BUESING CORP 2014
98 | July-August 2014
Maricopa County Court Tower project
“There is this energy that happens on the job site when you put companies together that really can make something happen. It is a lot of fun to be around.”
— Jerry Barnier, President of Suntec Concrete
rivers along Central Avenue, between Washington and Jefferson streets, probably don’t know they’re commuting over an underground garage that acts as a bridge. In fact, a lot of downtown Phoenix's underbelly has, unbeknownst to the average pedestrian, excavated or filled in some capacity by earthwork contractor Buesing Corp. The company has performed 10 digs in the vicinity of CityScape alone and even built an underground tunnel across Monroe that connects the Fourth Avenue Jail and Maricopa County Court Tower.
Five Decades of Dirt
The 50-year-old company’s mission statement is to be “simply the best.” A company with a notorious appetite for challenging projects began with an entrepreneurial 16-year-old Jerry Buesing in a Minnesota basement. After receiving his license as a teen, Buesing began driving trucks and operating equipment for a construction company in high school. In college, he began working for his father’s friend in Twin Cities, Minn. Shortly thereafter, he decided to start his own company. It was spring 1965 when Buesing and his brother, Tom, founded Busing Corp. What started with two pieces of equipment grew to a much larger fleet in just a few years. Three years into their business, the Buesings completed their first basement garage with shoring, which set the stage for the coming years of basement and garage projects that led to mass excavation, belly dump trucking and work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In 1973, the Tom and Jerry decided to split the business; Tom moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., and started a construction company, while Jerry stayed in Minnesota and grew the existing business. After winning bids on many projects in Phoenix — where the construction season is much easier to navigate than Minnesota — Buesing decided to move to the Southwest. In 1986, Buesing moved its headquarters to Phoenix. As it happens, its first project as an Arizona-based company was a basement garage. The company quickly became a leader in commercial basements while taking
Buesing’s 50-year legacy runs deep By Amanda Ventura 99
BUESING on a range of projects in the Phoenix Metro. In 2001, Buesing began a concrete and recycling plant in Chandler to produce ABC. In 2003, Buesing moved into self-performing shoring, drilling and earth retention. In 2009, Buesing began selfperforming shotcrete and site development for solar energy projects. As of 2013, Buesing performed more than 95 shoring projects. Now based primarily in the Southwest, the company builds in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Texas. Buesing currently provides the following services: mass excavation and site development, material transport (import and export), shotcrete walls, shoring and drilling, recycling of concrete and asphalt and solar and wind energy projects. “We do not shy away from any type of project, however we do excel at projects that require a more technical background and quick turnarounds,” says Buesing Corp.’s Executive Vice President of Construction, Bryon Matesi.
“I don’t think [what sets Buesing apart] is just one job. The guy’s been doing it for 50 years. That’s just the cloth he’s cut from. That’s the kind of operator he is. That goes through a company. The reason people work for him is because they trust him.” — John Largay, President, Wespac Construction
Digging a Way to the Top The true essence of a good subcontractor is more than a number of projects or revenue. It’s about being a team player, says Wespac Construction President John Largay, who has known Jerry Buesing for 30 years — Largay’s entire career. “He’s one of the best at complicated excavations and shoring on difficult in-fill sites,” Largay says. “That’s generally when we lean on his expertise.” Largay notes that while Buesing’s speciality is difficult digs, the company is also efficient. For instance, it’s taking the dirt excavated at its Tempe-based Marina Heights project and transporting it to Wespac’s Liberty Center at Rio Salado, which is a fill site. After three phases, Buesing will have transported approximately 400,000 cubic yards of dirt between the sites, which are about three miles apart. According to Buesing’s Vice President of Estimating and Business Development, Kevin Somerville, the work is equivalent to 28,600 truckloads. It’s not just the work Buesing has done with Wespac that Largay says is noteworthy. He’s “just a good guy.” “I don’t think [what sets Buesing apart] is just one job,” Largay says. “The guy’s been doing it for 50 years. That’s just the cloth he’s cut from. That’s the kind of operator he is. That goes through a company. The reason people work