Across DPR Blog, Page 5

April 16, 2013

Augmented Reality Highlights at BIM Network Event

On Thursday, April 11, we held another great Building Information Modeling (BIM) networking event, this time at our headquarters in Redwood City, CA. One of the highlights of Thursday’s event was the WorldViz virtual reality room, where attendees donned a stereoscopic head-mounted display and experienced immersive 3D walk-throughs in full scale. Owners use this technology as an opportunity to determine how their building will look and function long before it's even built to ensure that the final plan matches their vision for the project. By eliminating late stage design changes, BIM can help save time, money, and resources in the long run.

An attendee is fully immersed in a virtual apartment using WorldViz technology

If you thought QR codes were just for business cards, think again. At another augmented reality demo, our Innovation team showed how builders can see through walls by simply scanning a QR code with the BIMAnywhere app.  Builders use this to visualize the intricacies behind the wall, saving time and minimizing rework.

The BIMAnywhere app allows builders to see structures behind the wall by scanning a QR code

Sometimes it’s hard for owners to know what their building will look like based off a blueprint, resulting in late stage design changes that delay completion, costing owners time and money.  That’s where augmented reality comes in. The coded letters below allow us to shift around the configuration of a building’s interior to create a 3D virtual representation. The end result? We’re able to build, test and design how a building will look before it’s built, allowing us to address issues sooner and deliver more predictable outcomes for our clients.

Augmented reality can turn a piece of paper into a 3D visual representation of a hospital room

Augmented Reality was definitely a hit on Thursday, but that’s not all we had to offer. The event also included the following demos:
• Laser Scanning
• BIM Training
• Field BIM
• DPR Consulting
• Building Controls
• 4D and 5D

What demo did you enjoy the most at Thursday’s event? Tell us in the comments below. Learn more about collaborative virtual building and BIM here.

April 10, 2013

Maximizing BIM with an Integrated Team

Maximizing BIM with an integrated team begins with the owner as the primary stakeholder and requires a profound shift in the way projects are delivered. Based on DPR’s more than 15 years of experience in virtual construction and as a leader in IPD, we have identified the following lessons learned as outlined in Transcending the BIM Hype: How to Make Dollars and “Sense” from Building Information Modeling:

  • Determine the WHY first: Identify the reasons why you want to use BIM and set expectations accordingly.
  • WHO creates the BIM is as important as WHAT you want to model: The trade or contractor responsible for the bulk of construction should create the BIM in collaboration with the design team whenever possible.
  • Beware of software interoperability: Test and select applications that best fulfill the virtual modeling goals set for the project.
  • Compensation and contracts should support BIM: All participants should have “skin in the game” to incentivize deep collaboration.
  • Small elements have big impacts: BIM works best if every element that can potentially cause an issue in the field is included in the virtual model.
  • Co-locate to Co-create: Project participants should co-create the virtual model. Assemble the group to identify metrics to track and map a collaborative decision-making process.
  • Model management infrastructure is key: Determine how a virtual model(s) will be accessed, managed, shared and updated.

Photo courtesy of David Cox

April 4, 2013

Latest in Virtual Technologies Showcased at BIM Network Event

In March, more than 80 architecture, engineering and construction professionals attended a construction technologies demonstration at the most recent Sacramento BIM Network event held at DPR’s office. Founded last year by DPR's Kaushal Diwan, the Sacramento BIM Network brings together local professionals across disciplines to share information about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the latest technologies used in virtual design and construction. 

Guests learned about innovative technology using Augmented Reality (AR), showing how an integrated model can merge with an actual camera view. Other interactive booths set up throughout the office included:

  • Trimble technology and laser scanning as utilized in the scan of existing facilities
  • How DPR’s Self-Perform Work group used Tekla software on the Alta Bates patient tower project
  • How tradesmen use BIM kiosks and mobile tablet PCs in the field to access the latest drawings and models
  • Our current efforts revolving around model-based costing and BIM aptitude training

Representatives from our Consulting group and ourPlan were also present. ourPlan is the visual planning program designed specifically for lean construction projects; it's a web application that manages short interval schedules and is compatible with the Last Planner System™.

See you at the next BIM Network event!

Photos courtesy of Kaushal Diwan

March 20, 2013

Huffington Post Blog Explores Success, Using DPR as Case Study

In his Huffington Post blog post, founder and CEO of ChangeLabs, Peter Sheahan explores the topic: "Positioning: Success Comes From Knowing Who NOT to Do Business With."

