October 5, 2018
August 9, 2018
Like many innovators who came before them, Eric Cylwik and Ryan Haines were never seeking recognition. They just wanted to do their jobs better—and save people’s time and money in the process. The two saw a problem in the construction industry, and they set out to fix it. Eric and Ryan’s selection as finalists for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Autodesk Innovation Award was a nice bonus, but the real success is what the industry at large stands to gain from their new technology. Its name? The civil Construction Toolkit, or “CTK.”
Virtual Construction App Developer Ryan Haines (center) and Sr. Virtual Construction Engineer Eric Cylwik (right) accept the AGC Innovation 3rd-place Award
CTK technology began as a response to larger issues in the civil sector causing huge inefficiencies. A nationwide trend toward 3D modeling in the preconstruction process has generated loads of data. But by itself, this data isn’t actionable information. Also, most of it is siloed off between designers, contractors, and engineers, instead of flowing into a single stream of information for a project. Estimators in particular spend hours counting the “what” of a project (volumes, areas, lengths, counts, and weights)—6.4 million hours in the past year to be exact, the equivalent of 70 full-length careers. Instead of counting the “what,” Eric and Ryan thought, these professionals could spend more time on the “how” and, in the process, become more of an asset to their companies.
CTK user quickly quantifies the entire project model, by phase, in Autodesk Civil 3D
Enter: the CTK, a technology that supports parametric modeling. In the absence of a 3D design model, a CTK user can take lots of numbers from construction documents and convert them into 3D models, with a few mouse clicks. These models can then be quantified to cover all construction estimating needs, including sequencing and phasing of a project, and provide visualization for design all in a matter of hours instead of weeks. The same models can even be used for automated machine guidance (AMG) by heavy equipment operators in the field. “This technology shifts the focus from construction being a reactionary industry to an industry that proactively adds value,” Eric said. “Proper planning ensures efficient construction, and by removing mundane tasks from a construction service provider it enables them to focus on predictable services.”
Sundt uses the CTK on a daily basis and has seen immense added value across projects for both our employee-owners and our clients
In presenting the CTK to various industry groups, including the AGC, Eric and Ryan were often asked: How did you convince your company to invest in this? “The funny thing is,” Ryan said, “this was already part of our jobs and company culture. The return on investment had been established, just in the huge amounts of time we were saving in our own jobs, across multiple projects.” Eric pointed out that he and Ryan were also recognized for the CTK by Sundt a year ago, with the Going Beyond the Expected Award. “It’s just part of what we do at Sundt. We’re builders. And by virtue of that fact, we’re innovators.” Overall, CTK is a means of delivering better infrastructure. “When we design, estimate, and build from the same information,” Ryan said, “everyone wins with better quality and efficiency.” For a company whose mission is to be the most skilled builder in America, having innovative people on our team is a win indeed.
March 24, 2015
Last month, when an 18-wheeler crashed into a utility bridge on the I-10, damaging utilities and halting freeway traffic through downtown El Paso, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) called upon the Sundt Go 10 project team for help. While the incident did not occur within our project limits, it was close enough for TXDOT to request Sundt’s assistance. Our crews mobilized within hours and worked from 4:00 pm on Thursday afternoon, July 12th, until 3:30 am on Saturday morning, July 14th, to re-open the I-10 and restore a critical part of the city’s infrastructure.
The semi-truck lost control and drove up the embankment, crashed into the bridge, and caught fire immediately.
“It was a great team effort,” said Senior Project Manager Rudy Elias. “When TXDOT called, we were in our weekly cost meeting, and within hours we had people at the crash site inspecting the damage.” Having secured a crane and other necessary equipment, Sundt crews set about cleaning up the accident, shoring the bridge and shifting traffic around the site until more permanent fixes were put in place. “We had crews working around the clock, some guys more than 20 hours in a row,” Rudy said. “There was even one, Thomas Edmonds, who canceled his flight to San Diego for the weekend and stayed to finish the job.”
Fortunately, the driver walked away from the accident only suffering burns to his feet and an injury to his shoulder, according to El Paso’s Channel 9 KTSM.
Staying true to Sundt’s core value of Customer Focus, the Go 10 project team worked tirelessly to exceed owner expectations. As our Transportation Group continues to grow its presence in Texas, their willingness to go the extra mile—to help in times of crisis and solve difficult challenges—is going a long way towards earning clients’ trust.
January 14, 2015
Sundt won the Build America Award in the Highway and Transportation Renovation category for its work on the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas.
