October 5, 2018
August 24, 2018
Like many innovators who came before them, Eric Cylwik and Ryan Haines were never seeking recognition. They just wanted to do their jobs better—and save people’s time and money in the process. The two saw a problem in the construction industry, and they set out to fix it. Eric and Ryan’s selection as finalists for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Autodesk Innovation Award was a nice bonus, but the real success is what the industry at large stands to gain from their new technology. Its name? The civil Construction Toolkit, or “CTK.”
Virtual Construction App Developer Ryan Haines (center) and Sr. Virtual Construction Engineer Eric Cylwik (right) accept the AGC Innovation 3rd-place Award
CTK technology began as a response to larger issues in the civil sector causing huge inefficiencies. A nationwide trend toward 3D modeling in the preconstruction process has generated loads of data. But by itself, this data isn’t actionable information. Also, most of it is siloed off between designers, contractors, and engineers, instead of flowing into a single stream of information for a project. Estimators in particular spend hours counting the “what” of a project (volumes, areas, lengths, counts, and weights)—6.4 million hours in the past year to be exact, the equivalent of 70 full-length careers. Instead of counting the “what,” Eric and Ryan thought, these professionals could spend more time on the “how” and, in the process, become more of an asset to their companies.
CTK user quickly quantifies the entire project model, by phase, in Autodesk Civil 3D
Enter: the CTK, a technology that supports parametric modeling. In the absence of a 3D design model, a CTK user can take lots of numbers from construction documents and convert them into 3D models, with a few mouse clicks. These models can then be quantified to cover all construction estimating needs, including sequencing and phasing of a project, and provide visualization for design all in a matter of hours instead of weeks. The same models can even be used for automated machine guidance (AMG) by heavy equipment operators in the field. “This technology shifts the focus from construction being a reactionary industry to an industry that proactively adds value,” Eric said. “Proper planning ensures efficient construction, and by removing mundane tasks from a construction service provider it enables them to focus on predictable services.”
Sundt uses the CTK on a daily basis and has seen immense added value across projects for both our employee-owners and our clients
In presenting the CTK to various industry groups, including the AGC, Eric and Ryan were often asked: How did you convince your company to invest in this? “The funny thing is,” Ryan said, “this was already part of our jobs and company culture. The return on investment had been established, just in the huge amounts of time we were saving in our own jobs, across multiple projects.” Eric pointed out that he and Ryan were also recognized for the CTK by Sundt a year ago, with the Going Beyond the Expected Award. “It’s just part of what we do at Sundt. We’re builders. And by virtue of that fact, we’re innovators.” Overall, CTK is a means of delivering better infrastructure. “When we design, estimate, and build from the same information,” Ryan said, “everyone wins with better quality and efficiency.” For a company whose mission is to be the most skilled builder in America, having innovative people on our team is a win indeed.
August 9, 2018
Starting nearly a decade ago, Sundt has been performing work at San Diego International Airport (SDIA), in joint ventures alongside Kiewit Construction and Austin Commercial. Both the Terminal 2 Landside Improvements and Rental Car Center were highly successful projects, winning industry acclaim and adding tremendous value to air travelers’ customer experience.
Now the Airport Authority has chosen Sundt again, to perform two more projects at SDIA that together will be worth approximately $200 million. The Airport Support Facilities project, an approximately $130 million design-build project, is currently in design with construction slated to begin by the end of this year. Shortly thereafter, Sundt will begin construction on the Air Cargo project, as a member of a public-private partnership selected to build a new facility for FedEx, UPS and DHL.
Describing our continued relationship with the Airport Authority, Sundt Project Director Brad Kirsch said, “It’s a reflection of the confidence we’ve built with SDIA from our past two projects. This time, however, Sundt is the sole contractor, and we are absolutely prepared to deliver.” Brad also mentioned his pride in the fact that Sundt is, above all else, a builder—and that we have unique capability to self-perform much of our work. “When we’re asked to take on challenges, like building a 3-million-gallon underground storm water capture and reuse facility, our concrete and transportation groups are up for the job.” Top Gun references aside, there’s a reason Sundt is consistently a builder that airports trust.