In the blog, Sheahan highlights DPR as a case study. He explores our purpose: "We exist to build great things" and how we base decisions off our central beliefs to respect the individual and change the world. Sheahan also touches on DPR's longstanding relationship with Jim Collins, business guru and author of "Good to Great," "Built to Last" and "Great by Choice." Said Collins, "I have met with very few companies where the desire to be great is as sincere as this company (DPR)."

Sheahan goes on to write about DPR's carefully selected five core markets and how we build complex structures for deliberate clients.

ChangeLabs has been conducting research for an upcoming book. As CEO/founder of ChangeLabs, a global consultancy delivering large-scale behavioral change projects, Sheahan has worked with some of the world’s leading brands in the area of innovation and change. He is the author of six books including, "Making It Happen," "Fl!p" and "Generation Y."

Read all of Sheahan's Huffington Post blog posts to learn more about his business insights.

March 20, 2013

Data Centers in the News

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data," author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said. If it's data you're interested in, look no further than the following DPR data center projects in the news:

  • The Facebook Prineville Data Center was featured in an article by Information Week called, "Facebook's Data Center: Where Likes Live." Selected by ENR as Editors' Choice & Green Project of the Year in 2011, Facebook's data center complex--according to the article--has the best energy efficiency rating of any major data center in the world. The article details how data on "likes," comments and other Facebook activity, is stored inside one of two 330,000-square-foot data halls in a complex outside Prineville, Oregon. With a massive 901 million users, this data complex was built to a whole new scale and was the first that Facebook designed, owned and operated. Facebook is unique in publishing the details of its designs and specifications. In April 2011, Facebook founded the Open Compute Project, where it makes available as open source information the designs for its servers. DPR's Andy Andres is quoted in the article, saying: "Facebook has taken the lid off the secrecy about how to bring power and cooling into a modern data center." Follow the project on Facebook. Check out DPR's Lulea, Sweden and Forest City, North Carolina data centers as well.

    Photo courtesy of Facebook

  • In other news, EMC's Center of Excellence in Durham, North Carolina, achieved LEED Gold – Commercial Interiors certification for Phases 1 and 2 of its 450,000-sq.-ft. data center. Sustainability was a primary design criterion for EMC with efficiency innovations such as: a rooftop water collection system; free air cooling for much of the year; and flywheel technology that eliminates the need for battery storage in the uninterrupted power supply systems. Highlights of the sustainable features include: 34 percent in overall energy savings; ability to utilize “free cooling” 57 percent of the year; reduced potable water use of 78 percent; and reduced carbon footprint of nearly 100 million pounds of CO2. Read more about the project here.

    Photo courtesy of Mindy Gray

March 5, 2013

HSEB Wins AZRE’s Most Challenging Project Award

AZRE (Arizona Commercial Real Estate) Magazine hosted the 8th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix On February 27 to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2012 and the construction and design teams involved. Our Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) team was awarded AZRE’s RED Award for Most Challenging Project in 2012 for exhibiting team commitment to lean construction, world-class quality and design during one of the most extreme economic downturns in history. This was selected from more than 100 projects submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. View all the 2013 RED awards winners and honorable mentions here. We are honored to receive this award, along with the entire team!

The six-story HSEB on the Phoenix Biomedical campus serves two end-users; the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the Northern Arizona University College of Health and Human Services. By accommodating two end users—the University of Arizona College of Medicine from the south and Northern Arizona University Physical Therapy School from the north—it unites both ends of the state while addressing a growing need for educating healthcare professionals to mitigate a critical physician shortage, nationwide. In addition to two end-users, the project included: two owners, the City of Phoenix and Arizona Board of Regents; two architects, design and executive architect, CO Architects, and associate architect and master planner, Ayers Saint Gross; and DPR and Sundt Construction, Inc. in a joint venture.

To learn more about the HSEB project, read "Two Owners, Two Architects, Two Contractors" from the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of our newsletter, DPR Review.

Sidenote: This is my fifth ground-up LEED® project (it's seeking Gold-NC certification).

Photo by Keven J. Siegert


Photo by Bill Timmerman


Photo by Bill Timmerman

March 1, 2013

Recap of Industry Discussion on the Next Generation of Net-Zero

On February 26, I was thrilled to be a presenter in a thought-leading panel discussion about the 'Next Gen of Net-Zero' in design and construction. Net-zero refers to a building that returns as much, or more, power than it takes from the grid on an annual basis.  Hosted in Charles M. Salter Associates’ office in San Francisco, the event was facilitated by Lisa Matthiessen and Kevin Hydes (Integral Group) with presentations from Peter Rumsey (Integral), Matthew Porreca (BNIM Architects) and Steve McDowell (BNIM).  The event was set up in a PechaKucha (pa-cha-ka-cha) 20x20 format where each of us had timed our presentations to deliver 20 graphic slides with only 20 seconds for each slide.  You'd be surprised how fast 20 seconds goes by when you're excited about the topic! 

