March 1, 2016

Making Safety Personal

When it comes to safety, good or even great is never enough. DPR projects across the country continually look for safety ideas that encourage teams to change behaviors and achieve DPR’s zero incidents goal.

At the Arizona State University (ASU) Arizona Center for Law and Society (ACLS) in Phoenix, the team is going above and beyond to optimize jobsite safety by implementing creative new practices. For example:

  • Plus/delta sessions: Lunch-time brainstorming sessions where safety ideas are discussed, such as making filtered water more readily available to workers for hydration in the hot Arizona weather to procuring a specific knuckle boom lift that helped the plumbers do their job more safely.
  • Safety recognition stickers: On regular safety job walks, the ACLS leadership hands out stickers to those who demonstrate exemplary safety practices in the field. 
  • Acting on leading indicators: Before performing work, the crews fill out a pre-task plan that outlines how they will execute their assigned task in the safest manner possible. At the end of each week, these plans are reviewed and the three that demonstrate the most thorough safety action plans are awarded with free lunches. Those winning pre-task plans are then shared with the rest of the project team as an opportunity for learning. 

Safety results on the project speak volumes for the success of the team, as they make safety a value on site. In October, the team held a safety milestone barbeque for 270 people, celebrating 300,000 hours worked with a zero lost-time incident rate.

Read more about safety on the ACLS site here

February 24, 2016

LinkedIn Goes West

When you think of Portland, you might think of coffeehouses or the infamous Pacific Northwest rain. But did you know Portland is also quickly becoming a technology hub with a flourishing economy and countless new opportunities for innovation?

This very fact is one of the reasons LinkedIn has decided to build its newest data center in Hillsboro, a suburb just outside of Portland. With existing data center sites in Virginia and Texas, this new west-coast site will allow LinkedIn to achieve their goal of establishing data centers in varied regions across the United States. 

Additionally, this location enables LinkedIn to have direct access to green power. For 200 days out of the year the data center will utilize free cooling, reducing their overall energy usage. The location will also allow LinkedIn to explore new options for renewable energy and sustainable sourcing, leading to the company’s ultimate goal of 100 percent renewable energy usage.

So why the need for another data center? In the last year, LinkedIn’s storage and processing needs have increased by 34 percent. Working to stay ahead of this rapidly growing demand, LinkedIn is adding more capacity in order to maintain the consistent and reliable service LinkedIn members are expecting.

Construction of the data center will be completed in two phases. Phase 1, the build-out of data hall space for LinkedIn in an existing Infomart colocation facility, is comprised of 15,000 sq. ft. of white space and 3,000 sq. ft. of ancillary space. This will be DPR’s second time working in this facility, with the first time being in 2012 for Fortune Data Centers (now known as Infomart Data Centers).

Phase 2 is the construction of a new 100,000-sq.-ft. data center shell, 15,000 sq. ft. of which is confirmed for LinkedIn. Once both phases are complete, Infomart’s entire facility will be served by 16 MW of IT Critical Power.

Due to LinkedIn’s rapid growth and need for quick deployments, fast-track delivery is crucial for this design-build project. Even with the record-breaking amount of rainfall the area is experiencing, the project team remains confident in their scheduled completion dates.

LinkedIn’s latest data center will go online late 2016. 

The LinkedIn Data Center Services team breaking ground on the new facility in Hillsboro, OR with the help of the Infomart team and the Mayor of Hillsboro.

February 23, 2016

Raleigh-Durham Region Leverages Building Skills with Recent Habitat Workday

Working alongside a family who put in sweat equity as down-payment on their future new home, a group of 17 DPR volunteers was able to leverage their building skills on a recent Habitat for Humanity project in the Raleigh-Durham region.

The Jan. 29 project marked the final workday on a new Habitat home that is slated to be turned over to the homeowner in mid-February. DPR volunteers who turned out included four craft workers as well as an array of office, administrative and field personnel. They spent a full workday landscaping the backyard, cutting trees, mulching and planting shrubs in the front and building interior shelves and a bench.

Photo courtesy De'Lisa Stringer

Brian Tostenson helped organize the event for DPR along with community initiatives champion De’Lisa Stringer. Having the opportunity to meet the family that would be moving into the new home and sharing a lunch of homemade porridge provided by the family of new immigrants was a highlight of the day, according to Tostenson.

