming its first occupants in Downtown Phoenix. While the Sundt joint venture has almost a year’s worth of work remaining, the $136 million University of Arizona Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (BSPB) is starting to fulfill its mission of finding cures and saving lives.
The 245,000-square-foot building is the latest addition to a growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus, a 15-year-old city initiative bringing bioresearch and education to downtown. This is Sundt’s fourth project on the campus, including the neighboring Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB), which sits in the BSPB’s long shadow. The 268,000-square-foot HSEB is shared by the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, the UA College of Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, as well as by Northern Arizona University’s College of Health and Human Services programs.
BSPB is bringing together scientists and researchers from across many disciplines to work collaboratively in fighting diseases. The first researchers are moving in on the fifth and sixth floors while the construction team builds out the 10th floor. That space was originally designed as shell.
The Center for Applied Nanoscience and Biomedicine will be headquartered in the building. Its researchers are making cutting-edge discoveries, such as the Rapid DNA test, which detects early-stage bacterial infections.
Our work and that of other contractors, including our joint-venture partner DPR Construction, on the campus has given Phoenix valuable international attention in the biosciences field. The many advancements made on campus will improve the human condition.
“The Phoenix Biomedical Campus has grown into the foundation for Arizona’s growing biomedical industry and helped to put the region on the national map as a cutting-edge center for research and medical collaboration,” Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego told the Phoenix Business Journal. “It’s exciting to have Phoenix at the center of some of our most promising treatments to emerge in years for chronic and deadly diseases.”
October 7, 2016
Sundt California District Manager Dan Dumke.
Dan Dumke is Sundt’s new District Manager for California. He has more than 35 years of experience directing company operations, managing significant projects and leading high-performing teams in the construction industry. He brings a wealth of experience in the building and industrial markets as well as knowledge of large projects and public-private partnerships.
Dan is a member of the California Associated General Contractors Association and donates his time to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, whose mission is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
The people. Sundt’s employee-owners have a genuine respect for the work they do and for their partners who do it. I have been fortunate over the past number of years to not only meet but work directly with many Sundt employees. It was clear from these experiences that they believe in the power of teamwork, are fully committed to do whatever it takes to get the job done and have a consistent habit of sharing credit.
What is on your immediate to-do list?
Getting to know our people is a high priority, so I will be visiting our projects and regional offices in California to do that. I am also looking forward to engaging with our safety personnel and site staff partners to make sure we continue to make every effort to remain the nation’s safest construction company.
What are our strengths in the California building market?
We will continue to leverage our strengths in the K-12, university and criminal justice markets and look for opportunities to further employ these strategically in other sectors, as well as with our transportation and industrial groups.
Where are we looking to start making in-roads?
Our successful growth is dependent upon our ability to develop and attract top talent in the market sectors where we work. The war for talent is real in construction, so our immediate focus is on finding more great employee-owners. Longer term, we will explore opportunities in new markets. If all industry and political indicators are even marginally correct, there will be tremendous need in the privatized infrastructure market – everything from transportation to water/wastewater to the expansion of alternative energy facilities. Schools, universities, hospitals, criminal justice facilities and community housing – essentially defined as social infrastructure projects – also lend themselves to alternative delivery types such as P3 and collaborative design-build.
What is Sundt known for in California?
The Sundt brand has and continues to be strong in California – on par with some of our most respected construction industry peers. We are recognized for being honest and following through on commitments.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
“First find the solution, then analyze its impact.” The message is simple: trust your mentors (and if you don’t have one, go find one). We are all surrounded by some pretty smart people. I am certain there is no puzzle we can’t solve when we work together.
August 17, 2016
Larry Luke, Sundt’s Area Manager for its new Salt Lake City office.
Larry Luke is serving as Area Manager for the new office and is responsible for forming partnerships with clients and subcontractors in the region. It’s an important market. Sixty percent of Utah’s population live in the Salt Lake Valley and the state’s population is estimated to increase 19 percent by 2020, from 2.77 million to 3.31 million.
Larry recently spent a few minutes talking about our expanded presence in Northern Utah and our many qualifications and innovative approaches to project delivery.
What are Utah’s strengths as a market?
Utah has a growing economy and population that has created a steady need for new infrastructure in the areas in which Sundt operates (Transportation, Industrial and Building). Utah has a healthy economy, balanced state budget and the ability to either self-fund projects or obtain either federal or private-market funding. The owners are not only programming and funding new construction projects but they also have a reputation for treating contractors fairly and believe in partnering. Public market owners, such as Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority and counties and cities, and private markets have projects that are either in the planning phase, design phase or already scheduled to be advertised.
From a personnel perspective, Salt Lake City is an area where many people want to live due to the proximity to recreational opportunities, strong family atmosphere and relatively low cost of living.
Sundt participates in joint ventures on many of its projects. What kind of expertise would we bring to JVs in the Salt Lake market?
Sundt is known in our industry for being not only a long-standing reputable company with a strong balance sheet, but also one with excellent experience on a variety of different projects. Through our people, we are also known for being an innovator and leader in Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC), and use of technology for 3D modeling, virtual design and construction, use of automated machine control, parametric estimating, and design-build value engineering. Owners like UDOT have been on the forefront of CMGC projects, design-build, accelerated bridge construction and intelligent design and construction (IDC). We believe Sundt’s strengths in these areas will make us stand out and be able to offer joint-venture partners and owners a value that is unique from other local contractors.
What are Sundt’s strategies for developing good subcontractor relationships there?
Like any other local market, it is important to have personal relationships with our subcontractors and suppliers and show them that Sundt will treat them fairly, pay timely, honor fair bidding and price-evaluation practices and include them as partners in the project planning.
What trends do you see in the Salt Lake market?
I think we will continue to see an emphasis on value-based selections such as CMGC and design-build, especially for projects greater than $75 million. UDOT is interested in developing its IDC process and evolving the design and contractors into utilizing 3D electronic design files to replace paper plan sheets as legal construction documents. I think we will also see more opportunities that involve a combination of Transportation, Industrial or Building. For example, the upcoming Salt Lake prison or Utah Transit Authority Mountain Accord project, development of ski resort expansion projects or local cities’ needs for water improvement projects.
The Big Room includes representatives from Sundt, DPR Construction, Banner, the architect, engineers and key trade contractors.
Communication is vital to the success of any project. Our joint venture with DPR Construction working on the Banner-University Medical Center Tucson expansion is using a “Big Room” concept that brings together project partners on site to facilitate a collaborative environment and deliver quicker solutions to issues.
An effective Big Room supports collaborative behavior. It’s flexible, practical and has visual information. It adds value and lowers the overall project cost because everyone is working together.
The JV team is joined in the Big Room, which is located in the main hospital building with windows facing the construction site, by representatives from Banner, the architect, engineers and key trade contractors. Most of the week, the room has several dozen people and the crowd is growing as work picks up.
“The biggest advantage is the design team gets instantaneous construction feedback as we work through the preliminary design-build set,” said Sundt Project Manager Jeremy Kwapich. “We’re trying to identify smart engineering concepts to reduce costs.”
For example, the team uses large-format paper hanging on the wall to document milestone decisions on a timeline, including cost savings and potential challenges to the budget.
“It allows us to look at one document,” Jeremy said. “It provides an explanation of options and gives the owner a history of why we made decisions on the job at key milestones.”