September 18, 2017
September 15, 2017
Sundt Senior Virtual Construction Engineer Eric Cylwik speaks to a class at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction.
Sundt Senior Virtual Construction Engineer Eric Cylwik recently went back to school to share some of the many ways technology can improve the way general contractors serve their clients.
Eric spoke to an upper-level class at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction about the many advantages Building Information Modeling (BIM) can provide on a project. BIM involves generating and modeling both the physical and logistical characteristics of a building.
“I am convinced that the best way to learn a subject is to teach it,” Eric said. “The complicated subject of how BIM interfaces with every individual on a project is a difficult story to tell in under an hour, so it really forces me to refine how I approach technology. Engaging with the students is also an excellent opportunity to meet new people entering the industry. Ultimately, they’re the ones who will be using all of this technology.”
The fundamental idea Eric teaches the upcoming generation of builders is that technology will inevitably be the backbone of the construction industry.
“My background is in digital visualization, so I love being able to dive in to the technical details of how 3D models are created from photogrammetry and the puzzle of building complicated geometry in 3D,” Eric said. “Constructors take on significant risk with the selected means and methods for any project, so it is always a challenge to select the correct modeling tool to visualize that risk.”
Eric is quickly becoming popular on the college speaking circuit. He will be presenting to a class at the University of Arizona in November.
September 14, 2017
Sundt Virtual Construction Application Developer Ryan Haines.
Sundt Virtual Construction Application Developer Ryan Haines is a Phoenix native and has enjoyed traveling across the U.S. and abroad. He grew up around construction, working for his father’s local general contracting company during summers while in school.
Ryan studied mathematics at Arizona State University, where he had his first experience in computer programming. He has enjoyed pairing these unique experiences at Sundt through construction technology.
What does a Virtual Construction Application Developer do?
Application development for virtual design and construction (VDC) is about efficiency and innovation. To build and consume large 3D models for our construction projects requires sound standards. It also means transferring many thousands of data points, from model creation to quality control in the field. This is where custom digital tools produce efficiency gains.
How does what you do help the construction team once it starts work on a project?
My focus is for our VDC teams to deliver potent results from 3D models. In the Building Group, this means having the right tools to effectively coordinate mechanical, electrical and plumbing design. In Industrial, we are able to track piping components in the 3D model for quality control upon field installation. In Transportation, our VDC teams and estimators can extract phased material quantities based on project schedule. Ultimately, we are providing ways to leverage digital information to mitigate risk and minimize rework.
What does it say about the company that we have the flexibility to put people in departments that better suit their work?
Sundt cares about its employee-owners and is willing to align skills and interests with business needs. Sundt is known for being innovative, and that only continues as we leverage great technology on our projects.
What are your hobbies away from work?
I love being outdoors, including hiking, hunting and fishing. I also like to work with my hands doing welding or helping others with small building projects. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, including my little nieces and nephew.
What the best advice you’ve received from a mentor or coworker?
Trust God. This advice has already paid great dividends in my life.
September 13, 2017
Sundt Project Managers are often responsible for the work performed by dozens of employee-owners and subcontractors.
Project managers are in charge of Sundt’s transportation, industrial and building work during the construction phase. They put in long hours and are responsible for making sure projects stay on track and on budget all while overseeing the work of dozens of employee-owners and subcontractors. It’s a challenging job.
We are proud to have some of the best project managers in the business working on our projects across the Southwest. A few recently offered their thoughts on what attributes people in their field should have to be successful.
“A good project manager needs to be a good listener. PMs need to know the pulse of their staff, subcontractors and the client. If there are issues, investigate (listen) and make a plan.
A good PM needs to be good at accounting and needs to understand contracts.”
Jim Drago, Senior Project Manager, University Square, Tempe, Arizona
“A good project manager has to be able to navigate different personalities, have difficult discussions with clients and gain their trust. It’s important to demonstrate to owners that you have a “project-first” mentality.”
Jeff Hamilton, Preconstruction Project Manager, Valley Metro Rail Gilbert Road Extension, Mesa, Arizona
“It’s important to respect our contracts as the memorial of our agreements and responsibilities. It is also important to understand that at Sundt we value relationships with clients and our subs and that we treat each other fairly and respectfully. A good project manager has the finesse to manage and maintain both.”
