We’re pleased to announce that Joseph V. Riccillo has joined Sundt as project director in our El Paso, Texas, office. Joe has more than 15 years of project management experience, and is responsible for overseeing business development, planning, budgets and staffing for Sundt’s construction jobs in and around El Paso and Southern New Mexico.
Joe has a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He also holds the professional designations of Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
We recently asked Joe a few questions in order to get to know him better:
What drew you to Sundt?
I already had a good job with another contractor, but Sundt provided an even better opportunity for expanding my knowledge base. I remember traveling to the Tempe office for my interview and I felt like a kid in a candy store with Building Information Modeling, parametric estimating and resources for whatever kind of project imaginable. I love learning new things and the people were genuine and honest, which was ultimately what brought me to Sundt.
What are your job responsibilities in your position?
As soon as I get my feet on the ground, I am to provide business development opportunities in El Paso. I am sincerely interested in developing the office here and helping Sundt create yet another positive impact to a community.
What might you be doing if you weren’t working in construction?
Teaching construction management? I really had never planned to be in construction, but it is something I really enjoyed after a few years and now can’t imagine doing anything else. OK, maybe lying on a beach on Italy’s Amalfi Coast!
What’s the most interesting book you read recently?
Through a book club, I recently read “A History of the World in Six Glasses” that was a history of the invention and impact of beer, wine, whiskey, rum, coffee and even Coca Cola.
Most unusual project you ever worked on?
The most unusual project was the remodel of a hangar and addition of three paint booths for the F-22. The specifications for the paint booths were not written well for the application area. It turned into more of a design-build without knowledge of the specifics of the material that was to be applied. Needless to say, I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to about paint booths!
Where would you most like to travel?
I have traveled to Italy three times, and every time I have the opportunity to travel, I end up back there. It’s something about the people, their culture and the beautiful environment that surrounds many of the cities there.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I prefer to spend time with the family, but it seems like the house has taken over.
Best advice you ever received?
It was a quote actually: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic within it.”
Is there a person who has had a profound influence on you?
I would have to say my father. He always seemed to say the right things at the right time, give clear reasoning as to consequences (even if it was a “metacarpal reflex,” as he phrased it) and never hesitated to stand up for what was right. He could balance these things with an incredible sense of humor and a high level of intelligence.
Conceptual rendering of the new residence hall, designed by Mijares-Mora Architects Inc.
Sundt is about to break ground on a university construction project in El Paso that will create modern housing for 356 students when it’s complete in October 2014. Read more about it here.
The 1/8-inch tolerance on the columns’ detailed design – combined with the varying column heights – essentially turned each one into a custom job.
If you drive along the 3.5-mile stretch of the Loop 375 Transmountain West Road that Sundt is reconstructing outside of El Paso, Texas, you may notice something beautiful. The artwork on the concrete columns that will eventually support the heavy civil project’s six new bridges is intricately textured and detailed. What you might not consider are the many months of skilled work and precision that went into implementing that artistic vision.
Thirty full-time Sundt concrete craft workers and four superintendents spent approximately five months making the 108 cast-in-place bridge columns. A significant portion of their time was dedicated to getting the columns’ textured design, or “rustication pattern,” just right.
That’s because there is a mere 1/8-inch tolerance on the detailed design, meaning that an exceptionally high level of precision was required while setting the concrete forms. To complicate matters, the Transmountain area is hilly, which means that the columns vary dramatically in height as dictated by the undulating terrain. Getting near-perfect results on dozens of columns of unique heights essentially meant that each one was a custom job.
“Maintaining quality of the rustication pattern was very tough,” explained Sundt Concrete General Superintendent Kent (Jay) Anderson. “There’s a 16-inch smooth spot between the top of every column and the bottom of the pier cap. That had to be maintained on every column, so every time we had a column of a different height, we had to change the rustication. Essentially, it meant that every column was unique.”
One of the biggest challenges in construction is balancing design expectations with the realities and limitations of actual construction. Sundt is able to achieve a high degree of success in both areas because of its vast concrete construction experience, skilled employees, and ability to control quality through self-perform work.
Sundt’s concrete team prepares a deck table form to be set in place.
Sundt’s concrete construction expertise is being utilized on a major commercial building project in El Paso, Texas, known as The Fountains at Farah. The new retail center – named after a closed garment factory that once occupied the site – will include up to 80 tenants, plus a two-level, cast-in-place, post-tensioned concrete parking structure, which is being built by Sundt.
A large and growing part of Sundt’s concrete construction work is performing as a subcontractor for other general contractors on their construction projects. That’s the case with The Fountains at Farah parking structure, which Sundt is building as a subcontractor to the project’s general contractor, EMJ Construction. The contract value is $13.5 million.
Our self-perform concrete crews will use approximately 26,000 cubic yards of concrete to build the parking structure, which includes 367,000 square feet of ground-floor parking space, 84,000 square feet of under-deck retail space and 22,000 square feet of sidewalk. A 473,000-square-foot concrete deck supported by post-tensioned concrete beams will provide additional parking and retail space on the second level.
“Our onsite supervision staff has years of experience with post-tensioned concrete,” said Sundt Project Manager Mike Ravy. “We’re also bringing a number of innovative techniques and materials to this project such as concrete designed to achieve tendon stressing strength in just three days, early entry saw cutting equipment for cutting the slab-on-grade control joints to minimize cracking, fibermesh in the slab-on-grade mix to minimize cracking and eliminate steel reinforcing, and state-of-the-art engineering software to create the formwork drawings.”
Sundt began construction of The Fountains at Farah parking structure in August 2012 and will complete it this April.
Casting beds for two of the eight concrete statues that will be erected in front of the school later this month
Although they may look like giant snow angels or cookie cutters, the figures above are actually concrete casting beds that are being used to make 12-foot-tall statues in the shape of school children. The eight figures – four boys and four girls – will be erected later this month in front of the Socorro Independent School District K-8 Combo School Number 5 in El Paso, Texas.
The concrete tilt panel sculptures will require careful handling with a crane to lift and set them in place at the new school’s entrance. Each is six inches thick and takes several days to pour, finish and cure. Approximately 40 cubic yards of concrete are being used.
The Socorro Independent School District K-8 Combo School Number 5 – a $35 million K-12 school construction project being built by Sundt – will accommodate 2,200 students on a 36-acre campus when it is complete this summer.