July 3, 2012
June 29, 2012
Sundt Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce that Chris Salmon has joined us as a field engineer in the Sacramento office. He will be working at the Sonoma State University student center project where he will be responsible for processing information requests, ensuring jobsite safety and serving as a liaison between Sundt and project owners, design professionals and subcontractors (Learn more here). 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 talking with Chris, and this is what we learned.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be in the major leagues. I thought baseball was my calling growing up since it always came easy for me. Though it didn’t work out I still play in an adult league with my twin brother and enjoy every minute I’m on the field as if it was the first time I ever set foot on one.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I want to go skydiving. Though the thought of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane just doesn’t seem right, I feel that it’s a rush that I have to experience at some point in my life. I also feel that it would be good training if I’m ever in the situation that I need to jump out of a plane I will at least know the basics and know that I can do it.
If you could build anything, what would you build?
I would love to build a sports complex or an amusement park someday. I think both projects would be a lot of fun since I enjoy spending time at both. If I was given the opportunity to build either, I would feel a great sense of accomplishment when it was complete. It would be a great feeling to sit in a seat at the stadium and know that I helped make history or to watch the first roller coaster put smiles on people’s faces knowing I had a hand in bringing enjoyment to someone else’s life.
When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not at work I like to be active as much as possible. Whether it is working out at my cross fit gym, snowboarding or backpacking, I like to keep moving and pushing myself to the limit.
What motivates you?
What motivates me is the urge to succeed. Whether it is work, play, or life in general, I want to be the best at whatever I am doing. I strive each day to become better at something, whether it is a process that I use to do something at work or even working on a lift at the gym that I’m not perfect at, I’m always pushing myself to become better.
What’s your goal for your new position?
My goal is to learn as much as possible from those around me. Everyone that I work with has a great deal of knowledge and I want to learn it all. It will not only benefit the company, but me as well.
June 27, 2012
Yuba College's new 26,000-square-foot Student and Instructional Services Center will be complete this fall.
Sundt is helping the Yuba College, Clear Lake Campus in Clearlake, Calif., get a fresh look and updated facilities by constructing a 26,000-square-foot Student and Instructional Services Center. The three buildings will provide consolidated space for administration and operations, student services, science labs, culinary arts, a library and a learning resource center. Most of these programs are currently housed in an assortment of modular buildings built in the 1970s. Sundt’s $13.4 million contract also includes all associated demolition, site work, and utilities.
Early in the project, the owner approached Sundt about installing a sidewalk in three days’ time – just before the beginning of summer school classes. Three days to demolish existing surfaces, install sleeves for utilities, prepare subgrade, form and place concrete was a tight schedule by itself, plus there were a number of utilities that had to be relocated including electrical, storm drains and a fire hydrant. Although it was tight, the project team was able to work with the subcontractors to devise a plan to ensure that the deadline was met.
The higher education project – slated for LEED Silver Certification – was awarded in May 2011 and will be complete this fall.
June 22, 2012
Not all marriages are happy ones, but the union of infrastructure and sustainability is one that seems destined for long-term success. Bringing them together results not just in tangible things that make places work, but in imaginative, creative endeavors that actually make places work better and improve how we live – both now and in the future.
Sustainable infrastructure, as Sundt defines it, is the focus on creating environments that are socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable. Many cutting-edge sustainable infrastructure projects exist in Arizona, where Sundt is headquartered, and where there is an urgent need for projects that address the state’s growing needs for roads, water, and mass transit.
Scot Bennett, one of Sundt’s sustainable infrastructure experts, spoke on this topic last Thursday at a National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Denver, Colo. He emphasized the critical importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors as we work to improve America’s infrastructure, as well as the value of long-range strategic planning.
Scot’s presentation focused on several sustainable projects in Arizona – some that have involved Sundt – and what he calls “ideas that have the potential to be bigger than they are today.” They are:
Valley Metro Light Rail in Phoenix
A nonprofit, public corporation charged with the design, construction and operation of the region’s light rail system. Currently, the light rail line serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Construction began in March 2005; operation started December 2008. In 2011 it had an estimated daily ridership of 41,300, making it the 12th busiest light rail system in the country. The project is a sign that Phoenix continues to mature and think sustainably about its infrastructure needs.
