Across DPR Blog, Page 5

October 26, 2012

DPR Participates in 29th LEAP Sandcastle Competition

On Saturday, October 20th, DPR Construction partnered with Gensler and Ulloa Elementary School to participate in the 29th Leap Sandcastle Competition. The Leap Sandcastle competition has a few purposes. It serves as the major fundraiser for Leap, an organization with a mission to provide “arts education programs that help students build skills to achieve their fullest potential." But more importantly, it teaches kids about design and construction. It inspires students by showing them that ideas can become things.

Andrea Walker and I worked with a few designers at Gensler to teach a 5th grade class at Ulloa Elementary School about what it takes to build an idea. We spent three Fridays in the classroom explaining how the big day would work and helping the students brainstorm ideas, then model them with clay. This year’s theme was “Leap Year 2012: Things That Jump” and we created a sand castle of Jaws-like proportions. We had a shark jumping out of the water, breaking a boat in half, with people swimming away to save their lives.

Here’s a model of what we wanted to achieve:

And here’s the final product:

Pretty similar, right?

Despite a very cold and foggy start, the competition was a huge success. The kids did the majority of the building and had a lot of fun, even when they had to recreate the shark after it partially collapsed.

At the award ceremony, we won “Best Teamwork,” which was a huge accomplishment based on how well the group worked leading up to the competition and at the day of the event.

We look forward to seeing what terrifyingly amazing sandcastle we build next year.

October 10, 2012

One Year Later: DPR Phoenix’s “Living Lab” Office

The most difficult owner I've ever worked with was us...DPR. That's no typo, you read that correctly. We--DPR--acted as our own customer and builder when we decided to renovate an existing building in the redeveloping Discovery Triangle neighborhood and turn it into our cutting-edge Phoenix regional office. It was a challenge, to say the least, but the end results exceeded our expectations and created something that has never been done in the state before.

As builders, we're used to coming in and asking the owner questions. This time, we were the ones pushing the direction, which we was a new, eye-opening experience. We had the outlandish goal of creating a Net Zero building in one of the most severe climates in the country and learned that an engaged owner is really what makes the difference. It's almost been a year since we moved into our renovated office and it's been a great learning experience. Among other things, we learned that being an owner is no easy task.

Targeting Net Zero energy consumption, last year, we created an open-office environment that we call a living lab. While Net Zero was the focus, we knew that as a result of this effort, we would achieve LEED certification; we actually achieved LEED Platinum in July. A key part of making this happen was staying engaged. Our key players were engaged from the beginning and stayed engaged. Lessons learned included identifying adequate resources and staying focus all the way through. While the design stage is fun and creative, following through with the execution of the project is necessary. 

We learned to:

  • Stay engaged
  • Have a full resource plan
  • Follow through

10 months later since we began this process, we moved in to our new space last October 10th. Our Phoenix office has been called The Workplace of the Future. We definitely think it is. Our office is a living building. When it's cold out, the office heats itself. When it's hot out, it cools itself. You can hear it. Before we moved, we had a company meeting to let employees know things would be different in this type of environment. Move-in was smooth, easy and seamless. People got settled in and had fun acclimating to the new space. Then, we had to work out the bugs. We adjusted and tweaked some things to find a middle ground of comfort. Everyone's different--some people run hot, some run cold, byt people adjusted their expectations and the space works. There was some trial and error, for example, in winter time, when everyone was in hats and gloves in the offices, we realized that the window was too broad so we tightened that up and adjusted accordingly. We've worked out most of the major issues by now.

A year after move-in, we have made substantial progress and are adjusting the minor details as opposed to the major details that we adjusted during the first year. This space really inspires collaboration, creativity and enjoyment, which we are just thrilled about.

October 9, 2012

Latest Version of DPR Model Slicer Released

DPR has released the latest version of its free DPR Model Slicer plug-in for Autodesk Revit, which is available to download. DPR Model Slicer facilitates the sometimes tedious process of splitting and sectioning a 3D model. During the modeling process, items are often drawn in a way that doesn’t match the way that things will be built in the field. The Model Slicer allows you to set parameters and values that can quickly and repeatedly create 3D sections that correspond to the built environment, facilitating processes such as 3D coordination or 4D scheduling.

Our Model Slicer plug-in was created after our employees found themselves spending too much time slicing BIM models received from design partners into models that would accurately reflect construction needs. On a high-profile hospital project in the Bay Area, Chidambaram Somu, a DPR BIM Engineer, used the Model Slicer to help him quickly divide the single slab object into 16 separate components, reflecting the precise control joints required by the construction team. “I was able to create all 16 slab sections in the time that it used to take me to produce one.” The plug-in also allows fast exporting of precisely the views and content users want, so the model becomes compatible with a variety of software platforms. According to Chidambaram, “The process becomes really simple, breaking redundancy and automating the process.”

The new version 3 release of the Model Slicer brings with it some powerful improvements. Along with the previously available ability to section according to gridlines and levels, users can now also use a selection box to specify the boundaries. Another improvement, suggested by the large contingent of users, was the ability to quickly strip a Revit file of all existing Views and Sheets. On some projects, this has led to a file size savings of up to 50%. Our Model Slicer supports all flavors of Revit, from versions 2011-2013, along with Revit Suite, Architecture, MEP, and Structure.

