October 15, 2013
September 6, 2013
Sundt is pleased to announce that Van Duong has joined the company as project manager in our Irvine office. Van has 15 years of experience in several markets, including healthcare construction and education construction. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from University of California, Los Angeles and holds a Lean Enterprise certification and is a LEED Accredited Professional. We recently asked Van a few questions to get to know him better:
What drew you to Sundt?
I started looking into Sundt because a former coworker, whom I highly regarded, joined Sundt. During the interview process, I had the opportunity to meet with Sundt’s leadership, and it became very apparent that the leaders of Sundt shared a clear and well-thought-out vision.
What are your job responsibilities?
My direct responsibilities include the duties of a project manager, but I also looking forward to helping out with business development opportunities wherever needed.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently assigned to the Western University Student Housing Project, which is a four-story apartment complex housing 202 units, administration area and on-site amenities such as a fitness center, swimming pool and interior courtyard.
What might you be doing if you weren’t working in construction?
I’ve always enjoyed working with people or in teams, so if my job were in another industry, it wouldn’t matter which – as long as I had the same level of interaction with others.
What’s the most interesting book you read recently?
I’ve just re-read “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Although the book is an easy read, it can serve as a pleasant reminder of the youth and enthusiasm we had, and the joy we received from simpler things in life.
What’s the most interesting place you ever lived?
On the fringes of Pomona, Calif. In eight short months there, we experienced the excitement of seeing suspects run directly in front of our car in the middle of the street, while being chased by police helicopters – five times!
Where would you most like to travel?
I’d like to go to Japan to see the centuries of history. It’s fascinating that such a small amount of land can contain so much culture.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy eating out with my wife and kids, and renting a movie.
Best advice you ever received?
From my high school mentor, Rick Corrales (LA Times photographer): “Always reach back and help someone who is not as fortunate as you are.”
Is there a person who has had a profound influence on you?
That would be my mom. Mom never has excuses—she just gets things done!
July 24, 2013
Laser scans, like this one of Old Main, help eliminate unforeseen conditions during renovation.
Ideally, a historic preservation and restoration project begins with an original set of drawings that depict every detail of the structure. Knowing what exists today is an important first step when stabilizing a building and returning it to the look of yesterday. But what do you do when original drawings don’t exist, as is the case with the historic Old Main building on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson? Sundt is currently immersed in a $9.5 million university construction project to stabilize the building and restore the exterior it to its original design.
Until recently, an accurate representation of the 122-year-old building would have been created the old-fashioned way: a crew of workers would have walked throughout the structure taking hundreds of photos and measurements by hand. Next would be the tedious task of generating an updated set of drawings from all of the individual measurements. Luckily, that approach has become a relic of the past, thanks to new laser technology that uses millions of points of light to create an exact, 3D representation of a building.
“Old Main was an ideal application of the latest laser scanning technology,” said Sundt Project Director Kurt Wadlington. “It provided our team with a highly accurate 3D model that was then used to produce accurate design and construction documents.”
The laser work is being performed for Sundt by Darling Geomatics. The laser beams measure angle, elevation and distance, sometimes generating 500,000 to a million measurements every second. Those images are then used to generate a precise, 3D model containing thousands of as-built data points that are accurate to within a quarter of an inch.
“Working on a historical property such as Old Main requires evaluating existing conditions and developing solutions that carefully merge the existing structure and building systems with new construction to result in the most seamless result possible,” Kurt continued. “This is normally a very labor intensive process that was made more efficient through the use of laser scanning.”
Using laser technology is just one of the ways Sundt applies cutting-edge tools to its projects. For more information about our innovative approaches to the challenging construction projects, click here.
July 17, 2013
Members of the project team holding the yearbook and indicating where it was found
While performing a major historic renovation and rehabilitation project on the University of Arizona’s (UA) Old Main building, two members of Sundt’s project team uncovered a piece of history. During demolition, the pair found a yearbook from 1911 that was wedged beneath a built-in cabinet on the second level. The yearbook originally belonged to Herbert Rolland Aylworth, the trainer of the 1910 football team, and later was stamped as belonging to J. F. “Pop” McKale. McKale was a beloved UA coach and athletic director as well as the namesake of McKale Center, the campus’s basketball venue.
J. F. “Pop” McKale’s signature is stamped inside the yearbook.
For history buffs, the yearbook’s discovery amounts to buried treasure that might easily have been damaged during construction or lost all together.
“The yearbook is, in no small part due to the diligence of Sundt Construction and Dickens Quality Demolition, in very good shape,” said Steve Allvin, University of Arizona Inspector. “The pair that made the discovery recognized the cool factor and delivered the yearbook safely to Sundt, which then turned it over quickly to the university before excessive handling did any damage. Many thanks.”
Completed in 1891, Old Main is the oldest building on the UA campus and the second oldest occupied building in Arizona. Sundt is performing a $9 million project to reverse age-related deterioration and renovate the facility for modern-day functionality. The education construction project will be complete next summer.
September 27, 2011
A new rooftop air conditioning unit being installed on top of Matador Arena, the school’s original gymnasium built in the mid-1970s
As soon as school let out in May, Sundt began an ultra-fast-track, 12-week project to renovate Shadow Mountain High School for the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix. The $3.5 million project, located in the heart of the school campus, involves renovating the athletic facilities, upgrading the exteriors to several buildings and making the campus more ADA-compliant. The renovation project has an expected completion date of Aug. 8, just in time for start of the 2013-2014 school year.
“We understand the need to work quickly and efficiently on these types of education construction projects to conform to the school’s academic calendar,” said Brian Higgins, Sundt superintendent. “Though 12 weeks is short for most construction projects, Sundt is more than willing and able to navigate the timeline, while providing the students the best facilities for the coming school year.”
Sundt serves as the Construction Manager at Risk, while ADM Group is the architect for the project.
Sundt is helping San Diego set the bar for LEED green building with the new Aztec Student Union at San Diego State University, slated for completion in the fall of 2013. The original 43-year-old student center was demolished in August to make way for its replacement – a project approved by students and awarded to Sundt two years ago. The architect is Cannon Design.
The $104 million, three-story union will accommodate 30,000 students across 205,582 square feet of space; making it twice the size of the one that stood before it. It will serve as the university’s hub for meeting, socializing and studying. Additionally, the union will feature dining options, retail space, 14 meeting rooms and a fitness center.
Keeping in line with sustainable construction practices, Sundt will recycle and reuse nearly 80 percent of the materials from the original building for this project. The new student union will also boast the latest in green building features, including:
- Solar panels to convert sunlight to energy
- Rooftop vegetation garden to lower greenhouse gas emissions
- Underground water storage tanks to recycle water run-off from storms
- Radiant flooring system of concrete structural slabs to provide heating and cooling mass
- Pervious paving to reduce water run-off and pollutants
- Natural lighting to minimize dependence on artificial lighting
- Operable windows to increase ventilation effectiveness and control
When finished, the new facility will be the first and only LEED Platinum certified student union in the California State Universities system, using 40 percent less energy and water than other similar buildings. To get project updates and see live footage of construction, visit www.aztecstudentunion.com.