for him is because they trust him. I’m no different as Wespac. I’ve got 70 people and I’m only as good as the people who work here.” If Chuck Carefoot, vice president of construction for Ryan Companies’ Southwest region, had to summarize his company’s relationship with Buesing it would be in one word: “Teamwork.” Ryan Companies has worked with Buesing since it moved to the Valley 28 years ago. In 2003, Ryan Companies designed and built Buesing’s corporate headquarters at 7th Street and the Salt River, and the partnership is marked by a medallion placed in the hardscape near the entry to memorialize the project. Buesing also partnered with Ryan Companies on what Carefoot called the most significant project at the time, the Phelps Dodge Tower (now One North Central) on the NEC of Central and Washington streets in downtown Phoenix. “The project was Ryan’s most significant project to date in Arizona and having the opportunity to work with Buesing to design and build the four-story, below grade excavation and retention system necessary to accommodate the below grade 100 | July-August 2014
PHOTO BY SHAVON ROSE, AZ BIG MEDIA
parking was a significant advantage for the project in terms of cost and time,” he says. “Because Buesing is a true collaborator, we were able to partner with other trade contractors that needed early access to the site and retention systems that allows for success for all parties involved in the project.” The two are currently working together on Ryan Companies, ASU and Sunbelt Holdings’ monumental Marina Heights, a 2MSF and 9,000 stall office and retail development in Tempe. It’s Ryan’s largest project in the Southwest. This is a quality Suntec Concrete’s President Jerry Barnier has also noted. “From Esplanade, the Phoenix Convention Center, CityScape, to Mayo and now Marina Heights, Buesing is always in front on the intense jobs,” he says. Suntec Concrete and Buesing have worked together for more than 15 years. "There is this energy that happens on the job site when you put companies together that really can make something happen,” says Barnier. “It is a lot of fun to be around.” Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Building Companies’ Southwest Division, agrees. “Great partnerships make great projects. Anytime you start digging, unexpected issues arise and challenges begin,” he says. “Since Buesing views themselves as partners on our projects, we work together to address the challenges and issues and get it done for our customers.” McCarthy and Buesing have worked together for three decades on many technical projects. Calbert explains that when Buesing worked on The Esplanade and 4th Avenue Jail, it was on a zero lot line that required coordination and multi-tasking to keep the projects on schedule. Hayden Ferry Lakeside, he says, was another tight site with a “significant” amount of excavation. “They always live up to their commitments and are willing to work through problems to find a solution that works for all, and helps to make the project work for the client. Because we both focus on being reliable, we work well together,” Calbert says.
ANATOMY OF A DIG There's more to dirt than meets the eye. Though every project Buesing takes on presents unique challenges, the typical "big dig" looks a little like the diagram below.
Sloped excavation Existing utilities Street Sidewalk
Pipe cantilever behind shotcrete Anchor drill
Buesing's Construction Manager, Bob Pettit, shared with AZRE the anatomy of a dig and the heavy machinery Buesing puts to work a few dozen feet into the soil strata.
Overburden (Strata 1) Strata 2 - SGC (Sand, Gravel, Cobbles )
Strata 3 -SGC continues, cobbles get larger 101
Q&A Jerry Buesing:
The Man Beneath Arizona’s Foundations
By Amanda Ventura
PHOTO BY SHAVON ROSE, AZ BIG MEDIA
erry Buesing, president and CEO of Buesing Corp., began working in the construction industry at 16 years old in Minnesota. After years in the industry, he and his brother founded Buesing Corp., which he later moved to Arizona, developing a reputation for taking on difficult projects.
their families from Minnesota to Arizona. After the rough weather conditions continued in Minnesota, it was time for Buesing Corp. to be permanently based in Arizona. In 1988, we completed all contracts in Minnesota and the company officially moved.
on their project site. If that material cannot be crushed and used on site for that particular project, it can be taken to Buesing Corp. Plant II and dumped for a fraction of the price that it would cost at a landfill. That material will later be crushed at the plant and used on a different project.
Buesing Corp was founded in ’65 in Minnesota and moved to Phoenix a little more than twenty years later. Why Arizona?
Surely, the type of equipment and machines Buesing uses has changed a lot since the ‘60s. What are some of the biggest evolutions of note?
Of what project or business achievement are you most proud?
