August 17, 2016
July 4, 2016
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.”
June 1, 2016
Project team members celebrate topping-out of the New Mexico State Veterans’ Home Alzheimer’s and Skilled Nursing Facility.
Sundt and New Mexico Veterans’ Home officials celebrated the topping out of the hospital’s new Alzheimer’s and Skilled Nursing facility last week in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
More than 100 people attended the event commemorating the last major milestone before construction is complete in early 2017.
The State of New Mexico selected us as the general contractor for the $23.5 million project, which includes the construction of an 86,000-square-foot residential development featuring a 39-bed special care Alzheimer’s unit and a 20-bed skilled nursing section for residents requiring physical rehabilitation or higher levels of nursing care. The facility also will feature a therapy pool piped with natural healing waters from the hot springs of New Mexico.
We broke ground on the healthcare construction project last year after more than eight years of planning by the city and State of New Mexico. Once completed, the facility will serve more than 70 percent of the existing clients at the New Mexico State Veterans’ Home and is expected to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
A veteran signs the final beam before it’s lifted to the top of the building.
May 26, 2016
Sacramento State’s Science II Building will have teaching and research labs, an observatory and planetarium.
Sundt’s first project at Sacramento State University is going to be unlike anything on campus.
The university’s Science II Building will be a modern five-story laboratory facility that will centralize the College of Natural Science’s Biology and Chemistry departments. In addition to providing state-of-the-art teaching and research labs, the 94,000-square-foot building will include an observatory and planetarium.
“These features will support a physics and astronomy curriculum, but also be open to the community for events,” said Project Director Tim Blood. “It’s a great way to involve the community in the science and research taking place at Sac State. I can’t wait to take my kids to a building our company built to learn more about the beauty and complexity of our universe.”
The total project cost is expected to be around $91 million. Construction is scheduled to start next summer and be complete by spring 2019.
“Sacramento State has historically used the design-bid-build delivery method for major projects on their campus,” Tim said. “The fact that they’ve trusted Sundt as a design-builder to deliver their most important project in decades speaks volumes to our company’s history, our relationship with CO Architects, our chosen architectural partner, and our local team.”
It’s our first work at Sacramento State and fifth collaborative design-build project for the California State University System.
“We’ve had a lot of success with CSU, and that speaks to us doing many things well,” Tim said. “First, we have a culture of integrity. No project is perfect, but we consistently work collaboratively, do the right thing, and focus on solutions not problems. We also know the CSU processes and procedures well, which enables us to help them navigate those waters predictably. Finally, I’ve heard variations of this statement a lot lately: ‘It appears that you actually care about the client and their project,’ which surprises me. Doesn’t everyone? But we do, and it’s nice that our clients recognize that fact.”
Sacramento State’s campus master plan for the next 20 years includes a new events center, renovating its existing Science Building, classroom buildings and Grand Central Quad, a centralized gathering place for students.
“I hope this will be the first of many projects to come at Sac State,” Tim said.
May 24, 2016
One of the most significant healthcare projects in Southern Arizona history was celebrated Thursday when groundbreaking took place at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson on the University of Arizona campus.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild were among the presenters at the event.
Rendering courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch.
A Sundt joint venture with DPR Construction will build the nine-story, 670,000-square-foot facility. The new tower replaces one that has been used for more than 40 years.
When the new tower opens in spring 2019, it will include:
- A main entry, cafeteria and support departments on the first floor.
- Diagnostic imaging, diagnostic cardiology, cardiac cath labs and interventional radiology on the second floor.
- Operating rooms and patient prep/recovery space on the third floor.
- 204 patient rooms in floors five through nine.
- Shelled space on the ninth floor for 24 more patient rooms.
More than $50 million in new patient care equipment and computers are being added for state-of-the-art care.
Banner-UMC Tucson plays an important role in the health of Southern Arizona residents and visitors; it’s the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region.
Updates and a webcam can be found on the project website.
Sundt Senior Vice President and Southwest District Manager Ryan Abbott.
Sundt Senior Vice President and Southwest District Manager Ryan Abbott recently sat down to talk with GlobeSt.com, an industry-leading website dedicated to providing original and timely commercial real estate news. During the interview, Ryan discussed the economy, construction best practices, major university construction projects and other exciting Sundt work going on throughout the Southwest.
