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 3, 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.
May 2, 2018
Project Linus blankets go to sick children or those facing hardship.
Named after the beloved, blanket-carrying character from the “Peanuts” comic strip, Project Linus does real-life work that improves the lives of children facing hardship.
Tucson Chapter Coordinator Rene Lassise said her group has a database of around 300 volunteers who make blankets and drop them off or pick them up and quality check them at collection sites around the city. One of those locations is Sundt’s Tucson office; the company lends space to the organization once a month.
Project Linus gives blankets to facilities and nonprofits that distribute them based on need.
“Our blankets are delivered once a month to hospitals, clinics, the DCS/foster care facilities, Ronald McDonald House, Emerge!, Blake Foundation/Easter Seals, etc.,” Rene said. “We try to fill the needs at the hospitals and clinics first, getting blankets to the neediest children.”
Project Linus’ national organization estimates purchasing the material to make a blanket costs $20. The Tucson chapter also accepts donations of new, clean yarn and fabric. By mixing donations with new materials, Rene is able to make kits available to groups and individuals to turn into blankets.
Volunteers from the Tucson chapter made 6,800 blankets last year. A $2,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation is helping the organization supplement what it has and keeps volunteers from having to dig as deep in their pockets to pay for supplies. In a sign of gratitude, the organization made a blanket with Sundt’s logo on it that hangs in the Tucson office’s lobby.
“Our organization needs these blankets for the children all the time, 365 days of the year. It isn’t a one-time event,” Rene said. “The grant from the Sundt Foundation enables me to have the materials available for the volunteers to make the blankets.”
Rene said her chapter receives numerous cards and letters from blanket recipients. She has almost five scrapbooks filled with thank-you notes.
“I have one story from a young lady I met at the University of Arizona during one of our events on campus,” Rene said. “She was a senior and getting ready to graduate that spring. When she was 15, she attempted suicide. While in the hospital, she was given a Linus blanket. She said she realized the world is full of caring people and she still had her blanket in the dorm room with her.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.
May 1, 2018
Four buildings will be connected to form the Student Success District at the University of Arizona.
When the University of Arizona’s Class of 2018 comes back to campus in a couple of years, many graduates won’t recognize some corners of campus.
The biggest change is coming thanks to evolving trends in education and retention that have led UA officials to develop the Student Success District concept. The project we’re performing includes four buildings and eight user groups, all with the goal of making students more comfortable and more likely to graduate.
Bear Down Gym, built in 1926, will join the Main Library, Science Library and new Student Success Building to comprise the district. The facilities will be linked by canopies, walkways and bridges on what will be our 60th project for the university, creating a campus core that includes the best of the university’s academics, research, student support and success services.
Here’s a little of what lucky students will experience starting in 2020.
Everyone will like it a latte: The district will have collaborative work areas, tutoring spaces, classrooms, retail spots, restaurants and even workout rooms. Study, get a warm drink and try hot yoga.
The great outdoors is coming inside: We’re turning brick walls into glass, bringing the elements indoors to make the facilities more comfortable and relaxing for students and staff. Like most modern corporate campuses, the Success District reflects how students best function on school campuses.
There’s room for more: Construction will take place over two phases. The Main Library and Student Success Building will be worked on first followed by Bear Down Gym and the Science Library. The project scope could grow again. The three-story Student Success Building could become four stories as other user groups are showing interest, bringing more students into the fold.
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.