In the early ‘80s, Buesing Corp. was doing well despite the construction recession that was devastating a lot of businesses. However, the majority of Buesing’s work was in northern Minnesota. The years 1983 and 1984 provided the Midwest, particularly northern Minnesota, extremely short construction seasons due to terrible weather. The soil conditions were so poor because of the rain, snow, and sleet that work was being postponed until the summer months. Buesing Corp. received the opportunity to bid a project in Phoenix for a Denver-based company. We were awarded the project and began work on our very first Phoenix project: the 91st Ave. Wastewater Treatment Plant. Following this project, Buesing Corp. was awarded many projects through this Denver-based contractor and others in the Phoenix Metro area. In fact, there were so many opportunities, Buesing made the decision to start a division in Phoenix. I moved about 25 employees and 102 | July-August 2014
The equipment we use has definitely changed over the years, primarily in the production and fuel burn. Manufacturers now focus more on horsepower balance, weight and electronics. In regards to fuel burn, equipment is much more fuel efficient now than it was in the past. All of these changes allow us to pass savings along to our customers and make our pricing much more competitive. In addition to equipment being more cost efficient, we are seeing a lot less downtime.
Buesing Corp offers diverse services, though recycling has played an important role throughout. What is Buesing’s commitment to recycling? Buesing Corp. feels an environmental responsibility to reuse material rather than fill a landfill. In addition to doing what is right for the environment and air quality, we are able to save our customers money by reusing material that is already
I am proud of all our projects, really, because they have all been completely successfully and safely. From our early projects, such as Bank One Ball Park (now Chase Field) and America West Arena (now US Airways Arena) to our most current projects, such as Marina Heights and the Liberty Center at Rio Salado in Tempe, Ariz., Buesing Corp. has worked as a team to be part of the everchanging Phoenix Metro area.
What sets Buesing apart? Two things: The quality of people we hire and the reputation we have built with team effort over the years.
WhaT's A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOU? I’ve achieved all this in my 40 years of age (wink-wink). On a serious note, we have survived and accomplished so much regardless of the ups and downs of the construction industry, and I credit that mostly to the quality of people that make up Team Buesing. They truly make Buesing Corp. “Simply the Best.”
Buesing completes first shoring project
Jerry Buesing started his business in Minnesota
Buesing begins to celebrate 50 years in earthwork industry
Buesing completes first project in Phoenix
BUESING CORP 2014
Buesing opens first concrete recycling plant in Phoenix/Chandler to produce ABC
Buesing began pile installation and site development for solar energy projects
Buesing began self-performing shoring
PHOTO BY SHAVON ROSE, AZ BIG MEDIA
Rule of Three:
BUESING’S STRATEGIC GROUP REPLACES ‘BOARD’ By Amanda Ventura
Buesing Corp. recently replaced a dissolved board of directors with its strategic leadership group. The group is comprised of CFO Ken Zinser, Executive Vice President of Construction Bryon Matesi and Vice President of Estimating and Business Development Kevin Somerville. The group meets twice a month to discuss and make operational decisions.
» Kevin Somerville, started
» Ken Zinser, a relatively
What would people be surprised to know about soil in Arizona?
How have recently rising construction costs affected Buesing? How is the company overcoming that obstacle?
his career at Buesing Corp. as chief estimator. In his current role as vice president of estimating and business development, he oversees a team of 12 estimators and is responsible for project lead development, budget and bid opportunities and detailed cost basis for Buesing’s services.
The geologic conditions and geotechnical properties of soil in Arizona are widely varied and changes from site to site and with depth. Thus, the importance of studying and knowing the soils report for the project and being able to draw upon the invaluable experience of performing work in similar soils or next door. Often we can have a good indication of what to expect for the budget or beginning process of an estimate just by knowing the cross streets of the job, given the hundreds of projects Buesing Corp. has been involved in.
How have construction costs affected Buesing's projectS? The impact of the cost of construction materials, labor and equipment is felt by Buesing and our competitors generally alike. We are innovative and looking at ways to remain competitive despite these rising costs and are always looking for the “edge.”
What does the future hold for Buesing? Buesing Corp. is cautiously optimistic about the construction market in Arizona and we believe opportunities will be somewhat sporadic but with a continued rise in confidence and growth within Arizona construction and the economy in general. 104 | July-August 2014
recent addition to the Buesing team, brought three decades of accounting and financial management experience in the construction industry to Buesing Corp. as the company's chief financial officer. Zinser has an MBA from Michigan State University and is CPA and LEED accredited.
Because we own such a large fleet of trucks and heavy equipment, we are less impacted by fluctuations in the rental market. We also have a highly trained team of professional drivers and operators, with significant tenure, so we are not at the mercy of fluctuations in the labor market. This makes us much less impacted by rising costs and economic cycles.
