April 12, 2017
December 30, 2016
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.
November 30, 2016
Sundt Senior Project Manager Chad Yount.
Senior Project Manager Chad Yount has been in the construction industry for 10 years. He started with Sundt in 2008 as a Field Engineer and worked his way to his current position, which he started this year.
Chad specializes in large-scale transportation work. His next assignment is bringing a world class linear park to the San Antonio community through the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project after serving as Project Manager on the $228 million Sellwood Bridge Replacement Project in Portland, Oregon.
How did the Portland community react to the finished product at Sellwood Bridge?
The community was very grateful and excited to have a new bridge connecting the Sellwood community to downtown Portland. The old Sellwood Bridge was failing structurally and was not safe for pedestrians and cyclists due to the narrow sidewalks. The new bridge will withstand a major earthquake and offers 12-foot sidewalks for the large bicycle community.
What did you learn from that work that can be applied to San Pedro Creek?
Bringing an iconic, complex project such as Sellwood Bridge through the heart of any city requires the community to modify its daily activities. We were able to engage the neighborhoods and all interest groups in efforts to minimize those disruptions. That will also be extremely important to the San Pedro project. We want all local businesses to thrive during construction. If they aren’t successful then we aren’t successful.
What are people in San Antonio identifying as the most important aspects of the project?
The project will improve flood control throughout the west side of downtown while bringing life back to the creek. San Antonio was founded on San Pedro Creek almost 300 years ago so remembering the heritage and culture of the area is top priority for the project.
What are some of the innovative approaches the team has planned?
The majority of the risk on the project is in what lies below ground. With any project through downtown the existing infrastructure is always a concern. To mitigate these risks, we have been using virtual design and construction to model all existing and new infrastructure. This helps us identify conflicts in the office during preconstruction instead of in the field when issues cost time and money.
How is the work progressing?
Because this is a CMAR project, we have been working with the design team and owner for the last six months. We’re excited to get started with horizontal directional drilling. After the New Year, the team will begin demolition and excavation on the north end of the project.
November 11, 2015
Truckee High School will be refurbished by Fall 2019.
Almost three years before the scheduled completion of two projects for the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District, Sundt’s preconstruction team is hard at work finding ways to cut costs and save time.
The school district asked our team, acting as Construction Manager Multi-Prime on the two projects, to develop strategic phasing plans, decide the best way to approach, package and consolidate the work, and anticipate potential constraints before they become issues in the field.
In order to mitigate some of those constraints, our Virtual Design and Construction group, led by Howard “Howdy” Atkinson and Alan Sanoja, laser-scanned Truckee High School. The results revealed several conditions that would have resulted in significant project delays and added costs.
“The scans were used as true as-builts and clashed against the architect’s Building Information Model, allowing us to resolve those problems before they could affect the execution of the job,” said Project Director Tim Blood.
We’re converting existing modular buildings into new construction for classrooms, science labs, elective space, administration and locker rooms. Both projects, including Truckee Elementary School, will undergo significant façade enhancements, technology and mechanical upgrades, site work and ADA upgrades.
Like Construction Manager at Risk, CM Multi-Prime provides an owner the value of preconstruction services including estimating, constructability reviews, logistics, phasing, scheduling and VDC.
“Modernizations, renovations and expansions of this magnitude require a level of phasing, coordination and competent management above what is typically required for a new construction project, particularly when the school needs to remain occupied,” Tim said. “This is the main reason the district opted to award this project to Sundt as a CM Multi-Prime contractor.”
The K-12 projects, located 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains, will occur across multiple phases with completion on both scheduled for Fall 2019. Total construction value is expected to be $80.5 million.
October 16, 2015
More students means more housing is needed at the University of Nevada, Reno. With Sundt’s completion of Peavine Hall on campus, a school-record enrollment will have one more place to call home.
The university had 20,898 students this fall, a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year.