GlobeSt.com: Where do you see the most potential growth in Phoenix’s construction economy?
Ryan Abbott: We’re following the demographics toward a greater healthcare infrastructure, biosciences research, diagnostic laboratories, technical education centers, digital record storing and retention. Phoenix has a diverse manufacturing base with emphasis on aerospace and electronics, supported by a growing higher education sector.
GlobeSt.com: You are a firm believer in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach in solving society’s biggest challenges. In your experience, have you seen more organizations/cities/schools in Phoenix adopt this approach in construction?
Abbott: Having just stepped beyond the threshold of what has been dubbed The Great Recession, I can tell you that I am truly amazed at the fragmentation that has occurred in the construction marketplace. Just like economic markets tend to travel with inertia – in a self-reinforcing trajectory until something overheats or overcools, then rapidly changes direction – we’re finding the same occurs with our client base, building owners. Given too much predictability, contract terms seem to revert from those that support collaboration to what I’ll call bunker-building or risk-coercing.
The inverse applies, as well. We’ve got some fantastic customers who have said, ‘You know I want long-lasting value, I want a predictable outcome, I want an experience that mimics the culture of my company,’ and throughout the last several years we have created unbelievable value with these customers.
GlobeSt.com: When does collaboration work best?
Abbott: It works best when all parties can put the endeavor first. It takes a customer who has the courage to tell their design and construction professionals what they want and where they’re headed. Collaboration works best when the stakes are high, the challenge grand and the objective transformational.
GlobeSt.com: Sundt has completed and is working on several major university construction projects in Arizona. Is there a trend you’re seeing in university construction?
Abbott: Threaded urban context where each building is supported by and reinforces the next. University construction requires teams to engage in, understand and dynamically respond to the ecology of the project. They have to be durable and long-lasting, and they have to take significant abuse yet remain completely flexible. They have to be easily maintained and industrial, yet be inspirational and inviting. They have to be inviting, yet safe and secure. They have to be adaptive, quickly reacting to large changes in occupants, yet elegantly simple.
A university is often a collection of independent fiefdoms tied together with a chilled water system. They are a decentralized model that requires a centralized vision. Getting to the best project requires diplomacy, understanding, transparency and communication, through every single medium possible. When we work with schools and universities, we work with some of the world’s greatest scientific minds that might be ill-equipped to translate two-dimensional discussions into three-dimensional spaces. We are working with pedagogical advancement that might likely change more quickly than we can build the space to house it. In fact, in some cases the curriculum to be taught in some of our projects hasn’t even been determined when we put the first shovel in the ground.
A modern campus bookstore doesn’t just contain books … it contains tablets and 3D printers and a coffee bar. Some modern classrooms don’t have a front or a back. They are designed to have team modules, where learning occurs side-by-side. It’s not rare to have a classroom technologically linked to another one somewhere else and the students of each collaborating on a project.
We are currently working on several public-private partnership projects where the university provides the land, a private developer provides the funding and then the university pays the developer over time for the use and ultimate ownership of the result. In some cases our team is even operating and maintaining the educational facility, leaving the school to do what it does best: teach. On the construction side of the equation, the buildings we are providing today are more cost-effective to own and operate than ever. We focus on the total cost of ownership in decision-making across the board.
Today it’s about proximity, about attracting creative people and creating the universities that keep them there. It’s no longer good enough to simply have spaces that support pedagogical advancement; modern universities need a world-class fitness center to play in, exceptional multi-family buildings to live in and state-of-the-art facilities to work in. Modern universities are landlords to fantastic restaurants, creators of walkways that connect and amenities that inspire.
GlobeSt.com: What other projects is Sundt working on throughout Arizona and the rest of the Southwest region?
Abbott: We’re building a laboratory and classroom building for what has been coined the ‘Harvard of the Sky,’ a hospital for an organization that is transforming sick-care into health-care, a 10-story biomedical science research building poised to turn first-generation doctors into disease curers, a 57,000-seat football stadium, an international airport, a 911-call center, a skilled nursing center, a cleanroom and an office tower.