Pam Hermosillo, Preconstruction Project Manager, Golden West College Student Services Center, Huntington Beach, California
“I have always said, “If it weren’t for people, our jobs would be easy.” The point is that people are our most precious resource and if we don’t take care of them properly, we will spend a lot of time and money training new people. We as project managers need to understand what motivates our team. Everyone is different and to assume that everyone is motivated the same way is a leadership mistake. Some look for praise one-on-one, others appreciate it in front of others. Some like more responsibility and not everyone is motivated by money. Having a well-run machine is first understanding the individuals on your team and intentionally managing their motivation and engagement.”
Mike Hill, Senior Project Manager, Tucson International Airport Security Checkpoints
“They need to be organized. It really comes into play on bigger projects, but having solid control over paperwork, personnel, schedule/calendar and all other components of the project reduces issues and instills more trust in the PM from subordinates as well as the client.
“They need to communicate well. There are a lot of good builders and a lot of good engineers/superintendents. Making the move to PM utilizes hard skills learned throughout, but one must focus on soft skills and communication to be effective in managing the project team and client. Most engineers tend to be Type A introverts. It takes some effort or discomfort to be proactive and openly communicate to the project team.”
Ryan Vlach, Project Manager, White Tanks Flood Structure, Buckeye, Arizona
“A good manager in general should have open and honest communication with the client (good or bad) as soon as possible, lead his/her team members by showing them how to do the task instead of just telling them and have his/her team’s back even when they make a mistake.”
Chad Yount, Senior Project Manager, San Pedro Creek, San Antonio
For more information on careers with Sundt, please click here.
September 8, 2017
The new portion of Kellogg Drive has two northbound lanes, two southbound lanes, a center median and two full-length bike lanes.
Sundt recently completed the relocation of about 2,600 linear feet of Kellogg Drive, a major campus road, as part of a student housing replacement project at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
“We could not be more pleased with the progress and results we are achieving with our design team and the University in this Collaborative Design-Build project,” Sundt Vice President and Regional Director Robert Stokes said.
The new portion of Kellogg Drive took three months to complete and is open to commuters. It has two northbound lanes, two southbound lanes, a center median and two full-length bike lanes.
“A major challenge of this early work was to mitigate the impact on the constant flow of traffic in and out of the campus,” Robert said. “We had to maintain two lanes of traffic during construction, which was difficult because major portions of the new road were in the same location as the existing one.”
We used a drone to take aerial photos of the site to help the process.
“The ability to overlay current site photos with the proposed improvement plans enhanced our subcontractor coordination and allowed the University to communicate project impacts to the entire campus,” Robert said.
The completion of the realigned road allows construction to begin on the new $140 million, 305,000-square-foot student housing complex, which consists of two mid-rise towers with 980 beds and a dining hall that can accommodate 680 people. The new facilities will replace the campus’ aging residential halls, providing students with modern living spaces that offer the latest technology, green features, and designed indoor and outdoor program spaces.
We are teaming with HMC Architects, EYRC Architects, Spurlock Landscape Architects, Brailsford & Dunlavey, P2S, Saiful Bouquet, Psomas, A.O. Reed and Rosendin Electric on the project.
Sundt Field Superintendent Frank Islas delivers Sundt’s $25,000 check to the Houston Red Cross.
In response to destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey across eastern and southern Texas, Sundt Construction is donating $75,000 to be divided among Red Cross chapters in Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio.
The support will go toward shelter, food, water and clothing for those forced out of their homes by this epic storm. Sundt Field Superintendent Frank Islas made the $25,000 check presentation to the Houston Red Cross on Friday. The other two checks will be delivered next week.
Texas is home to hundreds of our employee-owners. We have offices in El Paso, Fort Worth, Irving and San Antonio.
Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 near Rockport, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph. Impacted areas measured rainfall totals that ranged from 20 inches to 50 inches. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues. Seventy people in the U.S. were killed by the storm.
Three of our employee-owners from a transportation project in Corsicana took a fishing boat to the Beaumont area last week and rescued five people from flooded homes.