December 21, 2015

It’s a Wrap! 25th Anniversary Recap

As the new year approaches, 2015 comes to an end and so does the celebration of our 25th Anniversary. We are proud of everything we have accomplished since our humble beginnings in 1990 with just 11 employees, to now with 3,000-plus employees who have contributed to our 80 million work hours.  

Since our very first project at Argo, we have completed 8,700 projects and counting. These projects give us the opportunity to work with amazing customers who aspire to leave a long-lasting impact on the communities around them. This, we have in common. DPR has supported 25 community organizations with over $4.2 million and countless volunteer hours, because being integral and indispensable to the communities in which we work is ingrained in DPR culture.

Our 25th anniversary has given us a chance to reflect on our history as a construction company and highlight some of the great things that make DPR what it is today. For example: 

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one

December 18, 2015

‘Tis the Season to be Thankful

The holidays are a perfect time to look back on 2015 and reflect on the people in your life that you are thankful for. So this holiday season, DPR would like to give thanks for all of our amazing customers

Since 1990, DPR has worked with half of Fortune’s top 50 “World’s Most Admired Companies.” For this we are grateful, because our customers inspire us to keep striving for excellence. We appreciate the confidence our customers have in us and are proud of the work we have accomplished together. 

But one of the main reasons we're thankful for our customers? They change the world. Manufacturing new medicine, educating the next generation, or inventing new technologies, our customers are constantly leaving a positive impact on the world around them, and DPR is proud to be a part of that.

With customers like these, DPR has a lot to be thankful for every day. 

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one

December 16, 2015

Ronald McDonald House Topping Out in Orlando, FL

In November, the DPR project team at the Ronald McDonald House at Nemours Children’s Hospital celebrated with a traditional topping out ceremony. The ceremony marks the occasion where the team raises the final beam in place, signifying the completion of vertical construction.

More than 80 guests including design team members, crews, Nemours Children’s Hospital staff, and Ronald McDonald House staff and board of directors enjoyed a BBQ lunch and ceremonial raising of the beam.

Known as “The House That Love Built,” the final beam raised included numerous signatures from project team members, as well as hundreds of paper hearts signed with messages of encouragement from community supporters. 

Project completion is scheduled for Spring 2016.

Read an update in the Orlando Business Journal here, and watch a clip of the event here.

Photo Credits: Jeff Leimbach, JL Photo-Graphic

December 14, 2015

How to Build a World-Class Hospital Complex with Care, Compassion and Collaboration

How did the team for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay in San Francisco successfully accommodate $55 million worth of changes to the project midway through construction without adversely impacting the budget and scheduled opening date?

“By embracing and planning for change,” said J. Stuart Eckblad, Executive Director of Major Capital Projects for UCSF Medical Center. 

As shown in the infographic below, the almost decade-long journey to create the $1.5 billion, 878,00-sq.-ft. world-class medical center included 1,200 designers and builders—250 of which co-located together.

The integrated, high-performing team delivered final results including $200 million in savings, improved quality and completion eight days ahead of schedule.   

With an on-time opening of Feb. 1, the 289-bed medical center includes Benioff Children’s, Bakar Cancer and Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospitals.


Learn more about the project—the collaborative approach, how the team determined the most effective approach and used BIM—in this story or this extended case study.

Photo Credit: Rien van Rijthoven

December 10, 2015

The Rewards of Awards

Companies that win awards, win rewards beyond the accolades.

That’s the conclusion of two separate studies that sought to determine whether awards deliver tangible benefits to the companies that receive them.

A study released earlier this year by jobs and recruiting firm Glassdoor found that companies that rank on “best employers” lists—an indication of employee satisfaction—experienced higher returns and financial performance than the overall stock market during the last six years. Meanwhile, companies with low employee satisfaction ratings have underperformed the overall market during that same period.

Since 2009, a portfolio of companies on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” outperformed the S&P 500 by 84 percent (for five consecutive years, DPR has ranked in the Top 25 of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For”).

Additionally, a similar portfolio of companies on Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” outperformed the overall market by nearly 116 percent (and DPR gets 4.6 out of 5 stars in reviews on Glassdoor.)

Research conducted more than a decade earlier by Kevin Hendricks and Vinod Singhal, which is still cited as the benchmark of assessing the value of total quality management (TQM) principles, found that corporate quality awards had an impact on bottom-line business results. The researchers found that over a 10-year period, more than 600 corporate winners of quality awards had 48% higher growth in operating income and 37% higher growth in sales compared to the control group. Award winners also outperformed the controls on return on sales, growth in employees and growth in assets.

That said, we are honored that you like us and the work that we do!