An innovative water treatment facility and an iconic bridge had something in common last week when they both won prestigious Alliant Build America Awards from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) at the AGC’s 96th Annual Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sundt won the Environmental Enhancement category for its work on the Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility renovation construction project in Chandler, Arizona, and the Highway and Transportation Renovation category for the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas.
Ryan Abbott, business development manager for Sundt’s projects in the Southwest, holds the award for the Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility. To the right of Ryan is Tom Case, Sundt’s senior vice president for civil construction.
The $75 million Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility project was completed in April of 2014. A global semiconductor manufacturer selected Sundt and Carollo Engineers, Inc. as the design-build team to reconstruct the water treatment plant, which supports the City of Chandler’s Reverse Osmosis Facility (CHRO) as it treats additional waste streams brought on by the manufacturer’s recently built Ocotillo Campus fabrication facility. The water treatment construction project included modifications to the existing CHRO influent pump station, a modified finished water pump station, a repurposed brine concentrator, sludge storage, a sludge dewatering facility with belt filter presses, repurposed brine evaporation ponds, chemical feed systems, electrical buildings and instrumentation, and supervisory control and data acquisition programming and upgrades.
Cade Reddig, Sundt project superintendent, holds the Build America Award for the West 7th Street Bridge. Standing to the right is John Carlson, Sundt’s Texas district manager. To the left of Cade is Chris Leintz, Sundt project engineer.
The West 7th Street Bridge connects downtown Fort Worth with the city’s thriving cultural district, and is the first structure of its kind in Texas. Its 12 precast, post-tensioned arches were built offsite and moved into place on either side of the existing bridge before it was demolished and reconstructed – in just 150 calendar days. The bridge construction project was completed a month ahead of schedule.
Build America Awards honor the builders of the nation’s most impressive construction projects. They recognize excellence in state-of-the-art advancement, project management, innovation, sustainability, client services, community contributions, safety and meeting the challenges of a difficult job.
November 5, 2014
Delivery of the steel arches is being accomplished using barges and tugboats via the Columbia and Willamette rivers over 20 nautical miles.
Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation
What’s that floating toward the Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Oregon? Barges transporting the giant steel arches that will support the new bridge being constructed by Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction for Multnomah County.
Designed as an open steel deck arch structure, the new Sellwood Bridge will complement its surroundings while providing ample space for all modes of travel. There will be two vehicle lanes in each direction on the west end, which narrow to one lane in each direction on the east end. In addition, it will have two, six-foot-wide bike lanes and two, 12-foot-wide sidewalks.
The team is using a “shoofly” (detour) approach to complete this project. They lifted the old bridge deck and truss with hydraulic jacks and moved it to one side, then placed it on a set of temporary piers and connected it to temporary approach spans so traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed.
Slayen/Sundt poured 1,420 cubic yards of concrete at pier 5 – a key milestone in the 47-month project.
The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Oregon achieved two important milestones last month when Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction placed nearly 3,000 cubic yards of concrete at the foundations of piers 4 and 5, located in the Willamette River. The concrete pours represent significant achievements in the 47-month, $216 million project to replace the aging bridge with a new structure that is wider, safer and seismically sound.
Discharge water cascades from the cooling system the team developed to control the temperature of the concrete as it cured.
The concrete milestones also represent impressive accomplishments in value engineering and ingenuity. Piers 4 and 5 are massive concrete structures comprised of reinforcing steel and 6000 psi concrete. Slayden/Sundt’s own workforce used specialized concrete placement techniques to control the excessive – and potentially damaging – heat that was created during the curing process.
An up-close look at the cooling system’s water tubes, manifold and valves
“As fresh concrete hardens, or ‘cures,’ heat is generated as a byproduct of the chemical reaction,” explains Sundt Project Engineer Matt Fisher. “Due to the very large mass of concrete at piers 4 and 5, this ‘heat of hydration’ is generated faster than it can naturally dissipate, which could result in excessive internal temperatures and possible damage to the concrete.”
As a solution to this problem, the team designed an internal water-cooling system to remove the excess heat from the concrete. Water pumps, manifolds, intake screens, valves, flow meters and thousands of feet of flexible plastic water tubing were carefully placed throughout the concrete formwork. After the concrete was placed at the piers, cool water was continuously pumped through the plastic tubes, which in turn carried away the excess heat from the concrete. Remote temperature sensors were also placed throughout the fresh concrete to collect temperature data. As the concrete cured, and the internal temperatures climbed, this data was constantly monitored to confirm the performance of the cooling system and to ensure a quality product.
Artist’s rendering of Sellwood Bridge as it will look when it’s complete in 2016