Solana Station solar power plant
The $2 billion Solana Station solar power plant is located about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix in Gila Bend and utilizes the proprietary concentrating solar trough technology. Arizona Public Service (APS) has contracted to purchase 100 percent of the power output generated from Solana to meet the Arizona Corporation Commission’s mandate that the state’s regulated utilities provide 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. If operating today at full capacity, Solana Station would be the largest solar power plant in the world, capable of producing enough energy to serve approximately 70,000 APS customers. Sundt is currently involved in this project as a contractor to Abengoa, the owner.
EnviroMission Solar Tower
In January of this year, EnviroMission received formal commitment to provide the development and construction capital for its first tower to be located in La Paz County, Ariz. Through a power purchase agreement, the tower will be providing energy for the Southern California Public Power Authority. To do this the company will construct a 2,600-foot-tall tower (twice the height of the empire state building) that will act as a turbine spinning chimney for hot air heated by a massive field of solar reflectors.
Superstition Vistas is located within what some are calling Arizona’s Megapolitan, the Sun Corridor, between the metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson. (Megapolitans are places where two or more metropolitan areas are growing together into one Superegion.) Superstition Vistas is comprised of about 175,000 acres of undeveloped land. The land is held in trust by the Arizona State Land Department and is managed for beneficiaries, the public schools and other state public institutions.
Because of its location, size and forecasted population growth, in 2007 this area was identified as the subject of a long-term land use and transportation scenario planning project by a group of public and private stakeholders. The goal is to take all the experience, knowledge, and lessons learned and develop a responsible, sustainable infrastructure and community for the future. Leaders view Superstition Vistas as having potential to create a new paradigm for sustainable development.
June 20, 2012
Blood drives help collect the 18,000 pints of blood used by Southern Arizona hospitals each summer.
Many Tucson-area Sundt employees have blood on their minds, but not because they’re caught up in the latest teen vampire craze. Earlier this month they participated in a blood drive organized by The Sundt Foundation to benefit the American Red Cross Blood Services Arizona Region. Twenty pints of blood were collected during the event, which was held in one of the large conference rooms of Sundt’s Tucson office.
“Of the twenty-seven people who participated in the drive at Sundt, nine were first-time donors,” said Kathy Zillman, donor recruitment representative with the Red Cross. “This is significant, because we now have additional blood donors to add to the donor pool, and we hope they will continue to donate blood in the future.”
All of the blood collected during the Sundt Foundation event went to Southern Arizona hospitals, where it will be used for emergencies, surgeries, chemotherapy treatment, and other needs. The Red Cross recently announced that the national blood supply has dropped to critically low levels for types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Together, local hospitals use approximately 18,000 pints of blood each year between June 1 and Labor Day.
“Giving blood is just another way we can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Tom Crohurst, president of the Sundt Foundation’s board of directors. “Every pint of blood benefits three people on average, so our volunteer event made a direct impact on about 60 individuals. That’s another proud achievement for the Sundt Foundation.”
The Sundt Foundation has long been a supporter of the American Red Cross by giving grants to support its programs, many of which focus not just on large-scale disaster relief, but on helping people deal with life’s day-to-day struggles.
Fort Bliss’s new machine gun target practice range is digitally controlled so that new combat scenarios can be created, generating nearly unlimited training opportunities. The concrete targets are located on the semicircles pictured above.
At Fort Bliss Army Post in El Paso, Texas, Sundt is building a target range – its third practice facility at Fort Bliss – designed specifically for machine gun training. The $7.5 million Automated Multipurpose Machine Gun Range project began in early January 2012 and is expected to be completed on January 29, 2013.
It sits on a 200-acre site that includes the range itself, a range operations and control area, classroom building, ammunition breakdown building, bleacher enclosure, range operations and storage building, operations tower, latrine, covered mess, and building information systems. Supporting facilities include electric service, paving, storm drainage, site improvements and information systems.
Sundt’s ability to self-perform all of the concrete work is playing an instrumental role in helping the team control the project’s quality and tight schedule. They created the foundations for the buildings and are manufacturing 120 concrete blocks, each measuring 2x2x6 feet, using an efficient assembly line approach.
One of the project’s biggest challenges is staying within the designated work areas, which were cleared of unexploded ordinances prior to Sundt’s arrival. (Much of Fort Bliss was used as a bombing practice range during World War II; it still includes many live bombs that restrict where construction crews can operate.) Another challenge is the limited source of water that dictates the team’s production rates.