April 4, 2012
March 14, 2012
Fort Hood Warrior in Transition Barracks
Sustainable building isn’t just for the private sector. More and more federal construction projects are now requiring third party sustainable certifications on new building projects. The new Warrior in Transition (WT) Barracks at Fort Hood, Texas is one of them. The Fort Hood WT incorporates a number of sustainable features, which will help it achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The facility has public transportation access and features special parking for low-emitting/fuel-efficient vehicles. Inside, the nearly 193,000-square-foot, five-story building utilizes an energy efficient HVAC system and Energy Star equipment to reduce energy usage by 30 percent or more.
Other sustainable features include on-site renewable energy, a cool roof, and native and draught tolerant landscaping, which will reduce irrigation needs.
During construction over 75 percent of all construction waste was recycled and diverted from local landfills.
When complete later this month, the Fort Hood WT Barracks will house 320 personnel in shared living modules consisting of separate bedrooms with shared bath and kitchen areas.
February 22, 2012
Construction is underway on SDSU's new 200,000-square-foot Aztec Student Union. Its mission style design matches the historic architecture of nearby buildings.
Contemporary design, or traditional? That’s one of the big questions faced by colleges and universities when they’re planning new building projects on campus. Many opt for a historic look that’s only skin deep: the exterior finishes on the new structure mimic the surrounding architecture, but that’s where the similarities end.
Officials at San Diego State University and the project architect, Cannon Design, decided to go one step further in their pursuit of historical accuracy when planning the school’s new 200,000-square-foot Aztec Student Union. In order to give the four-story building a true mission style design, the structure won’t just have gently curving walls and a white-washed finish. It’s also being built without any control or drift joints in the plaster system – just like the nearby historic buildings that inspired its appearance.
That decision, while ensuring a more authentic-looking end product, has created a number of challenges for Sundt, which began the university construction project last June under a $70 million Construction Manager at Risk contract.
“Eliminating the joints increases the risk of cracking on the plaster exterior,” explained Project Manager Jamie Frye. “In order to combat that, we’ve reinforced the building, added fiber-mesh to the plaster mix and extended the cure time for the brown coat. We’ve also added a waterproof membrane beneath the plaster in addition to the standard lath paper to eliminate water from entering the building through cracks in the plaster.”
The team’s modern approach to this historical design challenge also includes getting creative with construction sequencing. Under ordinary circumstances, the roof would be completed before work could begin on interior finishes, but extending the plaster cure time has changed that.
“We can’t afford to wait for the plaster to fully cure before putting the roof on; we’ll simply lose too much time that way,” Jamie continued. “Instead, we decided to put the roof membrane on first and then put a temporary protection roof over it. This way we can give the plaster the time it needs to cure and still get started on the interior – without delaying the project.”
Students, faculty and staff will be enjoying their brand new LEED Platinum building – a thoroughly modern facility with the look and charm of the older structures on campus – when classes begin in the fall of 2013.
February 21, 2012
The Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson emphasizes "21st Century Learning." It opened last August.
The new Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson is a project that encourages creative thinking from the students who use it as well as the team that built it. That’s because the K-8 school’s design reflects the tenets of “21st Century Learning,” a contemporary educational approach that emphasizes skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability, effective communication, curiosity and imagination.
Sundt’s $22 million Construction Manager at Risk contract was for construction of seven buildings on the 25-acre site, as well as off-site improvement work that included a new, signalized traffic intersection. The project team is pursuing LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The facility is highly flexible, with classrooms, called ‘studios,’ organized into community buildings that contain various age groups. If you’re imagining a typical school organized around long, lonely hallways, think again. There are no interior corridors. Instead, the central spines of the community buildings are break-out spaces where students in different grades work together on projects.
“The project’s flexibility was challenging from a construction standpoint because the seven buildings aren’t typical, box-like structures and are extremely articulated in their design,” says Senior Project Manager Kevin Almquist. “In fact, the project contains relatively few 90 degree corners, which made the layout and construction work pretty challenging.”
The bottom line, he says, is that “in building an educational facility that encourages creative thinking, we’ve learned a thing or two as well.” The school opened last August.
January 25, 2012
Outdoor spaces at Tercero - Phase 3 will encourage socializing, community-building, and fun.
Remember when dorm living was something you simply hoped to survive, much less enjoy? The University of California, Davis will be lucky if students ever want to leave its new Tercero Student Housing project, the third phase of which will be built by Sundt beginning this summer.
Our $71 million, design-build contract consists of constructing seven, four-story buildings that surround a unique courtyard in a village-style configuration that provides multiple opportunities for residents to socialize and develop community. Bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly pathways will be woven throughout a diverse landscape of existing mature trees and native plants.
When Tercero – Phase 3 is complete in June 2014, its 1,200 residents will enjoy an environmentally and socially responsible community that’s integrated into its surroundings, where the architecture and landscape help create a strong social fabric and create extraordinary spaces for students to develop a sense of belonging, connection, friendship and fun.
They’ll also know that they’re helping create a greener future, thanks to a sustainable and performance-based design philosophy that should put the project well within reach of LEED Platinum certification. In fact, Tercero – Phase 3 is designed to help fulfill the campus’s sustainability goals, one of which is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2014.
Student housing that’s fun, attractive, and good for the environment? It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to college…
Chamisa Village will accommodate 282 students when it is complete this winter.
Some higher education projects go beyond the expected, like Sundt’s current work for New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. This winter, we’ll wrap up phase two of Chamisa Village, a student housing project for NMSU that is seeking LEED Gold for Homes certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first Gold-certified multi-unit university building in the state.
Sundt’s $22 million Construction Manager at Risk contract includes construction of four new three-story buildings along with associated site development and utilities. We’re also performing all of the project’s concrete work with our own crews. To achieve its high level of sustainability, the team is using environmentally preferred wood materials and efficient framing to reduce waste.