“It was awesome,” he said. “They brought out their 18-month old baby and shared this delicious lunch with us. It was cool to see the whole family there together and to get a sense of why we were actually there working.”

Photo courtesy De'Lisa Stringer

The opportunity to put DPR’s construction skills to use is also rewarding, according to Stringer. She pointed out that the Raleigh-Durham region is moving toward formalizing their partnerships with the local arms of Habitat for Durham County and Rebuilding Together of the Triangle.

“We are going to be contributing a certain amount of hours and donation funds every year from 2017 on,” she commented. “These organizations are huge supporters of low income development, and this really fits in with our focus on skills-based volunteering.”

DPR plans at least another five events this year, some large and some small, Stringer added. “The goal is to give everyone in our office an opportunity to participate in some way.”

February 22, 2016

Genentech CCP-2 Project Wins 2016 Facility of the Year Award

Congratulations to the Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, team for winning a coveted 2016 Facility of the Year Award (FOYA) in the Process Innovation category for the Cell Culture Biologics Drug Substance Plant 2 (CCP-2) Manufacturing Facility and Return to Service (RTS) project. 

Developed by the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), FOYAs recognize the best pharmaceutical science and manufacturing industry projects in the world. The FOYA program seeks to showcase accomplishments in facility design, construction, and operation while sharing new technologies or advanced applications of existing technology. The FOYA judging team is made up of senior industry leaders with global experience across all sectors of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing industry.

This year’s winning Process Innovation project focused on an upgrade to the original CCP-2 facility that was put into an “idle” status in 2010 and a fast-track Return to Service project that was driven by product demand levels that had tripled in recent years. 

At 450,000 sq. ft., the CCP-2 expansion to Genentech’s Vacaville, CA facility makes it one of the largest biotechnology fermentation facilities of its kind in the world. The CCP-2 facility includes manufacturing and support space, which houses some of the largest scale cell culture drug substance production equipment in the industry, including 8 x 25 KL production reactors. 

This project took an innovative approach to process and equipment design to improve the facility’s reliability and efficiency. Examples include: highly automated CIP systems, buffer concentrates, buffer bags, and in-line concentrates, as well as a centralized resin slurry and delivery system. 

Process innovations include: 
•    High titer yields at the largest bioreactor scale used in the industry, 
•    The conversion of downstream processing, and 
•    An all-fluid handling system to support the recovery of this higher titer output compared to the original installation’s lower titer design criteria.

Upgrading the existing CCP-2 facility to support new process technology instead of constructing a new building saved the owner $50 million. The project team also finished two months ahead of an aggressive 15 month schedule, making this truly a project of perseverance and a testament to the terrific amount of drive, innovation, and creativity from everyone who worked on the project. 

Fun Fact: DPR Construction was the builder for original CCP-2 Manufacturing Facility and Return to Service projects. In addition, DPR also built the Genentech Oceanside Production Operations facility, which won the ISPE’s 2007 FOYA in the Project Execution category and the overall 2007 Facility of the Year award. 

February 10, 2016

Build It Again, DPR

Almost 20 years after first entering the Richmond, Virginia market to build a semiconductor plant for Motorola and Siemens—a project that still ranks as one of the fastest-to-market facilities of its kind ever built—DPR is back at the same site. The current project? Repurposing and converting the former White Oak Semiconductor plant into a modern data center for Quality Technology Services (QTS).

“I guess if you’re in the technical building industry long enough, you get to build great things twice,” said DPR's Mike White, who is managing the current QTS data center project and also managed the original White Oak project back in the 1990s. 

With a wealth of technical expertise, this project was a perfect fit for DPR to take on. However, that's not to say the project was without its challenges, including aggressive energy use goals and a focus on the maximum repurposing of existing assets. 

How did the project team tackle these challenges? Find out by reading the full story here

February 4, 2016

Ramping Up SPW Operational Excellence

In 2014, DPR’s self-perform work (SPW) group in Florida logged less than 50,000 work hours across the state. Fast-forward one year, and the group closes out 2015 with more than double that—115,000 work hours. The reason behind this rapid growth? Hiring, training, and giving crews the right tools to complete projects for the Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach offices. 

“From day one, our initial focus was to hire the right team, and build technical expertise in our crews,” said Charles Wiggins, DPR Florida’s lead self-perform estimator.

On one current SPW Florida project—a 200,000-sq.-ft. hospitality renovation—the team is putting technology to use in modeling framing components with a focus on prefabrication, which is not only improving quality but will shorten the schedule when compared to a traditional framing installation.