The presentations were followed by an interactive conversation with a highly engaged and highly informed audience.  Our own Ted van der Linden added some valuable insights.  Here are a few of the topics that gained some audience traction:

  • How will we capture the voice of the younger generation?  Environmental responsibility is an expectation for them, not a luxury.
  • How can we shift attention (and budget) towards designing and building very efficient and interactive exterior skin systems…all five facades…instead of focusing on mechanical systems to counterbalance the inefficiency of the skin?
  • Do automated 'red-light, green-light' systems really have an impact on occupant behavior?  Are there more intuitive, simple cues that can help shift occupant behavior?

Fascinating conversation!  This was a group with the power and passion to transform our world.  I can hardly wait for the next discussion!

Check out some of DPR’s net-zero work: DPR Phoenix office, DPR San Diego office, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters (the headquarters was designed for net-zero and we hope to know the official status by the end of the year).

February 27, 2013

ASHE PDC Summit: Award Ceremony & DPR Hospitality Event

Many, including myself, headed to San Francisco this week for the ASHE International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction--the PDC Summit--which began on February 24 and ended today on February 27. On February 25, during the Open Session, there was a Vista award ceremony, which recognized project teams with New Construction, Infrastructure and Renovation awards. I was honored to be a part of the John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital Specialty Surgical Care project team, which was recognized with a 2013 Vista Award for Renovation. The team, which included ccrd Partners and Orcutt|Winslow, renovated the space in 10 months to create a 21,350-square-foot Med-Surg unit with 28 post-surgery beds. 

Here's the team onstage receiving the award.

Later that night, DPR hosted a hospitality event at Waterbar on The Embarcadero for around 350 colleagues, customers and partners. With indoor and outdoor space and a fantastic view of the Bay Bridge, guests chatted, enjoyed refreshments and delicious food, while enjoying the music of the live band. 


A special treat especially for those visiting from out of town like myself, we had a front row seat to the Bay Bridge light show, which was a dazzling sight to behold.

The PDC Summit has a distinguished history of bringing together owners, design teams, contractors and many more industry professionals from around the country to learn from each other, make valuable connections, and lead change in the industry. In its 26th year, this year's conference continued that tradition. 

February 22, 2013

Why We Self-Perform Work

DPR's Eric Cusick and Skip Miyamoto contributed an article, which is on the cover of the current issue of AWCI's Construction Dimensions magazine, the leading periodical for the walls and ceilings industry. The article, "The GC Speaks: Why We Self-Perform Your Work," details how DPR self-performs up to half a dozen various scopes of work on the projects that we manage. DPR's Self-Perform Work added up to more than 2.5 million craft man-hours in 2012 and more than 1.3 million of those man-hours were in drywall.

The article details how our self-perform work impacts the following:

  • Safety
  • Staying on schedule
  • Quality
  • Cost

February 21, 2013

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital Renovation Wins 2013 ASHE Vista Award

DPR is honored to be a part of the John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital Specialty Surgical Care project team, which is being recognized with a 2013 Vista Award for Renovation. The award is being presented on Monday, February 25 during the Open Session of this year’s ASHE International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC Summit) in San Francisco.

About the project
The project team, which included Orcutt|Winslow as the architect and ccrd Partners as the engineer, renovated the third floor of the occupied John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Working together for 10 months, the team designed and constructed a new 21,350-square-foot Med-Surg unit to serve the community during the busy winter season. 

Working above occupied OR (operating room) and PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) space, it was critical to minimize noise for post-surgery patients. The team created a detailed plan, including items such as noise reduction kits for patients and visitors; hourly construction breaks; and visits from design and construction team members to answer questions and address concerns. Weekly team meetings also involved hospital staff from all departments to support increased communication.

“The dedication and commitment of this project team to ‘get it done’ in a very short time frame in order to accommodate our high winter patient census was remarkable,” said Rhonda Forsyth, president and CEO of the John C. Lincoln Health Network. Completed at the end 2011, the renovation received praise from staff, patients and their families, resulting in the Board of Directors authorizing funding for remodeling the fourth floor following the same standards.

Photos courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos

About the award
The prestigious Vista awards recognize the importance of teamwork in creating an optimal healthcare physical environment. The winning teams show a unity of purpose that helps projects succeed from pre-planning to implementation.