What are Buesing’s long-term goals? Simply put, Buesing Corp.’s long term goals are to be the industry leader, sustain profitable growth, further develop our team, be responsible corporate citizens and continue to be “Simply the Best.”
Giving back to the community is important to buesing. Instead of donating money, though, the company opts for pro bono work. what was Buesing's most recent charitable project? It was the Move It project with the Phoenix Children’s Museum. Buesing Corp. donated material and labor valued at $54,500. Buesing Corp. enjoys contributing to projects that better our community.
Bryon Matesi, Buesing’s executive vice president of construction, has worked in the heavy civil construction business for 25 years. For the first 16 of those years, he worked mainly on public works and Department of Transportation projects. The last nine years have been on commercial projects. He joined Buesing in 2005. What kind of recent technology has had the greatest influence on the way Buesing digs? The implementation of GPS Machine Control technology, which allows Buesing Corp. to be more competitive in the market place by greatly increasing our operator efficiency and reducing operating cost.
How did Buesing fare and weather the LATEST Recession? By recognizing the demand for alternative energy projects early-on in the downturn, Buesing was able to position itself to take advantage of these new opportunities. The recession was not without pain however through the hard work and dedication of all Buesing employees we were able to expand our business while most were downsizing.
What has affected thE Scale of Buesing's projects over the years? In the past year, we have completed
projects ranging from $2K to $20M. The type of work that Buesing has historically worked on has changed with the economy. Currently we are seeing a resurgence in the commercial excavation and shoring market that took a downturn when the real-estate market collapsed.
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Marina Heights Excavation
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PROJECT PROFILES 1. Agua Caliente Solar Plant
Owner: NRG Energy, MidAmerican Solar Developer: First Solar, Inc. Location: Dateland, Ariz. Start/completion dates: October 2010 to November 2011
By Kevin Somerville
At one point in time, this project was one of largest solar plants in the world and still likely offers some of the largest megawatt capacity in Arizona. The project schedule was fast-tracked and required robust crew sizes, multiple crews and extended hours and Saturdays to meet the milestone dates.
Buesing Corp. performed the civil site development for the solar plant that included clear and grubbing, laydown areas, mass cut/ fill and grading for the solar arrays, storm water control retention basins and channels, rip rap, storm drain culverts and aggregate (ABC) roads. Additional work included developing a storm water diversion berm and storm water stilling basin and crushing 1 concrete debris for rip rap.
By the Numbers Size of plant: 290 MW (enough electricity for ±150,000 to 225,000 homes) System type: Ground mount, utility scale, fixed racking and panel Number of PV panels (modules): 5.2M Estimated cost: $967M to $1.2B Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project Land Area: 2,400 acres Volume of cut/fill dirt: 1.3M cubic yards
2. Confidential Solar Project
Developer: LS Power Engineer: Fluor Corp. Location: East of Buckeye, Ariz. Start/completion dates: October 2012 to September 2013
This project is one of the largest solar plants in Arizona in terms of megawatt capacity. The schedule was fast-tracked and required robust crew sizes, multiple crews and extended hours and Saturdays to meet the milestone dates. Buesing Corp. bid and was awarded the multiple scope project with Fluor Corp., one of
the top-five largest power plant contractors in the world. It was the second-largest dollar value contract by Buesing Corp. in its 50-year history.
Buesing Corp. performed civil site development for the solar plant that included clear and grubbing, main site access road, laydown areas, mass cut/fill and grading, storm water control retention basins and channels, rip rap, storm drain culverts, shotcrete lining on diversion channels and aggregate (ABC) roads. In addition, Buesing Corp. performed the installation of driven piles for the solar arrays.
