Across DPR Blog, Page 3

March 12, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Spotlight: Looking Back on New Office and Regional Manager

DPR recently opened a new Baltimore office and welcomed new mid-Atlantic regional manager, Greg Haldeman

The new Baltimore office is targeting LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors (CI) and is also the fifth DPR office to monitor its energy usage through an online dashboard. DPR built the office through design-build project delivery. 

While new, the Baltimore office does not come without history, building a multitude of special projects in the area since 2002. 

New DPR Baltimore office, photo courtesy of David Galen

The mid-Atlantic region now includes the Richmond, VABaltimore, MD, and Washington, DC offices.

New regional manager, Haldeman moved from from the Raleigh-Durham, NC office to the Washington, DC office. Since joining DPR in 1997, Haldeman has served in a variety of key roles from estimator to project executive to regional manager.  A wood worker in his limited spare time, Haldeman's love of building began in childhood.

Read more about Greg Haldeman and the mid-Atlantic here in the latest issue of the DPR Review newsletter.


Photo of Greg Haldeman

March 4, 2014

Partner Profile: Talking Collaboration with SmithGroupJJR

Recently, we caught up with SmithGroupJJR’s Senior Vice President, William L. Diefenbach, FAIA, to talk about the different facets of collaboration in today's building landscape. No strangers to the concept of collaboration, DPR and SmithGroupJJR have worked on close to 50 projects together.

In this interview with Diefenbach, he discusses alternative project delivery methods, building information modeling (BIM), co-location, where innovative solutions come from, and more.

The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)—an award-winning DPR/SmithGroupJJR design/build project—is also discussed in the article. Built on a narrow, steep and sloped site, the $85 million, 67,000-sq.-ft,. LEED® Gold research facility required teamwork and creativity in the building process.

UCSF Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building, Photo Courtesy of Bruce Damonte

February 28, 2014

Taking a Break With Girls Inc.

Question: What do you get when you put together 40 enthusiastic elementary school girls and 15 DPR employees in a busy DPR office on an otherwise “typical” workday afternoon –then add in a healthy dose of games, food and fun? Answer: a large amount of laughter, positive energy and a living reminder of why Enjoyment is one of DPR’s core values.

That’s exactly what DPR’s Newport Beach employees experienced firsthand when the office hosted more than three dozen youngsters from Girls Inc. Feb. 12. The girls along with about 15 Girls Inc. staff descended on the office about 3:30 p.m., and few of the busy DPR employees could resist the chance to take a break and play. Girls rotated among game stations that included Wii Just Dance in the Innovation room, Twister in the training room, and a giant Jenga and cornhole set up outside. There were plenty of refreshments including a popcorn bar and other kid-friendly snacks set up by the office’s wine bar.

At the end of the afternoon’s festivities, DPR presented the organization with a $40,000 DPR Foundation grant and to offer a few words of support and encouragement. The DPR Foundation funds are earmarked for Girls Inc.’s STEM, College Bound and Career Development programming.

The interactive, fun event involving both the girls and DPR employees offered a break from the usual, more formal check presentation ceremony at the Girls Inc. Youth and Family Center as has been done in the past.

“The goal was to give employees an opportunity to interact with the kids in a fun, safe environment of the DPR offices,” said DPR’s Melissa King. “The event was a blast! It brought so much life to our office to host 40 elementary school girls, all of them living our core value of Enjoyment.”

Girls Inc. of Orange County is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Over the past six years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 22 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school and high school-aged children.

February 27, 2014

Future For Kids’ Winter Games Camp Delivers Day of Inspiration, Fitness and Fun

A variety of interactive games, food, music, appearances by ASU cheerleaders and the Phoenix Suns Gorilla mascot and more than 120 volunteers including former Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton all helped create an exciting, rewarding day for more than 150 enthusiastic elementary-age children who attended Future for Kids’ (FFK) Winter Games Camp in Phoenix recently. 

The second annual FFK Winter Games Camp took place at Cesar Chavez Community School February 8, 2014. The school is one of several Phoenix-area locations that DPR Foundation-supported FFK serves year-round with its after-school mentor program. The camp is the brainchild of DPR Phoenix employees Tim Hyde and Ryan Young, who serve as chairs of FFK’s board of directors and junior board of directors, respectively. They worked in close cooperation with the FFK staff, their boards and numerous volunteers to deliver a day of inspiration, fitness and high-energy fun for at-risk youth in the Phoenix area.

