January 10, 2018
November 22, 2017
Our team hung a functional helicopter in the lobby of our project at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College in Prescott, Arizona.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a high-flying place. Often referred to as the “Harvard of the Sky,” the school is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, with 125 locations worldwide.
We recently completed work on a classroom and laboratory facility on the school’s Prescott, Arizona campus to support the university’s STEM program, which has become equal in numbers to its aeronautical program. The project features a 52,570-square-foot facility that houses classrooms, laboratories and a domed auditorium/planetarium.
In an effort to reflect the university’s aeronautical roots and theme, we were contacted late in the project by the University’s Development team with a question: “What if we hung a functional helicopter in the two-story lobby of the building?”
Our on-site team went to work planning structural support, ways to erect the craft and how to disassemble it, bring it through entry doors and reassemble it in the lobby.
The team worked on structural supports for the final installation as well as temporary means to hoist the helicopter. We worked with Universal Helicopter to disassemble the craft off the shipping truck and transported it through the finished curtain wall systems. We then reassembled and hoisted the craft into position with a slight modification to the tail section support to capture the tilted position of a flight trajectory.
Equally pronounced in the lobby is the propeller donated by Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propellers, which we also installed. It’s impossible to miss the Swept Blade Turbofan prototype. With a look like something out of a sci-fi movie, its performance is just as striking.
The features further engage the aviation community, students, staff and locals in the University’s mission. Keep ’em, flying, Embry-Riddle!
August 31, 2017
Sundt’s Transportation Group is turning the two-lane roadway into a four-lane divided highway in Central Arizona.
It’s a smart way to build a road.
Sundt is using Intelligent Compaction (IC) for the first time on our Thousand Trails Road improvements for the Arizona Department of Transportation. IC is the compaction of road materials such as soils, aggregate bases or asphalt pavement materials, using vibratory rollers equipped with an integrated measurement system, an onboard computer reporting system and global positioning system-based mapping.
Compaction is necessary to attain high quality and uniformity of pavement materials, ensuring longer-lasting performance.
“Using IC on the project gives us the ability to monitor compaction efforts in real time and let us know when it has obtained the required compaction on the aggregate base course (what’s under the surface layer) as well as the asphalt,” said Senior Project Manager Eric Weston.
Our Transportation Group is turning the two-lane roadway into a four-lane divided highway in Central Arizona between Camp Verde and Cottonwood. The job site is about 20 miles from the award-winning Cordes Junction project we completed in 2013.
The project team will replace the barrier on an existing bridge for future westbound lanes, construct a new bridge for future eastbound lanes and build a new multi-modal pathway. The work consists of seven roundabouts, earthwork, aggregate base, asphaltic concrete pavement, bridge construction, drainage improvements, curb and gutter, sidewalk and other related work.
“The biggest challenge so far has been dealing with traffic on State Road 260,” Eric said. “During the day, SR260 is very busy with local as well as vacation traffic to Cottonwood and Sedona.”
August 9, 2017
There is expected to be a shortfall of two million craft workers by the year 2020.
As Labor Day approaches, the annual Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Workforce Survey reinforces an industry-wide fact: There is a significant shortage of available craft workers in the United States.
The survey, which received 1,608 responses from AGC members, shows that 70 percent of those companies are already having a hard time filling hourly craft positions. Only nine percent said they aren’t having problems filling positions, which also includes salaried and hourly office and field jobs.
A lack of candidates is especially troublesome since 69 percent of those surveyed said they need to expand their craft hiring in the next 12 months. According to the survey, the five toughest positions to fill are carpenters (58 percent of companies have trouble finding them), bricklayers (53 percent), electricians (53 percent), concrete workers (51 percent) and plumbers (50 percent).
The average age of craft workers is 47. There is expected to be a shortfall of 2 million craft workers by the year 2020.
“At least in the state of Arizona, Career and Technical Education is starting to get a second wind,” Sundt Craft Workforce Development Manager Sean Ray said. “But we’re really far behind. So the work’s going to be there. Are we going to have qualified people is going to be the main question.”
A total of 74 percent of respondents said their local pipelines for supplying well-trained craft personnel were either poor or fair. In the retention category, 43 percent said they use customized learning and development programs to keep the craft workers they have.
Sundt is using several initiatives to attract and retain craft workers, including a partnership with Central Arizona College and training at our Center for Craft Excellence in Phoenix.
For information on a career with Sundt, please visit http://www.sundt.com/careers.
April 12, 2017
The Otay Ranch Senior Living Facility will have 85 units for assisted living and 26 for memory care.
The number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to double to more than 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.
That aging population is driving the need for more assisted living and memory care facilities. Sundt has built more than half a dozen senior living projects in Arizona, California and New Mexico. We won an award for similar work from the North American Industrial Office Properties Association Arizona Chapter.
This summer, we started construction on the Otay Ranch Senior Living Facility, a $20 million project in Chula Vista, California. The community will have 85 units for assisted living and 26 for memory care. The 105,000-square-foot project is located in the Otay Ranch Community.
“With our portfolio of modern senior living facilities, we are confident seniors in our community will be proud to call Otay Ranch home,” Sundt Vice President and San Diego Regional Director John Messick said.
Amenities include a dining room and bistro, movie theater, fitness room, arts and crafts center, barber/beauty salon, activity space and courtyards.
“We have a solid performing team to manage this project,” said Project Manager Brandon Drury. “It’s exciting to see this kind of synergy. Our combined experiences allow us to anticipate and solve issues with tenacity.”
Construction is expected to be complete next summer.
The White Tanks project was once a massive area of dirt and mud.
Choosing a new project delivery method kept the Maricopa County Flood Control District from seeing its budget wash away during work on the White Tanks Flood Structure in Buckeye, Arizona.
In the past, the District constructed similar projects using Design-Bid-Build and sometimes faced change orders that nearly doubled initial bid values because of outside agency inspections during construction.
It’s now a flood control project that is coming in on time and on budget.
On White Tanks, the District decided to try Construction Manager at Risk and selected Sundt. Our Transportation Group partnered with agencies including the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the National Resources Conservation Service to write specifications exactly as the District expected, lowering the chances of costly change orders.
“It worked well,” said Preconstruction Manager Jeffrey Hamilton. “The only change order relating to additional cost was because of a flood event, and the District had a contingency to cover that.”
The joint venture with Rummel Construction consists of widening and extending an existing flood structure and adding upgrades, including an architecturally enhanced auxiliary spillway, drop inlet structures and principal outlet structures. While the initial contract value was $25.3 million, the team is looking to bring the cost down by about $1 million.
We’re delivering client value in many other ways, too, including using drone technology to provide required survey information to verify completed work for our payment purposes.
“This would be a difficult and costly task with a survey crew,” Project Manager Ryan Vlach said. “We found a drone company that was able to fly the site and provide the necessary information at a fraction of the time and cost.”
Preconstruction ended in January 2016 and construction began the next month. Even with a small change order extending the contract until August, the team intends to finish work by June.