April 4, 2018
April 3, 2018
Continuous Improvement Program Manager Dominic Daughtrey (center) shows Project Engineer Tyler Persyn (left) and Intern Meagan Garcia how to use the DJI Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian drone.
Members of our team working on the Canopy Hilton along San Antonio’s historic River Walk recently took to the skies to avoid problems on the ground.
Continuous Improvement Program Manager Dominic Daughtrey held a training session with newly licensed drone pilots Senior Virtual Construction Engineer Mark Epstein and Engineering Interns Meagan Garcia and Matt Huffine for about 90 minutes using our DJI Phantom Pro 4 Obsidian.
The Canopy Hilton River Walk will be 22 stories with 195 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace.
Flights will take place before concrete is poured for the post-tension decks. The drone will be used to spot-check slab penetrations and sleeve locations, ensuring utilities are in the correct places and slab box-outs are the proper size before concrete is poured. Each time a clash is found in a post-tension slab, it costs the project between $10,000 and $50,000 to repair or resolve.
“With an incredibly complex project, it is one of our major goals to discover these clashes before they are constructed in the field,” Mark said. “Flights will also be performed following the concrete pour to monitor project progress, inspection and quality control.”
The craft will capture dozens of photographs and combine them using a program called Pix4D to create a jobsite orthomosaic, an aerial photograph geometrically corrected so the scale is uniform. Think Google satellite image (plan view) with 4K resolution. These plan views can also be geo-located with the use of precise ground control points. Aerial photographs are used to create a point cloud of the existing conditions and surrounding structures. A point cloud is a three-dimensional image and model that is created from the photographs based on the distance of the existing element from the drone. The model can be imported into the architect’s model to verify existing conditions and locations.
“On the Canopy project, we have a neighboring structure with a wall that is about 150 years old,” Mark said. “We’ve fully documented the existing conditions of that wall for any future questions, claims or otherwise. We’ve also created a point cloud model of it which accurately illustrates the location and will be used to proactively investigate constructability concerns.”
The hotel is one of the most high-profile projects going on in San Antonio. The 22-story facility will feature more than 3,000 square feet of meeting space, 195 guest rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
The Master Plan Project Overlay shows the complexity and tight confines on site.
April 2, 2018
In the Sierra Forever Families’ Wonder Mentoring Program, children in foster care are matched one-to-one with caring adults who are committed to enriching their lives.
For many children in foster care, a forever family means the difference between a life of support and one of tragedy. Fifty percent of foster children who age out of the system upon turning 18 will be homeless, victimized, incarcerated or dead within 2 years and 65 percent of unwed females will be pregnant by age 20, according to data presented before the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee in 2016.
“Children who become part of a forever family go on to enroll in and graduate from college at higher rates than their peers who age out of the system, earn higher incomes as young adults and have lower incidences of drug and alcohol use,” said Sierra Forever Families Director of Development & Public Relations Christie Shorrock. “Everyone benefits when foster children find their forever families.”
A $2,500 grant by the Sundt Foundation helped the Sierra Forever Families’ Wonder Mentoring Program. In the program, kids in foster care are matched one-to-one with caring adults who are committed to enriching their young lives through a year-long journey filled with activities in the arts, nature, sports, volunteer service and more. In many cases, these events are the child’s “firsts,” filled with adventure, excitement and self-discovery. In all instances, the consistent, supportive presence of a Wonder mentor lets kids know someone cares.
“There is an enormous need for Wonder in the Greater Sacramento Region,” said Christie, whose organization serves 12 Northern California counties. “Each of these children would benefit from the consistent, caring presence of a Wonder mentor in their lives, to be there for them, to engage the world with them, to let them know that they are not alone and that someone cares. Because Wonder receives virtually no public funding, it relies predominantly on community partners like the Sundt Foundation for financial support.”
Wonder children often are inspirations to their mentors. Some insist on giving back to those less fortunate.
“(One of the Wonder children) and I were out running errands on a Saturday. When he found out we were going to buy things for people who are homeless this winter, he asked me to turn the car around,” the child’s mentor said. “He wanted to get the money he had been given for Christmas and use it to buy gloves for people without homes. ‘It must get very cold out there on the streets,’ he said.
