January 9, 2012
January 5, 2012
The Richard E. Arnason Justice Center is the first new California courthouse to earn LEED Silver certification.
Another recently completed Sundt project has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for its contribution to the sustainability movement. The $42.3 million Richard E. Arnason Justice Center in Pittsburg, Calif., has earned LEED Silver certification, putting it into an elite category of civic buildings that serve the public good while reducing their impact on the environment. It is the first new California courthouse to earn LEED Silver certification.
The three-story, 73,500-square-foot courthouse gained LEED points for its high-efficiency mechanical systems, extensive use of local and recycled materials, and the incorporation of natural light and ventilation. To help save on energy usage and costs, motion sensors control the building’s lights, turning them off whenever a room is unoccupied, while the HVAC system lessens its environmental impact through the use of a chemical-free water treatment system. One of the most unusual features is the jury assembly room, which is covered by a 2,900-square-foot “green roof” planted with a variety of native grasses, reducing heat load and conserving water.
The building includes seven courtrooms, judges’ chambers, administrative space, conference rooms, a library, and in-custody detention areas, plus state-of-the-art systems for security, access control and video surveillance.
December 30, 2011
Artist's rendering of PECOC, a new emergency management center being built by Sundt for Pima County, Ariz.
Sundt’s latest mission critical project – a $14.6 million emergency management facility for Pima County, Ariz., known as PECOC (Pima Emergency Communications and Operations Center) – will greatly improve communication and coordination between various public safety agencies in the county and nearby city of Tucson when it is complete this June. The innovative facility will centralize communications, dispatch, and public safety answering points for the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network to meet a variety of critical needs for the community.
Sundt’s contract includes a partial building demolition, remodeling, and building a 13,400-square-foot addition to an existing, county-owned building. The completed 63,000-square-foot facility will house the 9-1-1 call center and dispatch operations of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and a consortium of fire districts that serve unincorporated Pima County, plus the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Emergency Operations Center. Backup dispatch facilities for the City of Tucson Police and Fire Departments and a backup Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition center for Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department Operations will be housed there as well.
Sustainability is one of the project’s top priorities. In order to help PECOC achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, an energy-efficient overhead HVAC system with raised flooring will be utilized to heat and cool the facility. The team is aiming to recycle as much as 75 percent of the project’s construction waste, including saving rocks that were in the original landscape and reusing them to create a new gabion wall. Masonry walls inside the building are being built by Sundt’s own crews.
The facility will be outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and security features including radio communications equipment and telecommunications infrastructure for the new regional public safety voice communications network, for which Sundt will install all of the cables. PECOC also includes high security fencing, a controlled access system, seismic bracing to prevent earthquake damage, and a number of redundant features and backup generators so that the facility never loses power.
December 2, 2011
Artist's rendering of the new Vet Med 3 building at UC Davis
Contrary to Muppet wisdom, being green is actually getting easier – even for complex research facilities like the new $37.5 million Vet Med 3 building at the University of California, Davis. That’s because advancing technology and innovative approaches are helping project teams achieve exacting technical specs while meeting ever-increasing sustainability goals.
The 118,000-square-foot, four-story facility, being built by Sundt, contains state-of-the-art laboratories, administrative space and offices to serve the research needs of multiple departments in the health sciences. Although it isn’t complete yet, the project has already been awarded the California Energy Efficiency Partnership’s Best Practice Award in Best Overall Sustainable Design in 2009 for design and construction innovations. It is also on track to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“The building was designed in a fully integrated manner to provide very high performance at a low operating cost,” says Sundt Project Manager Joel Witt. “We’re using a sophisticated energy model to help demonstrate the cumulative effects and inter-relationships of each and every design choice while allowing us to measure how changes and substitutions could affect the building’s overall performance.”
Take, for example, the project’s energy-efficient HVAC system, which brings outside air into the building and regulates indoor air temperatures with active chilled beams. Using this type of heating and cooling method in a laboratory setting is unusual – and innovative – because laboratories require very high levels of control, especially when they’re combined with office spaces.
“Negative air pressures have to be maintained within the labs so that contaminants don’t escape,” Joel explained. “Some areas, like the fume hoods, require even tighter controls. All of the various levels of containment have to be monitored and managed through very technical means. Introducing chilled beams for heating and cooling creates an active, dynamic system that is elegant in its simplicity while providing the university with the greatest possible efficiency. In order for the chilled beam system to work in this kind of setting, everything must be very precise. It all comes back to the fully integrated design represented by the energy model.”
November 21, 2011
Sundt is pleased to announce that one of its own, Dan Osterman, has been elected governing council representative for the Southern Arizona Branch of the Arizona Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating and promoting the benefits of sustainable, energy-efficient buildings across the state.
Best known for its internationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, the USGBC is one of the nation’s leading advocates of sustainable construction and green-friendly policies. With 79 chapters nationwide, its mission is to transform the built environment within a generation.
Dan is a Preconstruction Project Manager with an extensive “green” resume, having provided leadership both at Sundt and within the industry. In 2002 he became the first LEED Accredited Professional (AP) in Sundt’s Building Division, and he was recently named chairperson of the company’s Sustainability Committee. During his three-year term as a governing council representative with the Southern Arizona Branch of the Arizona Chapter of the USGBC, which begins in January 2012, he will be responsible for providing fiduciary and strategic oversight and generative strategic guidance to the branch.
Thanks to Dan for helping pave the way to a greener future!
Sundt employees installing pervious concrete
Sundt is paving the way to better value for our clients with the use of pervious concrete, an innovative product that helps owners lessen the environmental impact of their projects – and possibly save money at the same time. Embracing this green product – and investing in the training and equipment that go with it – is just one of the ways Sundt is distinguishing itself as a leader in sustainable construction.
How does pervious concrete work? When rainwater sheets over large areas of impermeable (traditional) concrete, it picks up many pollutants which it then carries to treatment facilities, rivers and streams. Pervious concrete is different because it’s designed to be porous so that rainwater can pass directly through it, thereby reducing storm water runoff – and pollution – and recharging underground water supplies.
On new construction projects, pervious concrete can be designed to be the site’s main storm water retention system, which allows for less elaborate (and less expensive) sewer systems and other drainage features. In many cases, using pervious concrete allows a larger area of a project site to be developed, which, for owners, translates to greater value.