The $35 million project, which we led as Construction Manager at Risk, included demolition of multiple existing buildings and construction of the 117,000-square-foot, five-story steel and concrete residence hall. Designed by Collaborative Design Studio, the facility is pending LEED Gold certification and features brick veneer, suite-style housing for 400 students, common lounge spaces and state-of-the-art building systems.
“Our team’s extensive experience in education construction enabled us to deliver this project on schedule and with minimal disruption to campus life,” said Sundt Vice President Teri Jones. “Peavine Hall is not only an attractive addition to the campus, but it will also address the university’s housing needs as its student population continues to grow.”
As a leader in student housing and sustainable construction, we also recently finished the LEED Platinum-certified University of California, Davis Tercero Student Housing Phase III building; LEED Gold-certified California State University, Chico Sutter Hall; and the LEED Gold-certified University of California, San Diego Tamarack Apartments in La Jolla.
Tom Case was promoted to Executive Vice President and COO, Civil Group Manager on Oct. 1. His new duties include responsibility for Heavy Civil, Mining & Industrial and Concrete Operations.
With nearly 30 years in the industry, Tom has significant experience in large complex heavy civil construction and transportation projects, business processes and administration. He has industry-wide board-level experience, both locally and nationally, including Chairman of the Associated General Contractors of America Highway & Transportation Division.
He recently took questions about his vast industry experience, his influences and few of the reasons why customers choose Sundt.
What inspired you to choose the construction field for your career?
Both my father and grandfather were in the construction industry. They owned their own businesses in the deep foundation drilling area of the industry and I grew up working for my father.
What are the things you’re most excited about as you assume new duties?
I enjoy the challenges of building teams of highly motivated and successful individuals who collectively solve difficult problems and build very interesting projects.
How vital is it for the federal government to address our nation’s transportation infrastructure needs?
It is extremely important to our nation’s economy that we have a healthy transportation network to move people, goods and services through our country. We are the wealthiest economy in the world yet we have a weakening infrastructure that gets worse every day we neglect to invest in much needed improvements.
What expertise do we offer customers to help them solve their transportation needs?
Sundt is a leader in a variety of alternative contract methods such as CMAR/CMGC, design-build and conventional design-bid-build construction. We provide collaboration and innovation with our clients, partners and subcontractors/suppliers. We have strong values including a culture of safety and quality.
Our company has tackled several heavy civil challenges, including reconstruction of the Sellwood Bridge in Portland. What’s the importance of having inquisitive minds and flexibility out in the field?
It is essential that our mindset constantly evolve to identify and solve problems for our clients that create value where we all can prosper. We must listen to learn and be open to change if we are going to meet the growing challenges in the future.
What has been the most significant change in the industry in your nearly 30 year career?
The use of alternative forms of contracting. When I started in this industry, the majority of contracts were design-bid-build. Low bid does not necessarily mean best value. Today, the majority of Sundt’s contracts are either design-build or CMAR. When owners have a choice in who they trust and want to deliver value, they choose Sundt. That was one of the reasons I came to Sundt.
How would you describe your management style?
I have high expectations for myself and for the teams I work with. People want to be successful and my goal is to help them achieve success for themselves individually and for their teams. I believe my style is to build high-performing teams in a high-performing culture.
Where do you like to travel?
My wife and I have been to Europe twice and we are returning to Africa later this month. We also have been to Australia and New Zealand. We would love to return to New Zealand.
What books have you read that impacted your life or career?
Professionally, my favorite book is “Drive” by Daniel Pink, who writes about what motivates us. I also like Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” and John Kotter’s books on change. Personally, I have been influenced by author Max Lucado, who has written several wonderful books about spirituality, and Malcom Gladwell, who writes about life’s details and challenges.
Who was your most influential mentor?
Both of my parents influenced me most early in my life and my wife Lisa now has the most influence as we recently celebrated 30 years of marriage.
What are some of your favorite activities in your free time?
I like to golf, hike, mountain bike and read in my spare time.