“That someone so young, who had already endured so much trauma, would think of others brought tears to my eyes. Together, we bought 20 pairs of warm gloves and gave them to Clothing and Food for Everyone (CAFFE). While we were leaving the CAFFE office, he reached in his pocket and offered the director all the change he had left over from our purchases. This beautiful moment will be forever etched in my soul.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.
March 30, 2018
Sellwood Bridge has been named the top major span in the National Steel Bridge Alliance competition.
One of our most decorated projects has earned another national honor.
Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon has been named the top major span in the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) 2018 Prize Bridge Awards competition. The bridge, which was originally built in 1925, has a steel deck arch design with three arches supporting the deck of the main river spans. Sellwood is 1,976 feet long, including the main river spans and east and west approaches.
“Sundt has always had a great reputation as a bridge builder,” said Transportation Group Manager Jeff Williamson. “I think Sellwood takes us to a different level as a national contractor with structures and bridges over active waterways.”
Among its many honors, Sellwood recently earned the prestigious Associated General Contractors Construction Risk Partners Build America Award for best new highway and transportation project.
NSBA awards were presented to winners in nine categories: major span, long span, medium span, short span, movable span, reconstructed bridge, special purpose, integrated project delivery and technological advancement. Winning projects were selected based on innovation, aesthetics, economy, and design and engineering solutions by a jury of engineering and construction professionals.
Winning bridges and their project team members will be recognized at the NASCC: The Steel Conference/World Steel Bridge Symposium from April 11-13 in Baltimore. T.Y. Lin International Group was the designer and Slayden Constructors was our JV partner.
March 27, 2018
Sundt Talent Development Specialist. Charlotte Gurule.
Charlotte Gurule recently joined our team as a Talent Development Specialist. One of her first tasks when she came on board was developing and delivering a program for our employee-owners on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, our new resource planning system.
She has 25 years of experience in learning and development and has provided program management, operations management and solution architecture for global organizations across multiple disciplines and industries. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and an MBA in Knowledge Management from Walden University.
What does a Talent Development Specialist do?
We participate in activities to support the company’s strategic planning efforts and conduct or support research and activities for specific training and development initiatives. We work with subject matter experts to design and update course content and related resources. We develop and maintain instructional materials, “How-To” documents and other training resources. We develop, publish and maintain online training courses using a variety of instructional development tools and technologies. We also conduct classroom and laboratory instruction.
What’s the most important thing to consider in choosing an employer?
Team environment is what matters most to me.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the Phoenix area?
Baja Joe’s in Mesa. The shrimp cocktail is the best.
What do you do away from work?
I love eating, cooking, running and going through life with my husband, Austin; son, Blane; dog, Jade; and our cat who acts like a dog, Shadow.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
At our core we are all the same.
Most people registered in Lifetime Recovery’s programs are medically and financially underserved.
About every 20 minutes, someone in Texas is hurt or killed in a vehicle crash involving alcohol. According to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data, Texas led the nation in 2016 with 1,438 drunk-driving deaths.
San Antonio tops the state in DWI traffic accidents and deaths. Bexar County’s Health Department estimates that of the 1.7 million people living in the county, more than 200,000 suffer from substance use disorders. Of those, only 10,000 seek treatment each year.
“Experience has shown that the sooner people with substance use disorders are connected to services, the shorter their substance use tends to be, the shorter-lived the negative consequences of those patterns, and the better their chances at long-term recovery tend to become,” said Lifetime Recovery Director of Development Denise Powers. “Inpatient or outpatient treatment remains a most effective method to combat these alarming trends.”
Most people registered in Lifetime Recovery’s programs are medically and financially underserved. Lifetime received a $4,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation last year to expand the work it does in Texas’ largest city and the surrounding area.
“This gift enabled us to provide someone 26.66 days of treatment programming and services for substance use disorders,” Denise said.
Lifetime has numerous success stories. “Mike” entered treatment for alcohol abuse and turned his life around.
“Lifetime saved my life,” he said. “I am now working a full-time job and have returned to San Antonio College to study for a degree in counseling. And best of all, I was able to participate in my daughter’s wedding. I love attending Lifetime Recovery’s family event. I am truly happy being clean and sober today.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.