Free for all children who pre-registered, the Winter Games camp supports FFK’s mission to provide local youth with education through mentorship and sports and fitness programs. Along with a number of sponsors, funding for the camp is derived primarily from the proceeds of a fantasy football league established by Young and the FFK junior board of directors. The league raised approximately $10,000 to host this year’s event.

Long hours of planning came together February 8 when the Winter Games Camp day finally arrived. The day officially kicked off at 8 a.m. as children were provided a healthy snack and enjoyed warm-up games at four parachutes accompanied by music from DJ Freshmaker. Zach Hall of the Arizona Diamondbacks, joined onstage by John Skelton, delivered a motivational address on the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in life. The children were then broken into groups by age and run through 10 different sports stations ranging from volleyball and football (run by former pro Skelton) to potato sack races, tug-of-war, an obstacle course and much more. Members from the FFK’s junior board of directors manned the various stations along with other volunteers.

The day concluded with races and lunch provided to the children. A special parent area set up on-site offered education and outreach, highlighted by a well-received drug awareness speaker.

DPR’s Hyde commented that the day was “just fantastic all the way around,” with standout highlights including the participation of John Skelton, the appearance of the Phoenix sun mascot and the ASU dance/cheer team and, most significantly, the buzz of excitement and positive energy generated from the children who participated. Hyde and Young were among seven DPR employees from the Phoenix office who devoted an estimated 50 hours for the camp and another 120 hours for the fantasy football league that funded it.

FFK Executive Director Madonna Bistany gave strong kudos to DPR for its longtime efforts helping the organization make a difference for needy children in the Phoenix area.

“DPR Construction’s dedication to the kids in our community through Future for Kids is tremendous,” she comments. “We love to share with the community that DPR understands the importance of community service by serving in the areas of leadership, volunteers and funding. Thank you for helping us help others!”

FFK is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Over the past six years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 22 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school and high school-aged children.

February 20, 2014

Self-Perform Work and More at UHS Temecula Valley Hospital

As detailed in this short article, DPR's self-perform work was an important part of building the 35-acre, ground-up Universal Health Services (UHS) Temecula Valley Hospital.

This extensive project case study provides even more insight into the 177,508-sq.-ft., five-story, greenfield hospital tower project.

Using integrated project delivery (IPD), the team delivered the 140-bed hospital, which features all-private rooms, a 20-bed intensive care unit and six high-tech surgical suites. Completed ahead of schedule, the project also finished at an estimated 40 percent lower “per bed” cost than the average new Southern California hospital facility.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Anderson Photography, Inc.

“The project was very dynamic,” said Michael Fontana of Fontana Associates, the company acting as the owner’s representative. “We kept changing the way we looked at things, the way we processed information and the way the work flowed. There were all kinds of solutions we discovered to make productivity go up.”

February 13, 2014

How to Hire, Inspire, Develop and Grow the Best People

Keep Score. Stay Connected. Make an Impact. That's what we've learned at DPR, where we relentlessly encourage self-initiated improvement.

DPR's People Practices Group, which includes a cross-section of employees, focuses on developing and growing our people. Using data from Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Critical Success Factors and more performance metrics, our training concentrates on building better builders.

Read more about how we hire, inspire and develop the best in the DPR Corner—written by our Management team—in the latest issue of the DPR Review newsletter. 

Our approach to developing people seems to be working. Recently, DPR ranked #10 on Training Magazine's Top 125 Organizations (as well as #10 on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list). Training Magazine's Top 125 ranking is determined by assessing qualitative and quantitative factors, including how closely development efforts link to business goals.

February 5, 2014

Industry and Community Events, Awards, Project Milestones, and More

Look back at all that's been happening across DPR's offices and jobsites over the last several months. Whether community outreach, industry events, project awards or milestones, you can get a snapshot of company news across the nation by checking out the Across DPR section of the latest DPR Review newsletter

Here are a few examples:

  • Caltech's laboratory project winning the USGBC's Sustainable Innovation award;
  • “The Wizard of Oz”-themed Canstruction® competition in Florida;
  • The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.;
  • DPR's new Baltimore office;
  • The $200 million Outlet Mall of Georgia project currently under construction;
  • Arizona State University's newly completed 129,000-sq.-ft. McCord Hall at the W. P. Carey Business School; and
  • DPR's first ground-up net-zero energy project replacing our own Phoenix regional office as the "world's largest ILFI-certified net-zero energy building."