Project By the Numbers Size of plant: 127 MW (enough electricity for 32,000 to 40,000 homes) System type: ground mount, utility scale, single-axis tracking (SAT) racking and panel Estimated cost: $500M Buesing Scope By the Numbers Access road: 1.1 miles Project land size: 970 acres Volume of cut/fill dirt: 1.9M cubic yards Number of driven piles: 135,342 each
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Developer: RED Development General Contractor: Hunt Construction Group Architect: Callison Location: Central Avenue and Washington Street, 1st and Jefferson streets, Phoenix Start/completion dates: January 2008 to April 2010
3. Chase Field (Bank One Ballpark)
Owner: Maricopa County Stadium District General Contractor: Huber Hunt Nichols / Perini Building Company JV Architect: AECOM, Wyatt/Rhodes Architects, Castillo Company,
Cox James Location: 7th and Jefferson streets, Phoenix Start/completion dates: 1995 to 1997 Project description:
This stadium project, constructed in the middle of downtown Phoenix, was fast-tracked, and at its peak of construction had more than 2,500 workers on-site at one time. The schedule demanded multiple shifts of work and, many times, 24-hour construction activities. The project schedule required the collaboration of two general contractors, Huber Hunt Nichols and Perini, in addition to two earthwork contractors, including Buesing Corp. After demolition and clearing, the first order of business was for the surveyor to map the exact location of home plate. A temporary plate was installed at the correct orientation and was protected and used as a reference point throughout construction.
Buesing Corp. performed the structural excavation and backfill, export of excess soils, furnish and install of aggregate (ABC) and grading for structures. The mass excavation scope was performed by another contractor.
Project By the Numbers
Structure: Dome stadium 255 ft. high Estimated cost: $354M Seating: 48,633 Interesting features: Retracting roof, natural grass field
Project description: The dollar value of this project is one of the top single commercial and building development projects built in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Buesing Corp. was asked to implement a fast-track schedule, which required multiple crews and extended hours and multiple Saturdays to achieve key milestone dates to allow the concrete trade subtractor to begin its work and meet the overall project schedule. The below-grade garage was constructed using podium construction methods, where the footprint of the garage is larger and extends outward beyond the footprint of the building(s). In the case of this project, there are two high-rise buildings (one office/retail and one hotel/condo/retail) spaced throughout the garage footprint. This project consisted of three different types of shoring systems to meet the project constraints and the permit agency requirements. The three systems were: soil nails using hollow core steel bars, steel beam cantilever and steel beam with tiebacks. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed clear and grubbing, surface demolition, sorting and screening debris from previous structures in the upper 10 feet, mass excavation for a below-grade garage five levels deep, wall line shoring and shotcrete finish walls for the garage. Project By the Numbers Buildings: 2 (28-story office tower, 25-story hotel) Estimated cost: $900M Building area: 1.2MSF Parking stalls: 3,000 Completed: 2011
Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 2.6 acres Garage footprint: 89,820 SF Depth of excavation: (5 levels of garage) Varied 57 to the floor and 70 feet deep to bottom of mat foundation Mass excavation and haul off: 248,000 cubic yards Truck loads: 17,715 Shoring: 87,831 SF (21 miles of soil nails in total length) Shotcrete finish walls: 66,000
5. Hospice of the Valley
General Contractor: Arthur Porter Location: Flower and 16th streets, Phoenix Start/completion dates: August 2009 to February 2010 Project description: This project was almost fully funded by private donations, so the subcontractors were asked to keep costs down wherever possible. The timing of this project was a positive ray of hope during the economic downturn. Buesing Corp. elected not to employ an internal ramp to the bottom of the excavation. Instead, it used a conveyor system to convey soil out of the hole and directly into its belly dump trucks. The bottom of the excavation was cemented soils, therefore hydraulic hammers on trackhoe equipment were required to finish the excavation and assist with the foundation excavation. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed surface demolition, clear and grubbing, mass excavation for a below-grade garage that was three levels deep, wall line shoring and shotcrete finish walls for the garage. Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 1.8 acres Garage footprint: 35,000 Depth of garage: 34 ft. (3 levels) Volume of mass excavation and haul off of dirt: 55,500 cubic yards Shoring area: 35,097 SF (wall line) Shotcrete finish walls area: 33,770 SF 107
NOTABLE PROJECTS 6
6. Marina Heights
