May 25, 2018
May 18, 2018
Project Manager David Musch recently earned a Top Young Professional award from Engineering News-Record Texas & Louisiana for his dedication to improving construction processes and outcomes. David is the Continuous Improvement Leader for Sundt’s Building Group – Texas District and was part of the first class in the country to complete the Associated General Contractors Lean Certification program.
David grew up in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, and attended Loyola University in New Orleans on a baseball scholarship. He has been with Sundt since 2014. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and fishing. He and Lindsey, his wife of 10 years, have two daughters, Lily (8) and Ivy (5).
What was your first thought when you learned you won the award?
It caught me off guard. I didn’t have any expectations to win. I am very honored to have been chosen. I work hard and am passionate about my career, so it feels good to be recognized.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since joining Sundt?
Sundt has given me great opportunities to learn and develop my career. I have been a Continuous Improvement Leader since 2015 representing the Texas Building District. I received my CM-Lean certificate and was recently asked to be a member of the group that promotes education and training for Lean. I was the Project Manager from pre-construction through operations on the Wichita Falls Independent School District Career and Technology Center. We worked very hard over the course of two years to deliver the project on time and under budget.
Which project are you working on now?
CPS Energy Headquarters in downtown San Antonio. It is a difficult and complex project with a high profile client and exposure in the city. We have a great team and the client has been very receptive to our performance. We are still in the early stages of the project, with about two months remaining on the demo schedule. We also have a large self-perform concrete element, so this will be a great project for our local resume.
How open has the company been to allowing young professionals to bring their ideas to the table?
There has been a lot of change during my time with Sundt. As a company, we are always looking for ways to improve our performance. This type of environment is great for young professionals to expand their careers and push the envelope with technology and process improvement.
What do you see in your future as a Sundt employee-owner?
I look forward to the challenge of expanding my leadership and role in operations.
May 16, 2018
As Phoenix’s summer temperatures hit triple digits, many homeless and disadvantaged people suffer from thirst and heat-related illness. Today, Sundt employee-owners and industry partners donated 296,252 bottles of water to assist the Phoenix-area’s homeless during our annual Thirst-Aid drive.
The water was loaded onto a semi-truck and delivered to St. Joseph the Worker, a nonprofit that has aided the homeless and underserved population for almost 30 years in Greater Phoenix. St. Joseph partners with the Human Services Campus, a collaboration of 12 homeless service providers, to distribute the water.
If you would like to contribute, visit St. Joseph the Worker’s website to make a donation.
May 15, 2018
A crane puts the 145,000-pound auger cast pile drill rig into place at the Canopy Hilton River Walk site.
We will use every bit of our skill to successfully build the Canopy Hilton River Walk, a 22-story hotel in downtown San Antonio on a zero lot line. We crossed one of our first big milestones May 6 when we placed the drill rig into the 20-foot-deep excavation hole.
Our team arrived by 5:30 a.m. and started the process of placing traffic barricades that closed Commerce and St. Mary’s streets. The 500-ton crane and its eight supporting semis carrying rigging and counterweights arrived at 6:30 a.m. and were positioned. An hour later, the auger cast pile drill rig, which weighs 145,000 pounds, arrived and parked at its lift position. It took three hours to position the crane in the intersection, place the outrigger dunning mats and set counterweights.
The operation took weeks of coordination, especially given the tight surroundings. Tall buildings, including a 24-story hotel across the street, fill the area, and the process of coordinating the closure of two busy downtown intersections took planning and constant updates to all stakeholders in the immediate area. Stakeholders included several hotels, businesses, and a church one block to the north.
“The team put a great deal of time and effort into this operation,” said Project Engineer Anthony Pallini. “We spent months planning the logistics with numerous entities in order to make sure that we were not missing key components of the undertaking. It was truly a Sundt team effort as the Texas Building District and Concrete Division relied on each other’s strengths to develop and execute the critical lift.”
Pedestrians are always around, but during the lift, foot traffic was kept away from the jobsite.
“When you shut streets down and put a crane in the middle of a busy intersection it’s going to attract people,” Senior Project Manager Fred Galvan said. “Also on a Sunday morning, we had to consider there’s a church one block down and the worship service occurred during our operation.”
