February 8, 2012
February 7, 2012
Artist’s rendering of the new University Center at Sonoma State University
For the first time, students at Sonoma State University will have a dedicated student center for dining, studying, shopping, student government, alumni relations and more when Sundt completes a $49 million project there next fall. Our crews are using Building Information Modeling throughout construction of the 130,000-square-foot University Center, especially during installation of the complex mechanical system.
“The building has kitchens on all three floors to support the dining facilities, a pub, and catering services for the alumni lounge and top floor ballroom. Coordinating all of the mechanical systems for those food service areas will probably be our biggest challenge,” says Project Manager Ron Deal. “BIM will be very helpful, especially because mechanical spaces these days tend to be designed as small as possible.”
The building will be situated in the heart of campus where it is intended to be a new hub of student life. The modern design, which hinges on the extensive use of glass, stucco and metal panels, will complement the new recreation center that sits immediately adjacent to the site. The University Center’s most prominent feature will be an interior staircase that extends from the ground floor to the top level and can be seen from the outside through the expansive glass walls. It will also include a number of high-end interior finishes.
February 3, 2012
DeAnza's Mediated Learning Center has a buoyancy-driven circulation system that relies on physical science, forces of nature and the heat generated by building occupants and electronics.
The Mediated Learning Center at DeAnza College in Cupertino, Calif., is an exciting project for those who will occupy it as well as those who are designing and building it. When it’s complete this spring, the $35 million facility – which is targeting LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council – will boast an innovative buoyancy-driven air circulation system that’s unusual even among “green” projects.
Instead of relying on a forced-air system to route air throughout the 66,900-square-foot building, the buoyancy-driven system relies on physical science, forces of nature and the heat generated by building occupants and electronics. It’s designed to ventilate more than 80 percent of the building without fan power and produce indoor air quality by supplying 100 percent outside air through six hourly air changes.
Here’s how it works: The system draws in outside air through tower-shaped intakes on the rooftop. As the air passes over cooling coils and the temperature decreases, it descends through the shafts into the under-floor air chambers serving the first and second floor. Heating coils warm the air as needed to meet occupant-preferred temperature settings and then supplies it through floor-based vents as part of the building’s energy-efficient under-floor air distribution system. As people and equipment warm the air throughout the day, the air and indoor air pollutants rise to ceiling exhaust shafts and move to the atrium. Sandwiched between classrooms and offices, the atrium – topped with a fritted, high-performance glass skylight – releases air to the outdoors through its clerestory louvers.
Not surprisingly, this system’s implementation requires a sophisticated level of coordination and commissioning throughout construction. Sundt and other members of the project team meet regularly to review how the system is being implemented and develop methods to track circulation and measure output.
Helping take green projects to a whole new level…now that’s a breath of fresh air.
February 1, 2012
One of the concourse areas renovated by Sundt in a project at Tucson International Airport
Airport construction projects are uniquely challenging. They have immense security requirements. Most airports are open and functioning 24/7. And they’re all connected: a closed concourse or delayed flight in Rome could affect travelers in Detroit.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a contractor, like Sundt, that’s an expert in the field of airport construction. Our experience in the aviation industry goes back decades and spans a range of project types, from large international airports to small municipal airfields, military aviation facilities, and more.
We understand that airport customers want to get where they’re going quickly and efficiently, which makes precise planning and communication the keys to success. As one Sundt project manager puts it, “The biggest thing we can offer our clients is invisibility, to make it seem like we’re not even there.” Building temporary walls and walkways, creating way-finding signage and videos, and working carefully around flight schedules – these are things we consider necessary and important parts of the job.
Sundt’s employees are well trained in the varying levels of FAA and TSA security requirements – for landside areas outside of terminals, “sterile” zones within concourses, and out on the tarmac. The tools and equipment that are allowed in one area are strictly forbidden in others. Only an experienced contractor knows the difference.
- Excellent communication with airport owners and the public
- Detailed planning and coordination
- A thorough knowledge of security requirements
- The ability to anticipate challenges and avert problems
That’s what’s on our pre-flight checklist. What’s on yours?
January 30, 2012
Members of the Banta Elementary and Middle School project team recently broke ground on the $18 million project.
“If you build it, they will come.” When Kevin Costner spoke those now-legendary words in the movie “Field of Dreams,” he was talking about baseball, of course, not schools. But the same visionary idea also underlies Sundt’s current K-12 education project in Lathrop, Calif. – an $18 million elementary and middle school for the River Islands at Lathrop master-planned community. The project team recently broke ground on the new Banta Elementary and Middle School, even though the development doesn’t have any houses yet.
“While it’s rare that the construction of a school is happening in advance of residential construction, it makes for a unique project and neat opportunity,” said Teri Jones, project executive and vice president for Sundt. “Building the first school allows the developer and district to address the needs and priorities of potential future residents. As they shop for a home, families will be able to tour the school their children could potentially attend.”
When it opens its doors in August of 2013, Banta Elementary and Middle School will accommodate 1,500 students on a 30-acre site within the River Islands development. At build-out, River Islands will offer 18 miles of lakefront living with 11,000 residential units, five million square feet of commercial space, plus six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.
Sundt is pleased to welcome construction industry veteran Marty Garza to the team as area manager. Marty is in charge of leading higher education business development for our Texas Division and overseeing all operations of community college and university projects throughout the state. He comes to Sundt with 29 years of construction experience in Central and South Texas with a special focus on higher education and municipal projects.
Since Sundt believes that our people are the core of what we do, we wanted to get to know our latest addition. We recently spent a little time chatting with Marty, and this is what we learned.
When not at work, how do you spend your time?
I am with my wife and family. We enjoy movies, dining and friends.
What is it about Sundt that has led you to make your career here?
I have been involved in the AGC for many years and have always been impressed with the professionalism, integrity and values exhibited by several Sundt leaders at AGC events. I knew a long time ago that I wanted to be a part of it.
If you weren’t in construction, what would you be doing?
I have always wanted to fly jets….I would definitely be a pilot!!!
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
Being asked to serve on the Board of the AGC Education & Research Foundation.
What’s your goal for your new position?
I want to help achieve our ambitious growth plans.
What is one thing that few people know about you?
I was a High School and Collegiate All-Around Gymnast. Of course that was 30 years and 40 pounds ago….
What’s your favorite movie?
My favorite movies are by Disney…Pirates is the best.
Where would you most like to travel?
China. I have always been fascinated with the Chinese culture and the vast and varying landscapes.
If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Chuck Yeager…He flew FAST jets.