Some examples of recent awards include:

  • Eagle award for excellence in construction, from the ABC of the Carolinas to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Dining Hall Renovation and Expansion project 
  • Large builder of the year, given by the West Palm Beach chapter of the American Institute of Architects
  • Award of merit, from ENR Southwest to the Banner Boswell Medical Center Hybrid Operating Room project
  • Corporate safety award, given by the Associated General Contractors of Metro Washington 

For more, check out our awards here.

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one

December 8, 2015

Milagro Center Recognizes DPR, and Ambassador of the Year

DPR’s goal to become indispensable to the communities in which it works was reinforced in the West Palm Beach region recently by one of its key community beneficiaries – the Milagro Center.

This fall the Center recognized DPR employee Luke Stocking with an “Ambassador of the Year” Award, while also heralding DPR’s corporate efforts supporting the center’s youth programs with both financial and hands-on support. In addition to Stocking, West Palm Beach office regional leader for DPR, Deborah Beetson, also serves on the Milagro board of directors.

Pictured at the award ceremony are DPR's Theresa Kinsloe, Adriana Martinengo-Rosenberg, and Luke Stocking. Photo courtesy the Milagro Center.

Both Stocking and DPR as a corporate contributor were highlighted at a volunteer recognition event in October. Barbara Stark, President and CEO of Milagro Center, offered these comments on Stocking’s work and DPR’s commitment to the program: “Luke is more than just an ambassador sitting as a committee member on our ambassador committee. He’s really taken it to the next level. To us, Luke is a miracle. He has made so many things possible for us that we never thought would be possible. Combining what Luke does as an ambassador for Milagro Center with the monetary grant proceeds that we get each year from DPR, in addition to the help they give us with construction projects and now with our teen center development programs – it’s been absolutely amazing and had such remarkable affects both on our center and our foundation as well as on the lives of our kids.”

Stocking has championed DPR’s efforts with Milagro center for the past two years. The primary efforts in 2015 and those planned for the year ahead are on further growing Milagro Center’s Teen Center and the programs in which local teens participate. He has spearheaded several impactful initiatives that capitalize on DPR's skills over the past year, including a career day with the Milagro teens, a three-session Construction School where youths learned about jobsite safety, power tools and career options, and a project to build and install countertops to create a dedicated homework area for the club.

In 2016, plans are in the works for a hands-on workbench design and build in the fall, ongoing career development talks delivered by DPR employees, and a spring project being planned for the Center’s “Star” program serving elementary school age children.

DPR hosted a three-session Construction School that introduced Milagro Center youth to many facets of working in construction. Day 1 of the school is highlighted in this video. Photo and video courtesy Adriana Martinengo-Rosenberg.

For Stocking, the time put into Milagro Center serving on the committee and helping the center with various construction and educational contributions brings a sense of deep personal gratification. “It is rewarding to see the effort we are putting in to the Center be recognized and appreciated,” he says. “The award means that we are truly becoming indispensable to our community.”

Milagro Center’s mission is to enrich children’s lives through cultural arts, academic support and living values. The nonprofit serves at-risk children, youth and families living at or below the federal poverty level in South Florida.

December 1, 2015

Building Great Things in Austin (Video)

This year alone, DPR was ranked No. 2 on the Top Commercial Construction Company list and No. 6 on the list of the Top Midsized Employers in Austin, Texas.

Curious about our Austin office? Learn about our passion for building and vision of shared leadership, and meet some of our folks in the following video.

With projects like the new Charles Schwab corporate campus, the Aloft/Element Hotel, Third+Shoal Office Building, the Replacement Office Building and the Business School for the University of Texas, there is so much to be excited about in Austin this year, next year and beyond.

November 19, 2015

DPR Pitches In on Habitat Project to Help Local Family Realize Home Ownership Dream

The dream of home ownership is a step closer to reality for one Sacramento-area family, thanks to a Habitat for Humanity project aided by DPR’s recent donation of both funding and labor.

A total of 10 DPR Sacramento office employees pitched in about 75 volunteer hours over two workdays, helping build the infrastructure for two new homes that will go to deserving, low-income families in the Del Paso Heights area. DPR crews worked alongside members of the Cebrero-Lara family which is slated to receive one of the two homes. The family ultimately will contribute at least 500 hours of sweat equity on their home and other projects to fulfill the home ownership guidelines set forth by Habitat.

Photos courtesy Rodman Marquez and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento

During the workdays earlier this month, volunteers literally got into the trenches to dig out space for sewer and water connections one day while installing plywood for sheer walls on the other. Before either workday could take place, however, DPR’s Sacramento office had already stepped in to donate a $10,000 funding shortfall that had initially threatened to delay the project’s fall start date.