The drill rig will be removed in June and the same process to install will be reversed using lessons learned from this first phase. In July, the project tower crane will arrive and take three days to put together. The hook height of the tower crane will be 306 feet, giving us two cranes in the San Antonio skyline. The second is located at the CPS Energy Headquarters project.
Click here to watch the project’s progress.
May 11, 2018
The JV team and our subcontractors gave the Ronald McDonald House Family Room an upgrade at Banner UMC-Tucson.
Our work at Banner UMC-Tucson had a rewarding side project with unwavering support from the owner, our JV partner and subcontractors.
The team combined to overhaul the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Banner Children’s Diamond Children’s Medical Center at no cost to Ronald McDonald House Charities. The new facility, which opened last week, is a more welcoming environment for families of children who are being treated at the hospital. The room helps them feel more comfortable during a stressful time.
Prior to our involvement, the place needed a little work. Located on the fourth floor of the hospital, just outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the 15-year-old facility looked like a waiting room.
“The project was an overhaul of the entire space,” Project Manager Jeremy Kwapich said.
The approximately 500 square feet of renovations included work on the living room, work area, kitchen and computer space. The crews painted walls, installed millwork, countertops and shelves, replaced the lighting and flooring, added a ceramic tile backsplash in the kitchen and replaced ceiling tiles.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona CEO Kate Jensen had raised funds for the renovations and even reached out to a contractor, who suggested she speak with Sundt. She got in contact with Sundt Senior Vice President Ryan Abbott, who put her in touch with Jeremy and Field Engineer Daniel Kovach about doing the work
Kate was planning to make a few compromises to pare the budget. After the sides agreed to start work March 1, Kate asked about payment. She was floored when Jeremy and the team said everything would be covered and the new room would have what she requested.
“They never said Sundt would pay for it,” Kate said.
Jeremy said: “It was my goal to get the construction costs of the project 100 percent donated. With the help of Banner, DPR Construction and all of our subcontractors’ willingness to help such a wonderful charity, we were able to achieve the goal. The project was truly a team effort among all parties.”
The new family room allows families to rest and regroup with refreshments in a relaxing atmosphere. Gone is the hospital waiting room feeling.
Moms and dads who have children in the hospital are under an unbelievable amount of stress. The Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a little bit of respite. The newly remodeled room has soothing colors, soft lighting and comfortable seating. The room is staffed with volunteers who offer visitors a hot cup of coffee, a snack and a smile.
“The guys went to the mats to see that we got everything we wanted,” Kate said. “They wanted to make sure we were happy with everything. It was a godsend to work with them. We are really thrilled.”
Todd Lindley from Rocky Mountain Power shows what can happen when construction workers make contact with power lines.
Rarely have toys been in so much peril.
As part of National Safety Week presentations on our jobsites, Todd Lindley from Rocky Mountain Power used plastic figurines to illustrate potentially deadly situations to our team in Salt Lake City.
But this was no kids’ play; the toys had metal sticks in their hands to conduct electricity. While the meltdowns weren’t real, they were good examples of why craft professionals need to be careful around power.
“His demonstration included equipment and people coming in contact with overhead power lines and underground power,” said Area Safety Manager Jerri Dragt. “He talked about the effects of water and electricity and showed how our bodies can be a great path to ground. Electricity is always looking for the least resistant path to ground.”
Todd showed how overhead power lines can move with the time of day because of heat and wind. He talked about how to exit equipment safely when an operator mistakenly allows machinery to contact overhead power lines. OSHA regulations require people and equipment to stay 10 feet away from overhead lines. Cranes are supposed to stay 20 feet away.
His demonstration showed an equipment operator should get out of the machinery the same way a motorist does if his or car hits a transformer box. The first option is to stay in the vehicle or equipment until the line is de-energized. If the vehicle or equipment catches fire, the escape plan becomes more immediate.
“Leap as far away as possible, landing on both feet before shuffling, not running, at least 100 feet away,” Jerri said.
Todd also covered underground power, discussing blue stakes and requirements for potholing when excavating.
It was another informative Safety Week at our sites across the Southwest. But our commitment to safety never ends. It’s the top priority on all our jobsites, in our offices and when we go home. As a two-time winner of the AGC Grand Award, we stand by our safety record and commit our full attention to sending our employee-owners home safely to their families and friends every day.