May 3, 2018
May 2, 2018
Project Linus blankets go to sick children or those facing hardship.
Named after the beloved, blanket-carrying character from the “Peanuts” comic strip, Project Linus does real-life work that improves the lives of children facing hardship.
Tucson Chapter Coordinator Rene Lassise said her group has a database of around 300 volunteers who make blankets and drop them off or pick them up and quality check them at collection sites around the city. One of those locations is Sundt’s Tucson office; the company lends space to the organization once a month.
Project Linus gives blankets to facilities and nonprofits that distribute them based on need.
“Our blankets are delivered once a month to hospitals, clinics, the DCS/foster care facilities, Ronald McDonald House, Emerge!, Blake Foundation/Easter Seals, etc.,” Rene said. “We try to fill the needs at the hospitals and clinics first, getting blankets to the neediest children.”
Project Linus’ national organization estimates purchasing the material to make a blanket costs $20. The Tucson chapter also accepts donations of new, clean yarn and fabric. By mixing donations with new materials, Rene is able to make kits available to groups and individuals to turn into blankets.
Volunteers from the Tucson chapter made 6,800 blankets last year. A $2,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation is helping the organization supplement what it has and keeps volunteers from having to dig as deep in their pockets to pay for supplies. In a sign of gratitude, the organization made a blanket with Sundt’s logo on it that hangs in the Tucson office’s lobby.
“Our organization needs these blankets for the children all the time, 365 days of the year. It isn’t a one-time event,” Rene said. “The grant from the Sundt Foundation enables me to have the materials available for the volunteers to make the blankets.”
Rene said her chapter receives numerous cards and letters from blanket recipients. She has almost five scrapbooks filled with thank-you notes.
“I have one story from a young lady I met at the University of Arizona during one of our events on campus,” Rene said. “She was a senior and getting ready to graduate that spring. When she was 15, she attempted suicide. While in the hospital, she was given a Linus blanket. She said she realized the world is full of caring people and she still had her blanket in the dorm room with her.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.
May 1, 2018
Four buildings will be connected to form the Student Success District at the University of Arizona.
When the University of Arizona’s Class of 2018 comes back to campus in a couple of years, many graduates won’t recognize some corners of campus.
The biggest change is coming thanks to evolving trends in education and retention that have led UA officials to develop the Student Success District concept. The project we’re performing includes four buildings and eight user groups, all with the goal of making students more comfortable and more likely to graduate.
Bear Down Gym, built in 1926, will join the Main Library, Science Library and new Student Success Building to comprise the district. The facilities will be linked by canopies, walkways and bridges on what will be our 60th project for the university, creating a campus core that includes the best of the university’s academics, research, student support and success services.
Here’s a little of what lucky students will experience starting in 2020.
Everyone will like it a latte: The district will have collaborative work areas, tutoring spaces, classrooms, retail spots, restaurants and even workout rooms. Study, get a warm drink and try hot yoga.
The great outdoors is coming inside: We’re turning brick walls into glass, bringing the elements indoors to make the facilities more comfortable and relaxing for students and staff. Like most modern corporate campuses, the Success District reflects how students best function on school campuses.
There’s room for more: Construction will take place over two phases. The Main Library and Student Success Building will be worked on first followed by Bear Down Gym and the Science Library. The project scope could grow again. The three-story Student Success Building could become four stories as other user groups are showing interest, bringing more students into the fold.
April 27, 2018
Dan Osterman became Sundt’s first LEED AP in 2002.
Sundt Preconstruction Project Manager Dan Osterman has been named to the Environmental Leader 75 (EL75) list by Environmentalleader.com, a source of news and best practices for commercial and industrial environmental professionals.
The EL 75 is a list of the top 75 executives in each business vertical (environmental and energy) as selected by the editorial and management team at Business Sector Media, based on applications supplied by the individual, a peer, co-worker, manager, vendor or customer. The program received so many nominations that it expanded from 50 to 75 recipients this year.
Dan, a LEEP AP® Building Design + Construction, became the first LEED AP at Sundt in October 2002. He was instrumental in getting the first 50 Sundt employee-owners started on their journey to becoming LEED APs, and in getting Sundt to join the USGBC as a national member; Sundt is a Silver Member.