Superintendent Marco Cabodi participated in both workdays to get the project off the ground. He was joined by an array of DPR employees, representing regional management, business development and estimating crews as well as project managers, engineering and craft personnel.

“It’s a lot of hard work but quite rewarding to be part of creating a new home for somebody who needs it, while supporting the wonderful Habitat organization,” Cabodi commented. “These are smart, efficient new homes (designed to LEED Gold standards) that brighten a little spot in the community and have a positive effect on the whole area.”

Photo courtesy Rodman Marquez

As a builder, the project fits perfectly in DPR’s wheelhouse, and crews made quick work of a job that Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento had estimated would take substantially longer. In fact Habitat’s site supervisor raved Saturday morning about how much the DPR crew had been able to knock out Friday, noting that the work DPR had completed by noon would have taken their regular volunteers over two days to complete.

Volunteer Ken Vail, a DPR carpenter foreman, said that it was a good feeling to give back and contribute in a way that utilized his building skills. “It always feels good to get out there and help,” he commented. “I can’t wait until my children are old enough to do these things with me and to show them it’s good to get out there and lend a hand. Giving people a warm and safe place to raise their children is a great feeling, and it’s a reminder of how fortunate we are.”

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento

DPR plans to continue its participation on Habitat’s Cebrero-Lara home building project, with another workday tentatively planned for January. The project is slated to complete in the spring of 2016. 

November 12, 2015

Offices and Projects: From Sea to Shining Sea

For 25 years, DPR has been serving customers across the nation by bringing our technical expertise to a regional level through our 20 offices. These regional offices allow us to support customers wherever we are needed and respond to the frequently changing needs of the construction industry.  

Throughout these regions, DPR and its customers have been hard at work. Curious? Here's a peek at some of the many exciting projects being accomplished, from sea to shining sea:

  • In Texas, we broke ground on the Capital One Plano campus. The 5,900 employees on campus will be glad to hear that this four-story building will include a game room, collaboration spaces, cafeteria, and training rooms. This will be the seventh building on the Plano campus and is expected to be complete by early 2017. 
  • In the Mid-Atlantic, we continue to be part of the growing data center presence and recently broke ground on the 45-acre Equinix Ashburn North Campus. This will add 1.2 million sq. ft. of data center space to the area in Northern Virginia referred to as “Data Center Alley,” where up to 70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through.
  • In Florida, we are renovating the Boca Raton Gloria Drummond Physical Rehabilitation Institute. This project will make it possible for patients to receive speech therapy, assisted daily living, cardiac rehabilitation, wound care, aquatic therapy, diabetes treatment and more.  
  • In San Diego, the next generation of nurse scientists, educators, and practitioners are continuing their education at the University of San Diego Beyster Institute for Nursing Research.  This new building, complete with a simulation facility featuring computerized mannequins, was completed in just 16 months and is now a national model for nursing education.

The list could go on, but we'll keep it brief. While this is just a glimpse of what we're up to, DPR's strong national presence allows us to continously embark on many amazing projects such as these and provide a consistent experience for our customers every time. 

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one

November 6, 2015

What Makes a Workplace Great?

If you’re sitting in your office reading this, take a moment and look around. What do you enjoy most about your workplace? Is it something specific, or is it something a little less tangible? What is it exactly that makes a workplace great?  

  • According to Gallup, the average American adult works 47 hours a week, which adds up to 2,256 hours of your life per year. That is just one of the many reasons why CEOs, HR departments, and psychologists across the country have put in so much time and effort into researching what makes a workplace great.
  • Ron Friedman, a psychologist and business consultant, recently published a book called, The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace. In his book, Friedman suggests that one of the best things employers can do for their workplaces is to challenge their employees, without overwhelming them. With the right amount of challenge, employees will feel empowered to come up with their own best approach or solution to a problem.
  • In addition to empowerment, people need to feel like they are part of one culture. When Fortune magazine spoke to China Gorman, the CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute, she said companies succeed when they create one consistent culture throughout the entire organization. By doing so, employees will be better equipped for collaboration, which ensures customers will have a consistently excellent experience.  

DPR strives to not only build great things, but to build great people – and it shows.

For five consecutive years, DPR has been awarded a spot on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list for reasons such as our open culture and our environment of trust that empowers employees at all levels to make decisions in the best interest of our projects, our customers and our company. This feeling of empowerment can be felt throughout all of DPR’s regions. In 2015 alone, the Triangle Business Journal, the Dallas Business JournalFlorida Trend, and the San Francisco Business Times have all given DPR top spots on their lists of the best places to work.  

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one. Follow #DPR25 on social media to learn more.