ASU McCord Hall Photo courtesy of Tom Corey

January 30, 2014

Affordable Housing Residents Enjoy Improved Amenities Thanks to DPR Austin

DPR’s Austin office recently made good on its commitment to LifeWorks, one of the 15 organizations supported by the DPR Foundation, and improved the quality of life for some of Austin’s affordable housing residents at the same time.

On Jan. 18, 15 DPR volunteers went to work on the second scope of a project started last June at a newly opened 45-unit affordable housing development that will house low-income Austin youth and families. Dubbed The Works at Pleasant Valley, the apartment complex is sited on the campus of LifeWorks’ Sooch Foundation Youth and Family Resource Center and will serve the most economically vulnerable of Austin’s youth and families. Residents will have access to a wide range of educational and workforce training opportunities, including Austin Community College’s adjacent Eastview Campus, and new public gathering spaces and recreational areas thanks to DPR.

After completing the landscaping of a median below a new solar panel-roofed covered parking area on the project site last June, the DPR crew awaited the project’s completion before returning for the second scope, which involved a new park and playground area. After being stalled twice by inclement weather, the team was finally able to return to the site and build a new playground, picnic tables and barbecue pits, as well as install landscaping and mulch around the play areas. OES outfitted volunteers with equipment and tools to do the job, including a bobcat, post-hole diggers, shovels, picks and other hand tools. Texas Lawn Service volunteers were on hand to add their expertise to the landscaping portions of work.

The new recreational areas will vastly improve the quality of life of the apartment complex’s residents, many of whom are teenage parents, youth aging out of foster care or young adults who have experienced cycles of homelessness.

“The new playground is icing on the cake for our beautiful new housing development; children are laughing and playing right outside the door to their new homes! LifeWorks is working to help these families achieve self-sufficiency. We are fortunate to have DPR Construction on board as a partner helping our organization serve even more people,” said LifeWorks COO Mitch Weyand.

The playground and picnic project took the volunteers 10 hours to complete and was opened to residents as move-in to the complex began the following week.

LifeWorks serves more than 10,000 individuals each year through 19 programs and services to the Greater Austin community. Its goal is to create individuals that are self-sufficient by providing them with a firm foundation for success. Most of the youth it serves have had their early lives filled with abuse, neglect, abandonment and instability. LifeWorks focuses on building their self-esteem, literacy and educational skills, as well as providing them opportunities to develop their soft and hard skills in order to enter the workforce.

LifeWorks is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Since 20012, the Foundation has supported LifeWorks with grants totaling $90,000 that benefit programs that support their clients, including classroom supplies and G.E.D. testing fees. Over the past six years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 22 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school and high school-aged children.

January 30, 2014

Chinese Hospital Replacement Project: A Day in the Life

The 100,000-sq.-ft., 54-bed, ground-up Chinese Hospital Replacement project is in full swing in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown.

To get a sense of what the day-to-day has been like on the project, check out the Day in the Life: Big Logistical Challenges, Small Urban Site pictorial feature in the latest DPR Review newsletter.

Interesting facts: The original Chinese Hospital was the birthplace of martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. Also, San Francisco's Chinatown is the largest in North America.

Watch the building as it comes to life here in real time, courtesy of the OxBlue construction camera.

Photo Courtesy of Jerry McKinley (also project superintendent)

January 24, 2014

Built to Teach: Cosumnes Winn Center for Construction and Architecture

Lean planning strategies, design-build project delivery and a sustainable approach encompass the Winn Center for Construction and Architecture at Cosumnes River College project. It was the first design-build project on the campus and the second for the school district. 

The 41,500-sq.-ft., $13.5 million Winn Center facility houses the college’s construction, architecture, pharmacy technology, and photography programs. Designed as a “building that teaches,” it also functions as a living laboratory that allows students to study the systems that went into the building’s own design and construction.

Additionally, the project's “shared governance” approach encouraged ideas and input from team members and multiple end users. 

“Making sure we were listening to all the user groups during design and that those views were in alignment with the program was a challenge at times,” said DPR Project Executive Erik Winje. “There was a lot of give and take.” The process allowed many of the best ideas to rise to the surface. 

To learn more, check out the article in the recent issue of the DPR Review newsletter, "Shared Governance on Design-Build Project: Several Heads Better than One."

To get an even more in-depth look at the project, read the extended case study.

Photo by Chip Allen Photography