February 15, 2012
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.
February 8, 2012
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.
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.
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.