Developers: Ryan Companies, Sunbelt Holdings Architect: Davis Location: Rural Road & Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Ariz. Start/completion dates: July 2013 to November 2014 Project description: The dollar value of this project is one of the top single commercial and building development projects built in the Phoenix Metro. It will attract approximately 8,000 people to work in the upcoming two to four years. To add to this number, there are projections that Marina Heights and a couple others nearby will spur additional development on both sides of Tempe Town Lake. This project was somewhat unique in that the shoring design and the below-grade garage were subject to review and approval and permits by multiple agencies such as the City of Tempe (COT) and the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC), which required multiple permits and levels of planning and approvals. Buesing Corp. was asked to implement a fast-track schedule, which required multiple crews and extended hours and multiple Saturdays to achieve key milestone dates to allow the concrete trade subcontractor to begin its work to meet the overall project schedule. The below-grade garage was constructed using podium construction methods, where the footprint of the garage is larger and extends outward beyond the footprint of the building(s). In the case of this project, there are five office and retail buildings spaced throughout the garage footprint. This project consisted of three different types of shoring systems to meet the project constraints and the permit agency requirements. The three systems were: soil nails using hollow core steel bars, soil nails using hollow core fiberglass bars and steel beam with tiebacks. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed surface demolition, clear and grubbing, 108 | July-August 2014
mass excavation for a below-grade garage three levels deep, wall line shoring and shotcrete finish walls for the garage. Project By the Numbers Buildings: 5 Estimated cost: $600M Building area: 2MSF Parking stalls: 8,200 Expected completion: 2017 Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 26 acres Garage footprint: 82,840 SF Depth of excavation: Varied, 20 to 27 feet deep Mass excavation & haul off: 426,000 cubic yards Truck loads: 24,600 Shoring: 106,000 Shotcrete finish walls: 95,000
7. Phoenix Convention Center
Owner: City of Phoenix General Contractor: Hunt–Russell-Alvarado triventure Architects: Populous and Leo A. Daly Location: Central Avenue & Washington Street, Phoenix Start/completion dates: 2005 to 2008 (two phases) Project description: The Phoenix Convention Center was a total replacement of the old City Civic Center (North Hall) on the north side of Washington Street and tripled its facility size. The original South Hall on the south side of Washington Street is also still being used. The convention center expansion was integral to the renovations to the adjacent Symphony Hall and construction of Phoenix’s 19-mile light rail system. Buesing performed work on the phase 1a scope package that included mass excavation and shoring associated with a narrow
temporary ramp to the bottom of the excavation for phase 1 activities. Another contractor performed the mass excavation and haul off of dirt for phase 1. The excavation of the garage encompassed a city block. The shoring contractor was retained by the general contractor directly, which required close coordination. Buesing was responsible for building a temporary ramp that could be used for its trucks (to haul off dirt), but also other trade subcontractors for about eight months. The garage walls were constructed by another trade subcontractor using slip form cast-in-place (CIP) methods. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. took receipt of the concrete demolition debris from the old City Civic Center structures at an off-site location and crushed and screened to produce an aggregate (ABC) to meet MAG. The ABC material was then transported back to the site later on for use under the garage floor to obtain LEED credit. Buesing Corp. performed the mass excavation and haul off for the below-grade garage that was equivalent to three levels deep. Project By the Numbers Structure: 1 (Below- and above-ground convention and meeting space) Building area: 868,300 SF (new facility only) Total convention area: 2.7MSF (after expansion) Estimated cost: $600M Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 11.5 acres Garage footprint: 397,700 SF Depth of excavation: (3 levels) 33-feet average and deeper at foundations Volume of mass excavation and haul off of dirt: 548,800 cubic yards (phase 2 activities)
8. Sheraton Hotel
Developer: Downtown Phoenix Hotel Corporation General Contractor: Perini Building Company Architects: Arquitectonica and RSP Architects Location: 3rd and Van Buren streets, Phoenix Start/completion dates: 2006 to 2008
Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed surface demolition, clear and grubbing, mass excavation for a below-grade garage that is two levels deep, mat foundation excavation, wall line shoring and garage wall backfill. Project By the Numbers Structure: 1 Building area: 868,300 SF (new facility only) Number of rooms: 1,000 Number of floors: 31 Estimated cost: $350M Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 3.4 acres Garage footprint: 87,259 SF Depth of excavation: (24 ft. typical and 32 ft. at mat foundation) Volume of mass excavation and haul off of dirt: 86,429 cubic yards Shoring area: 39,300 SF (wall line) Shotcrete finish wall area: 33,500 SF
Developer: UniSource, subsidiary of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) General Contractor: Ryan Companies Architect: Davis Location: Broadway Road and 6th Ave, Tucson, Ariz. Start/completion dates: June 2011 to February 2012 Project description: This project was not only a high-profile, signature type of project for downtown Tucson, but it also occurred in the middle of an economic lull.