“It is an honor to receive this award and be recognized as part of a group with other leaders who have been instrumental in initiating and keeping the sustainability fires going in their organizations,” Dan said.
He was a founding member of the Arizona Chapter of USGBC and its second Chairman. As a member of the USGBC Minnesota Chapter, he served as Membership/Sponsorship Chairman, Board Member, Treasurer and Heartland Regional Council Representative. His most recent positions include Board Member and Chairman of the Sonoran (Southern) Branch of the Arizona Chapter.
Dan began his involvement in Green Building in 2001 as a member of the Scottsdale Green Building Committee. One of his signature projects was the Great River Energy headquarters in Minnesota, a LEED Platinum® project.
EL75 recipients will be honored at the Environmental Leader and Energy Manager Conference in Denver from May 15-17.
April 25, 2018
Sundt Project Engineer Dinesh Reddy Allam.
Project Engineer Dinesh Reddy Allam has been with Sundt for two years after spending a year as an intern with another concrete contractor in Phoenix. A native of Hyderabad, India, Dinesh has a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and a master’s in Infrastructure Management from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in his native country. He also has a master’s in Construction Engineering from Arizona State University.
His brother, a Project Engineer named Dilip, also works for us. Both are in our Concrete Division.
How did you get your job at Sundt?
The company reached out after finding me on LinkedIn.
What does a Project Engineer do?
A Project Engineer acts as a liaison between the project team and subcontractors, vendors and anyone external on a project. The cool thing about being on the self-perform side is the Project Engineer gets to analyze and act on labor production rates and commodity curves on a daily basis.
How important is the role technology plays in preconstruction?
We have seen massive gains in efficiencies in the way we set up estimates. With an upward trend in the industry using building information models during the design phase of a project, we leverage the information in those models to perform quantity takeoffs much faster and more accurately. It gives us more time to do constructability reviews and analyze the structure on how it needs to get built.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
The power to clone myself. That way, I can multiply my efficiency.
What’s your favorite movie?
My favorite has to be “Baahubali: The Beginning,” which is a Tollywood movie from my hometown.
What’s one thing someone should do or visit when in the Phoenix area?
You should definitely try mountain biking. My favorite is the South Mountain National Trail.
Each cycle, which is the process of prepping and placing a deck, usually takes three weeks.
One of the things that can be frustrating on a job site is having subcontractors waiting around to work. Delays waste time and money, and can impact project morale.
We made sure that didn’t happen during our concrete deck cycle operation on the Cal Poly Pomona Student Housing project. The work is critical to the schedule and success of the project.
Careful planning by Field Superintendent Jessie Castro, Senior Project Engineer Adam Mack and Project Superintendent Andy Larsen ensured the cycle stayed on track. Each cycle, which is the process of prepping and placing a deck, usually takes three weeks.
“Without a vertical placement of columns and walls, our horizontal cycle is affected and it trickles down to the other trades starting their work,” Field Engineer Jessie Castro said.
Communication happen throughout the day, starting with the reinforcing contractor joining our morning foreman and lead-man meeting. This is when foremen talk to each other about progress and coordinate crane time.
“With multiple trades involved, constant communication is required to avoid workers waiting on work or work waiting on workers,” Jessie said. “The project team is effectively using the weekly work plan meeting. It’s our formal sit-down where each trade commits to the group what they will be accomplishing in the next week and eliminates any possible impacts to our schedule.”
Placing concrete decks is a team effort. At Cal Poly Pomona, we used a cycle that repeated every three weeks per segment. Each cycle started by lowering tables and jumping onto the next level. After the deck was sheathed and the perimeter handrail installed for safety, the deck was released to multiple trades to pre-install sleeves, block-outs and electrical, followed by reinforcing steel. After stud rail rebar and post-tension cables were set prior to placement, each deck went through an inspection to ensure quality work.
After a quality inspection we placed the deck before sunrise. As the deck cured, we started setting columns and shear walls that were placed in the afternoon.
This project includes multiple structures, including a student residence hall, a supporting mechanical central plant and a stand-alone, single-story dining commons. We eliminated potential for confusion through top-notch coordination.
“Having a plan, working the plan and communication are the key factors to having this project run as successfully and efficiently as possible,” Jessie said.
Our deck placement occurred before sunrise at Pomona.