The Sundt Experience: February 2015

“Invisible” Contracting Team Renovating ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium

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The Sun Devil Stadium reconstruction project is poised to redefine stadiums in the Pac 12.

To college football fans, the best kind of stadium renovator is the one they never see. But not many contractors can execute complex, large-scale stadium construction projects to a high degree of quality – and avoid impacting the fan experience. Contractors that can are the clear fan favorites – even if they’ve never laid eyes on them.

Universities know who they are though, which is why Sundt and joint venture partner Hunt Construction Group (one of the country’s top builders of sports facilities) were selected for the $256 million transformation of Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The Construction Manager at Risk project, which began late last year, involves the complete reconstruction of the lower stadium bowl, new athlete facilities, new concessions, restrooms and amenities, along with luxury suites on the east and west sidelines. Sun Devil Stadium has undergone several renovations in the 57 years since its original completion in 1958.

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Crews have removed the old metal bleachers to make way for the stadium improvements.

“One of the main reasons Hunt-Sundt was selected for this project was our demonstrated ability to avoid impacting the football team and fans,” said Ryan Abbott, who leads project development for Sundt’s clients in the Southwest. “We spent many, many months developing a plan in which all of the work is threaded between football seasons, with construction in the stadium taking place during the off seasons while the team is practicing.”

“In order to deliver the predictable outcome we promised, we have to control and deliver all of the massive components that will become the seating bowls, the structural beds, the towers, etc., on a very rigid schedule,” Abbott continued. “We can do it because we’re builders. As far as the football team and fans are concerned, it’s like Disneyland. We’re practically invisible.”

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Demolition of the loge walkway on the Southwest corner of the stadium is an arduous, piece-by-piece process to ensure safety.

The university construction project is poised to redefine stadiums in the Pac 12 with more and higher quality amenities, a new student athlete facility, premium seating such as founder and club-level suites, better training facilities, modernized concession areas, and an expanded student section on the stadium’s south end that will include about 8,000 seats as well as club space.

“The new student section will bring huge improvements to the fan experience,” Abbott added. “Many students will be able to move from the upper bowl to the lower bowl once the renovation is complete, and they’ll have much nicer amenities. Construction of the student section began in January (minutes after the Cactus Bowl concluded) and is scheduled to be complete before the 2015-2016 football season begins in August.

Click here to see a time lapse photo of the project.

Sundt ShareBeam Brings “Huge Leap Forward” to Community College Construction Project

Innovative Program Earns an AGC San Diego Excellence in Technology Award

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Sundt ShareBeam is an integration of BlueBeam Revu, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft OneDrive CloudSYNC.

Eliminating inefficiencies during construction – even tiny ones – can add up to major time savings. A few seconds saved on a task repeated hundreds or even thousands of times leads to better control of the schedule. And, it gives team members more time to devote to other matters that need their attention and creativity.

While working on a university construction project last year, Sundt Project Manager Dominic Daughtrey saw potential for saving a lot of time by improving the interaction between BlueBeam Revu and Microsoft SharePoint – the two programs used in the project’s document management system. (Revu is a program used for collaborating and annotating PDF project documents and SharePoint is a platform for hosting documentation via the cloud.)

Inspired by Sundt’s continuous improvement culture and the book “2 Second Lean” by Paul Akers, Daughtrey and a few of his colleagues developed a visual, graphics-based document management platform (based on Revu, SharePoint and Microsoft OneDrive CloudSYNC, a free cloud storage program) that they named Sundt ShareBeam.

Sundt ShareBeam has the potential to advance the construction industry, as shown by the following recent achievements at Sundt:

  • The innovative construction technology brought significant, quantifiable improvements to the renovation project for the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) where it was piloted.(more details below)
  • It was featured in a roundtable discussion at the BlueBeam Xtreme technology conference last year.
  • Last month it won the Excellence in Construction Technology Award from the Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter.

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    Dominic Daughtrey (right) accepting the AGC San Diego Chapter’s Excellence in Technology Award for Sundt ShareBeam.

“Many of the inefficiencies that are a part of former document management systems have been resolved with Sundt ShareBeam,” says Daughtrey. “Most construction firms rely on endless network drives with text-based navigation and naming conventions, but with Sundt ShareBeam you’re no longer jumping back and forth between two programs, or sifting through endless network folders to access documents. Sundt ShareBeam incorporates multiple uses of visual-based communication in order to increase communication and navigation.”

During the pilot study at SDCCD, the team timed their work flows and compared them to timed work flows from other Sundt project teams. Right away they saw a 20 percent increase in productivity in processing Requests for Information and a 20 percent time savings in submittals. The biggest time advantage (so far) created by Sundt ShareBeam is a 75 percent reduction in document distribution time. It also generated a 50 percent time savings on document retrieval.

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Artist’s rendering of the San Diego Community College project where Sundt ShareBeam was tested.

Although the programs that make up Sundt ShareBeam are used individually by other companies, Sundt’s innovation was bringing them together to serve as an integrated platform that is much greater than the sum of its parts. As the SDCCD pilot study results show, Sundt’s innovation has proven to be successful at the project level, and it offers tremendous potential for improving document processing throughout the construction industry.

“The SDCCD Building C ShareBeam project has been a huge leap forward in terms of Sundt creating a more efficient document control platform,” said Spencer Draper, Sundt Project Manager at the San Diego City College Project. “The major benefits of this pilot project have come in the form of increased organization, collaboration, and efficiencies as related to the processing of project documents. I truly believe that this new system has the potential to significantly decrease the amount of time project team members spend managing documents, which will increase the amount of time they can spend actually managing their project.”

California University Construction Project Supports Olympic Dreams

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Uchida Hall is the first of six buildings to be completed at San Jose State University’s Spartan Complex.

There’s nothing more satisfying than constructing a project that inspires its occupants to achieve great things. Sundt has done that, and more, by completing extensive renovations and seismic upgrades to Yoshihiro Uchida Hall at San José State University (SJSU).

Uchida Hall is a multipurpose athletic and academic facility named for Yoshihiro “Yosh” Uchida, the head coach of SJSU’s nationally renowned Judo program. Several student athletes from the program have gone on to win Olympic medals, and now they have an even better facility in which to train and chase their gold-medal dreams. The renovated Uchida Hall features a refurbished Judo activity space, updated weight training classroom, exercise physiology research lab, stress management lab and classroom, aquatic center, updated instructional gymnasium, and a new air conditioning and fire sprinkler system.

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Uchida Hall houses a nationally renowned Judo program that has trained several students who went on to become Olympic medalists.

The work was part of a $48 million project to improve and modernize the university’s 176,062-square-foot historic Spartan Complex (where Uchida Hall is located) while bringing it into alignment with current earthquake-protection measures – an important task faced by many California university campuses. Respecting the facility’s design and integration into the surrounding architecture was another goal Sundt was able to help the owner achieve.

“We aimed to retain the architectural integrity of the existing building while improving the complex’s aesthetics with color, appropriate exterior skin materials and mechanical and electrical systems,” said Sundt Project Manager Jason Hughes. “These upgrades not only will improve the safety for students, faculty and staff in the event of an earthquake, but also enhance their daily comfort with the updated operating systems.”

Uchida Hall is the first of six buildings to be completed at the Spartan Complex, which includes Uchida Hall and Uchida Natatorium, Uchida Hall Annex, Spartan Complex Central and Spartan Complex East. Following Sundt’s commitment to sustainability, the Spartan Complex upgrades incorporate recycled content, low emitting materials, sustainable roofing elements and increased insulation. Construction for the entire complex is expected to be completed in late 2015.