December 5, 2011
November 30, 2011
The new West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas will be the only one of its kind in the state.
Developing innovative ways to build complex projects is one of Sundt’s specialties. Case in point: the $24.1 million reconstruction of the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas, a new landmark gateway between the city’s downtown and new cultural district that will feature two, 10-foot-wide pedestrian walkways and 12 precast concrete and stainless steel arches that run the length of the 980-foot-long structure.
When the first phase of construction begins in January 2012, Sundt will keep the current bridge open and operational while constructing the concrete arches offsite – with its own concrete crews. In the spring of 2013, the precast arches will be placed on both sides of the old bridge at night. Once they’re all in place, the old bridge will be closed and demolished and the new bridge will be built in its place – in just 150 calendar days. Area Manager Chris Cedar calls this phase of the project “tight, but do-able” with lots of manpower and planned overtime shifts. In fact, his aim is to open the new bridge earlier than its scheduled completion date of November 2013.
Using Building Information Modeling, or BIM, will help the team manage the project’s complexities, particularly the construction of the arches, because they contain many structural and lighting elements that have the potential to clash with one another if not planned precisely. BIM is a high-tech replacement for construction drawings on paper. Using multi-dimensional computer models, constructability issues can be identified and resolved before construction begins.
Approximately 300,000 pounds of polished stainless steel within the arches and bridge superstructure will be illuminated at night with embedded lighting, making the West 7th Street Bridge a one-of-a-kind in the state of Texas.
October 6, 2011
Designed as an open steel deck arch structure, the new Sellwood Bridge will complement its surroundings while providing ample space for all modes of travel.
When you combine Sundt’s size and proven ability to be innovative with the knowledge and experience of a local contractor, you get a project like the $160 million reconstruction of the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore. Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction used Building Information Modeling (BIM) and a sophisticated video presentation to develop and propose a faster, safer and less expensive method for reconstructing the aging bridge than was originally called for in the project’s Environmental Impact Statement. The approach will shorten the project schedule by approximately one year and reduce the cost to the owner, Multnomah County, by $5 to $10 million.
The 86-year-old Sellwood Bridge stretches 2,000 feet across the Willamette River. Rather than rebuilding it in sections and shifting traffic back and forth between the old structure and newly completed segments, the team will create a ”shoofly” (detour) bridge to keep traffic flowing throughout the project. The approach involves lifting the old bridge deck and truss with hydraulic jacks and moving it to one side, then placing it on a set of temporary piers and connecting it to temporary approach spans so that traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed.
What are the benefits? Creating a detour bridge is safer for construction crews and the public because it frees up the existing alignment for workers and keeps traffic out of the construction zone. By eliminating the need for complicated traffic phasing, it also shortens the project duration and therefore the overall cost. Another benefit is that it allows for a sleeker bridge design with fewer redundant features and fewer in-water impacts, which is better for the river’s ecosystem.
The new Sellwood Bridge will be complete and efficiently transporting motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians across the Willamette River in 2015.
August 22, 2011
Sundt’s recently completed project for the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) underscores why student housing has become one of the company’s areas of specialty. The $26.6 million Muir College Apartments are two, nine-story structures that were built in less than 21 months on a tight, densely populated site with very little room for equipment setting, storage, or delivery of materials. The project team contended with close proximity to existing residences and academic buildings, and a very busy dining operation within footsteps of the construction site. They also dealt with frequent rains, as well as vehicle and pedestrian traffic on a road that bisected their work area. Despite these challenges, the project was finished on time and within budget, and it is expected to exceed the owner’s original LEED Silver goal by achieving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
One of the keys to the project’s success? Building Information Modeling (BIM). Heavy rains early in the project caused flooding and delays during excavation. Using BIM, the team made up the time later in the schedule by re-sequencing certain activities and adjusting timeframes allotted for tasks where possible.
“BIM played a significant role in the schedule and making things go smoothly overall,” said Project Manager Jamie Frye. “For example, there were many utilities in the concrete decks, so the subcontractors utilized data from BIM for their surveying equipment to locate all of their insert points in the decks. It was much quicker than if they had laid out everything by hand from grid lines. BIM probably cut that part of the project schedule in half.”
The cast-in-place concrete buildings can accommodate up to 275 students from the university’s Muir College in an apartment-style living environment. This was Sundt’s second student housing project for UCSD. The first, called One Miramar Street, was an 800 bed/800 parking space complex for single graduate students. It was completed in 2007.
Time and money are top priorities in construction, and parametric estimating tools can prove instrumental in the overall success of a project because they help create a precise picture of what a budget can buy during the initial conceptualization. Through the use of advanced parametric estimating software, what was once a laborious series of drawings and abstract conversations has become an efficient and succinct way to analyze initial and operating costs dependent on site orientation, systems and materials.
Having been quick to adapt, apply and tailor these construction technologies for use in recent years, Sundt Construction has become an industry leader in parametric estimating. But not everyone understands the benefits. To help, Sundt’s resident expert Wayne Einbinder, vice president and director of the Special Projects Division, offers a look at 5 need-to-know facts about parametric estimating and how it is changing construction.
1. Parametric estimating can reduce the estimating process by 80 percent. It also provides more accurate cost-build estimates to be produced with less exertion involved. Tools like Dprofiler, software that Sundt employs in a unique fashion, allow for the creation of digital estimate models based on previously realized factors. A simple click and drag of the mouse within the 3D building model can produce precise estimates in real time.
2. Parametric estimating can produce more accurate results than detailed quantity take-offs during the early design phases. Prior to parametric estimating technology, each line item had to be laboriously measured, creating longer estimating timelines and greater potential for error as only what was drawn was estimated. Now with parametric estimating, all line items are intertwined by algorithms that work in real time so that when the height, footprint or number of stories is modified, the costs of all impacted line items are adjusted immediately.