May 7, 2018
May 4, 2018
United Rentals representatives give a demonstration at our Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant project in Texas.
National Safety Week got underway at our jobsites across the Southwest on Monday. The day’s theme was “Excavations, Flagging and Controlled Access Zones” and included presentations from vendors we work with to keep our employee-owners and subcontractors safe.
More than 80 employees and subcontractors attended a demonstration by United Rentals at our Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant project in Allen, Texas. Wilson staff were on site at 7 a.m. with a trench box, a steel or aluminum structure used for protecting workers to avoid cave-ins while performing underground work.
Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous of construction operations. Cave-ins are more likely to result in fatalities than other excavation-related accidents during trench shoring and excavation.
Several of our craft professionals are new to the company and the one-hour presentation was among their first impressions of our emphasis on safety. We have been a Safety Week sponsor for the past four years.
“I asked 15 craft workers how it went and they really liked it and thought it was interesting,” said Safety Representative Brien Brenfleck. “A lot of them had never been with a company that had done Safety Week.”
Safety Week’s mission is to raise awareness of the construction industry’s continuing commitment to eliminating worker injury, and to clearly communicate its dedication to a shared culture of care and concern.
Our Safety by Choice program focuses on how and why workers need to be safe. We encourage our employee-owners to make good choices every day so they can go home to enjoy their favorite activities with family and friends.
May 1, 2018
Sundy Project Engineer Dilip Allam.
Soon after graduating, he moved to Detroit and attended Wayne State University to earn his master’s in Civil Engineering. When he graduated in fall 2016, he moved to Tempe to work for Sundt. He and his brother, Dinesh, work for our Concrete Division. Dilip is in El Paso and Dinesh is in Tempe.
How did you learn about Sundt?
I joined Sundt as an Engineering Intern in summer 2016 and continued to work as a student while I was in my last semester in the fall. I was working from home in Detroit. Then I was offered to join full-time after school and took the offer.
What’s the most challenging thing a Project Engineer has to do?
What’s it like having a brother who essentially has the same job as you?
It is great to work together. We talk a lot about process development and how to lean our processes. One major process development we did together was creating a BIM process for estimating. In this project, Dinesh created a process that we call model-based estimating, which we are using for estimating in concrete and I created how-to videos for the whole process. I learned a lot of things from him throughout that process. Regarding personal life, I think it is always good to stay closer to your family members.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I would have the power of super speed like The Flash. It would help me be unstoppable while playing soccer or field hockey.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Shawshank Redemption.”
What’s one thing someone should do or visit when in the El Paso area?
The Scenic Drive is interesting in the evening.
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.