April 19, 2017
Last month, when an 18-wheeler crashed into a utility bridge on the I-10, damaging utilities and halting freeway traffic through downtown El Paso, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) called upon the Sundt Go 10 project team for help. While the incident did not occur within our project limits, it was close enough for TXDOT to request Sundt’s assistance. Our crews mobilized within hours and worked from 4:00 pm on Thursday afternoon, July 12th, until 3:30 am on Saturday morning, July 14th, to re-open the I-10 and restore a critical part of the city’s infrastructure.
The semi-truck lost control and drove up the embankment, crashed into the bridge, and caught fire immediately.
“It was a great team effort,” said Senior Project Manager Rudy Elias. “When TXDOT called, we were in our weekly cost meeting, and within hours we had people at the crash site inspecting the damage.” Having secured a crane and other necessary equipment, Sundt crews set about cleaning up the accident, shoring the bridge and shifting traffic around the site until more permanent fixes were put in place. “We had crews working around the clock, some guys more than 20 hours in a row,” Rudy said. “There was even one, Thomas Edmonds, who canceled his flight to San Diego for the weekend and stayed to finish the job.”
Fortunately, the driver walked away from the accident only suffering burns to his feet and an injury to his shoulder, according to El Paso’s Channel 9 KTSM.
Staying true to Sundt’s core value of Customer Focus, the Go 10 project team worked tirelessly to exceed owner expectations. As our Transportation Group continues to grow its presence in Texas, their willingness to go the extra mile—to help in times of crisis and solve difficult challenges—is going a long way towards earning clients’ trust.
April 17, 2017
A subcontractor lowers a cased sewer line into an excavation on the future Gilbert Road light-rail extension in Mesa, Arizona. The sewer line runs perpendicular to the tracks.
Sundt is hitting the road for another extension of the Valley Metro Light Rail system in Greater Phoenix.
The 1.9-mile Gilbert Road Extension in Mesa will stretch the system beyond the Central Mesa extension on Main Street to Gilbert Road. Scheduled for completion in 2019, the $113 million transportation project consists of two stations and a park-and-ride on the west side of Gilbert Road. The project will provide the ability to draw more light-rail passengers from the East Valley and bring more development opportunities to central Mesa.
The joint venture with Stacy and Witbeck will construct a roundabout on the route. The multimodal roundabout allows for cars, bikes and pedestrians to move freely, and when a train is present, the east and west traffic remains free-flowing. This innovative traffic control measure is the first of its kind at a four-way intersection on a light-rail project in the U.S.
Construction on the extension started in October 2016. Temporary lighting and traffic lights have been installed along Main Street from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Road and the median has been removed to make way for underground utility work.
The joint venture team recently completed the award-winning Northwest Extension. In 2008, the team completed more than half of the original 20-mile starter section of the Valley Metro Light Rail transit system (Line Section 4 and Line Section 5), plus the system’s maintenance and operations facility.
Sundt’s joint venture with Stacy and Witbeck on the Northwest Extension was delivered three months ahead of time and on budget.
Completing a challenging project requires a team effort. Sundt’s teamwork with Stacy and Witbeck produced a needed extension for a light-rail system in the Phoenix area and many awards, including a 2016 Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence honor.
The joint venture was recognized for Valley Metro’s Northwest Light Rail Extension, a 3.2-mile addition to the Valley Metro light rail system that was completed last year. The award was presented at the annual Roads & Streets Conference in Tucson last week.
The transportation project was delivered three months ahead of schedule and on budget despite the challenges of being located in an urban area with a high volume of vehicles and pedestrians. Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck also coordinated more than 20 months of utility construction to remove and replace 100 percent of the water, sewer and storm systems.
To keep the community informed, the team developed a smartphone app to provide project updates and information about changing traffic control. The app also contained coupons, business promotions and route information.
The awards recognize teams that demonstrate a high degree of achievement through their practice of the partnering principles and application of partnering processes in the transportation industry.