Buesing Corp. performed three major scopes for this project, including mass excavation and haul off, shoring and shotcrete finish walls. This was one of the largest commercial building and below-grade garage projects Buesing Corp. has ever performed in the Tucson area. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed surface demolition, clear and grubbing, mass excavation for a below grade garage that was three levels deep, wall line shoring and shotcrete finish walls for the garage. Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land size: 2.2 acres Garage footprint: 60,255 SF Depth of excavation: 36 ft. to bottom of mat foundation (3 levels) Volume of mass excavation and haul off of dirt: 61,054 cubic yards Shoring area: 33,712 SF Shotcrete finish wall area: 30,522 SF
10. Valencia Heights Residential Developer: Lennar General Contractors: Buesing / Lennar
Civil Engineer: Coe & Van Loo Consultants Location: Mesa, Ariz. Start/completion dates: March to April 2014 Project description: This project is one of many residential projects ongoing in the Valley during a hot-and-cold buying market. With this fluctuating market the bid opportunities are equally up and down. This site was recently an orchard, so deep over-excavation was required to mitigate the disturbed soil where more than 1,100 tree root balls once were. Buesing’s role: Buesing Corp. performed civil site development for the residential community that included clear and grubbing, mass cut/fill and grading, over-excavation and re-compaction, and fine grading for single-family home lots and interior roads. Buesing Scope By the Numbers Project land area: 11.2 acres Number of home lots/pads: 52 Volume of cut/fill and grading dirt: 39,320 cubic yards Import and export of dirt: 1,100 cubic yards 109
Digging Deep Buesing’s unique, character-building projects By Amanda Ventura
Left, Northern Arizona University's Skydome; Above, Phoenician ballroom expansion.
hen Buesing isn’t excavating for some of the biggest projects in the state, its building tunnels beneath Phoenix or working on flood control projects. The company has a reputation for taking on difficult digs — ones that require more than the big Caterpillar equipment and shoring walls. Whether it’s cutting into a butte and creating a tunnel at Phoenix International Raceway just two months before a big race or disassembling and carrying equipment through a theater to build an underground elevator, Buesing’s varied role in Arizona’s commercial construction is sometimes best defined by its lesser-known feats. “The work we did at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts project wasn’t the start of a skyline changer or a large grading job like many of our projects are, but it was a complex job that required experience and outside-the-box thinking to accomplish,” says Construction Manager Bob Pettit. Buesing’s team excavated 28 feet deep
110 | July-August 2014
in a small area inside an existing facility, making the movement of equipment and the dig’s spoils challenging. However, it’s not the first — or even the most challenging — indoor dig Buesing has taken on. When Northern Arizona University wanted to add sky boxes to its Skydome athletics facility, Buesing took on the difficult project that was bound by an academic schedule, working indoors and the unpredictability of installing micropile foundation in bedrock that, based on location in the arena, could vary in depth from 14 to 70 feet. “It’s hard to know how much material to order with no idea how long the micropile will be,” says Pettit. “It is also hard to say when the work will be complete with no idea how much work there is to do. This was another project with a rigid schedule – students were showing up and the project needed to be done before they got there so we had to make it happen despite the challenges.”
Buesing worked closely with suppliers to ensure materials would be available and shipped on short notice. The company also had three crews on the job and ran the drill nearly 24 hours a day for the duration of the project. Hitting walls — and plowing through them — is what Buesing’s good at. In 2009, the company took on the ballroom expansion at the Phoenician resort, which needed to be built right into Camelback Mountain. Blasting within the resort was off the table, Pettit says. “The shoring was pre-designed by others using long soil nails which weren’t the best option for the conditions,” he adds. So, Buesing approached the mountain with hammer hoes, a D-9 dozer and excavators with rock buckets. To amend the long soil nail pre-design issue, Buesing worked with the project team to redesign the shoring system with rock bolts. On a more delicate note, Buesing has also endured projects in which soil couldn’t stand on its own, making a dig more difficult, such as when it dug a trench for the El Paso Natural Gas line in 2006. And, again, when Buesing installed a secondary protection wall for Ashurst Dam by way of installing sheet piling (which is rare in Arizona, due to soil type). Buesing had to avoid damaging a historic wall built in the early 1900s. “We used installation equipment that allowed adjustment of the speed and frequency of vibration, closely monitored the wall, and adjusted installation as necessary,” Pettit says.
Congratulations on turning 50.
Published on Jul 11, 2014
Overview of Buesing's 50-year legacy in the Valley of the Sun, including unique projects, a look at the new strategic leadership group and a...