February 22, 2012
February 21, 2012
The Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson emphasizes "21st Century Learning." It opened last August.
The new Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson is a project that encourages creative thinking from the students who use it as well as the team that built it. That’s because the K-8 school’s design reflects the tenets of “21st Century Learning,” a contemporary educational approach that emphasizes skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability, effective communication, curiosity and imagination.
Sundt’s $22 million Construction Manager at Risk contract was for construction of seven buildings on the 25-acre site, as well as off-site improvement work that included a new, signalized traffic intersection. The project team is pursuing LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The facility is highly flexible, with classrooms, called ‘studios,’ organized into community buildings that contain various age groups. If you’re imagining a typical school organized around long, lonely hallways, think again. There are no interior corridors. Instead, the central spines of the community buildings are break-out spaces where students in different grades work together on projects.
“The project’s flexibility was challenging from a construction standpoint because the seven buildings aren’t typical, box-like structures and are extremely articulated in their design,” says Senior Project Manager Kevin Almquist. “In fact, the project contains relatively few 90 degree corners, which made the layout and construction work pretty challenging.”
The bottom line, he says, is that “in building an educational facility that encourages creative thinking, we’ve learned a thing or two as well.” The school opened last August.
February 15, 2012
Outdoor spaces at Tercero - Phase 3 will encourage socializing, community-building, and fun.
Remember when dorm living was something you simply hoped to survive, much less enjoy? The University of California, Davis will be lucky if students ever want to leave its new Tercero Student Housing project, the third phase of which will be built by Sundt beginning this summer.
Our $71 million, design-build contract consists of constructing seven, four-story buildings that surround a unique courtyard in a village-style configuration that provides multiple opportunities for residents to socialize and develop community. Bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly pathways will be woven throughout a diverse landscape of existing mature trees and native plants.
When Tercero – Phase 3 is complete in June 2014, its 1,200 residents will enjoy an environmentally and socially responsible community that’s integrated into its surroundings, where the architecture and landscape help create a strong social fabric and create extraordinary spaces for students to develop a sense of belonging, connection, friendship and fun.
They’ll also know that they’re helping create a greener future, thanks to a sustainable and performance-based design philosophy that should put the project well within reach of LEED Platinum certification. In fact, Tercero – Phase 3 is designed to help fulfill the campus’s sustainability goals, one of which is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2014.
Student housing that’s fun, attractive, and good for the environment? It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to college…
February 14, 2012
A view of the pedestrian bridge at Fountainhead Office Plaza, which spans 12 acres and includes nearly half a million square feet of leasable office space
Fountainhead Office Plaza, recently completed by Sundt in metro Phoenix, is an inspiring success story for these difficult economic times. As commercial building was at a virtual standstill throughout the Phoenix area, the Fountainhead project drew attention for its ambitious scope that included a large amount of premium, leasable office space. The project is 100 percent leased by a single tenant – the University of Phoenix – for 20 years.
Sundt’s contract included demolition of three existing buildings and associated parking areas, reconfiguration of a lake, the construction of one 10-story building and one six-story building totaling 493,661 square feet, and an above-grade parking structure that accommodates 2,084 vehicles. Sundt also performed the project’s tenant improvements.
Our team faced a number of challenges such as asbestos abatement in the existing buildings before they were demolished, an aggressive schedule, and having to reconfigure the existing lake to make room for the building pads. The project included approximately 30,000 cubic yards of concrete work, which was performed by Sundt’s own crews.
February 10, 2012
Sundt Construction, Inc. is pleased to welcome Steve Schwab to the team as a project director in the Civil Division. Based out of our Tempe office, Steve will be support business development efforts of infrastructure and civil projects. (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 Steve, and this is what we learned.
What is it about Sundt that has led you to make your career here?
I wanted to be a part of Sundt’s culture of long-term planning and strategic thinking.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated to solve problems in innovative ways. I try to generate creative solutions that others might not be able to see.
How do you alleviate stress?
I laugh a lot, even when the pressure is on. I try to see the positive side of challenging situations.
What is one thing few people know about you?
My wife and I serve as fosters for rescued Labrador Retrievers. If you are looking for a great dog, check out dlrrphoenix.org!
Where in the world would you most like to visit?
I’d love to go on a Mediterranean or South Pacific cruise.
The University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management - built by Sundt - won the 2011 National Design-Build Excellence Award for Educational Facilities.
Even people who don’t know much about construction can tell you the traditional way to build a project: Hire an architect to draw up the plans, solicit bids from contractors, then select the one with the lowest price. That method, called Design-Bid-Build, is still widely used, but it’s no longer the only option out there – nor is it the best approach for many kinds of projects.
Owners today have a number of approaches to choose from, such as Design-Build, Construction Manager at Risk, Lease-Leaseback and others. These alternate project delivery methods often foster greater creativity and collaboration between the architect, owner, contractor, and subcontractors, and they can result in bigger, better projects – built faster and for less money than was originally budgeted.
How? Alternate project delivery methods consider a number of factors, beyond price alone, during contractor selection – factors such as qualifications and experience. And whereas the traditional Design-Bid-Build process separates design and construction, alternate project delivery methods involve the contractor early in the project, often before design even begins. This way they can use their experience and specialized knowledge to help shape the project from its inception, rather than during construction – a costly process that can frustrate owners. Another advantage: Design-Build provides a single point of responsibility for the entire project, allowing the owner to deal with one entity rather than each one separately.
Sundt is a leader in the use of alternate project delivery methods, to the extent that we played an instrumental role in changing Arizona’s procurement laws for public projects. Our CEO, Dave Crawford, was an active participant in the drafting, lobbying, education and passage of House Bill 2340, the legislation permitting alternative project delivery methods for public construction in the state of Arizona. Passage of this bill was effective August 15, 2000, enabling public owners to determine the best delivery method to achieve their quality, value and schedule objectives. Dave is also past president of the Design-Build Institute of America.