With new projects breaking ground across the country, an SPW mentorship program will begin this year, aimed at bringing up young talent in the industry and creating future leaders. 

Get the full story on our SPW work here.  

January 28, 2016

DPR Corner: Proud Technical Builders

Our people are passionate about technical projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. As the industry and DPR evolve, things have changed over the last 25 years; however, technical expertise has always been one of our defining strategies.

When asked to define technical expertise, our customers most often responded with answers including mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and other discipline expertise, lessons learned from relevant experience and know-how. DPR agrees. We ask our employees to know our customers’ business, industry and values as well as they know their own so we can offer real value throughout the life of a project. 

Additionally, we want our builders to understand the “why,” “how” and “what” of every project. It’s imperative to know “why” each building system is selected for a particular project and “why” it makes economic sense over the life cycle of the building. We want to be hands-on with the “what” of each system and the “how” that system is installed, tested, started-up and commissioned. We want all of our project teams to take personal ownership in building technical expertise. 

We are proud that our customers recognize DPR’s technical expertise—and we will continue to challenge ourselves to develop the next generation of technical builders that will build great things for the future.

Read the full story here

January 22, 2016

Trust is Key for First IPD Data Center for Digital Realty

DPR’s longstanding relationship with Digital Realty (DLR), forged over the course of more than a decade and more than 150 successful data center projects across the U.S., laid the groundwork for DLR’s first time using integrated project delivery (IPD) on a data center project in Richardson, TX.

By entering into a seven-party integrated form of agreement (IFOA), the IPD team shared all project risks and rewards on the $37.3 million, 140,000-sq.-ft. project. 

Like any challenging data center project, DLR's data center saw its fair share of challenges, such as schedule pressure due to intense rainfall, and the fact that this was the first IPD project that many of the firms involved had ever undertaken. However, the project was completed on the original 10-month schedule in July, approximately $500,000 under the original targeted value. The DLR data center came to be a true testament of what can be accomplished by a solution-oriented team backed by a high degree of trust, collaboration, and a shared commitment to finish on time and under budget. 

To learn more, read the full article here

January 19, 2016

MLK Service Day with American YouthWorks and Violet Crown Trail

DPR's Austin office employees used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to get their hands dirty with two of their long-time community partners.

DPR's Matt Hoglund presents a check for $40,000 to American YouthWorks following a landscape volunteer day.

DPR volunteers joined youth from the American YouthWorks program on Monday to clean the historic Burdett Prairie Cemetery and adjacent greenbelt trail. DPR has worked with American YouthWorks and their YouthBuild program in Austin for more than three years. In addition to hands-on work and training with the students, DPR donates the proceeds from their annual golf tournament to the organization. The $40,000 check presented Monday brings total donations for the last three years to $90,000.

Teamwork in action: volunteers with chainsaws cut trunks and branches, other workers dragged them to the chipper, where additional volunteers loaded them in to be mulched.

A second DPR volunteer crew equipped with chainsaws and a chipper cleared cedar and underbrush for a new segment of the Violet Crown Trail. DPR has a three year commitment to the Hill Country Conservancy to provide manpower, equipment and financial support for the trail. After 15 years of land acquisition, planning and permitting, the first six mile section of the ultimately 30-mile trail opened in 2015. 

January 12, 2016

Looking Back on 25 Years and Forward to the Next 25

After celebrating 25 years of building great things, DPR co-founders Doug Woods, Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski reflect on setting out to build something different in an industry traditionally resistant to change.

D, P and R expressed the importance of balance and continuing to adapt quickly as the company continues to grow. Why? "Being both entrepreneurial and disciplined has helped us become one of the leading builders in the country. If we can maintain that balance through our next phase of growth, there is nothing we cannot accomplish in the next 25 years and beyond."

When employees asked what advice they would give the next generation of leadership, they said it was simply about having the “right whos in the right seats” and providing them with the right opportunities and monstrous challenges to continue to develop and grow.

Finally, when questioned if DPR has truly "made it" yet, Doug, Peter, and Ron responded with, "For us, there has been no single defining moment but a series of opportunities and challenges that have impacted the company DPR is today and made us stronger. Not quite sure if we’ve 'made it' yet, but one thing is for certain, we will never stop trying."

Read the entire Q&A with Doug, Peter, and Ron here