October 4, 2012

HSEB Grand Opening

Tomorrow is the official grand opening of the eagerly-awaited Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB), the newest structure on the 28-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Constructed in a joint venture by DPR Construction and Sundt Construction, Inc., designed by CO Architects and Ayers Saint Gross, and with the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Board of Regents as owners, the project was delivered on time and on budget during one of the most difficult economic times in our country. Currently targeting LEED®-NC Silver Level Certification, the six-story, 268,000-sq.-ft., $135 million building was created so the state could expand its medical education facilities. HSEB addresses the critical physician shortage in Arizona by educating the next generation of science/health professionals and helps contribute to the development of a bioscience district in downtown Phoenix.

Collaboration was vital to the success of this project. In a unique demonstration of partnership, HSEB’s end users are both the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix campus (expanded from Tucson, AZ) and the Northern Arizona University physical therapy program (located in Flagstaff, AZ). For the grand opening, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart, Northern Arizona University President John Haeger and Arizona Board of Regents Chair Rick Myers will be on hand to formally unveil the new building, which now houses more than 300 health science students from the two state universities. Demonstrations and tours of the building also will be conducted. Representatives from DPR and the project team will attend.

The building was a united effort of two owners, two universities, two architects and two general contractors. This innovative model for an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to health sciences education and research merged programs from two universities with distinct cultures onto one campus. An interactive planning process, which involved educators from the cross-section of health sciences disciplines, worked to create an educational vision of a team-based continuity of care model.

Check out the virtual tour of HSEB.

October 1, 2012

A Force for UCSF Medical Center founder Marc Benioff and his wife, philanthropist Lynne Benioff, under the umbrella of Foundation, hosted a benefit concert featuring Grammy award-winning trio Lady Antebellum and comedian Dana Carvey last week at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. 

The concert, benefitting UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital, drew thousands to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. It raised $4.3 million to support completion of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay.

The children’s hospital is part of the larger UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay project that is being built in an integrated team approach, including UCSF, Stantec Architecture, Cambridge CM, DPR and 17 subcontractors at the Integrated Center for Design and Construction (ICDC) to deliver the ground-up, 878,000-sq.-ft. hospital complex.

"We're on time and on budget," said UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret to SFGate about the 289-bed, state-of-the-art complex for children, women and cancer patients. "And we're just down to raising $195 million for our February 2015 opening."

The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay includes the 183-bed UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay with an urgent care/emergency department, pediatric primary care, and specialty outpatient care; a Women's Specialty Hospital with 36 beds, cancer care, specialty surgery, and birth center; UCSF Cancer Hospital at Mission Bay, part of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center that will house 70 beds and offer inpatient and outpatient surgery for cancer specialties; and a 207,400-sq.-ft. outpatient building and a 36,000-sq.-ft. energy center with helipad, parking and support services. This project aims at LEED® Gold certification and will feature 16 individual gardens, creating green space totaling 4.3 acres. Over an acre of the space will be rooftop gardens, which will help to reduce storm water runoff. The complex will deliver 100 percent outdoor (rather than re-circulated) air to every space.

Once complete, the innovative hospital will set a new world-class standard for patient- and family-centered health care, safety, sustainability, and medicine.  To view footage from the event, click here or for more information about UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, click here

September 24, 2012

Greenbuild 2012 Tours

Greenbuild, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, is less than two months away. Greenbuild 2012 will be taking place in San Francisco from November 14th to 16th. While at Greenbuild, be sure to check out the following conference tours featuring DPR projects:

The good news is that anyone can attend a Greenbuild tour, even if not attending the full Greenbuild conference. Just register for Greenbuild and select the tour on the registration package page. Here's more information on the featured tours (see the full list of tours here):

HD13: Socially Responsible by Design: The Legacy and Leadership of Green Building at Mills College
Explore a legacy of green campus development and environmental stewardship at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland. Attendees will tour three buildings nestled in the historic campus designed by local design firms. The LEED Platinum Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences Building, an early pioneer in sustainable design, incorporates rainwater harvesting, interactive energy metric displays and photovoltaic panels. The Jeannik Mequet Littlefield Concert Hall employs an underfloor air distribution system in the context of a challenging historic renovation. Finally, the first LEED Gold business school in California, the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, integrates cutting edge with effective green strategies, including a living green roof, rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation, and radiant heating.

FD12: 2030 today: Three Institutions Leading the Way
This full-day tour highlights four recent projects at three sites on the San Francisco peninsula that aim beyond high-performance buildings toward broader views of sustainable institutions: the Packard Foundation’s effort to reduce their organizational carbon footprint; Portola Valley Town Center’s accounting for embodied CO2 emissions in the materials and construction; and finally, Sacred Heart School’s effort to create healthy learning environments where students can conceive of a more sustainable future. The projects showcase a range of certifications and goals, including the first LEED Platinum for Schools project, a AIA Top Ten award winner, a Living Building Challenge contestant, and Net Zero Energy performance.

See you at Greenbuild!

September 21, 2012

Clif Bar Wins Livable Buildings Award

The Center for the Built Environment (CBE) selected the Clif Bar & Company Headquarters in Emeryville, CA as the winner of the 2012 Livable Buildings Award. Clif Bar's ultra-modern space was transformed from a World War II valve manufacturing facility into a workplace haven for its outdoor enthusiast employees. The adaptive reuse LEED-Platinum project includes a 530-kilowatt solar installation, which meets nearly all the office's electricity needs. More than 90% of the occupied space is naturally daylit. The open floor plan encourages employee interactions, but the design also includes 16 conference rooms and six "telephone booths" to allow for privacy and small meetings. Other unique employee spaces include a wellness center, research and development kitchen, gym, cafe, theater, and daycare.

CBE's Livable Buildings Award recognizes projects that meet the highest standards for providing healthy, productive indoor environments and represent best sustainability practices. Now in its sixth year, it is given to buildings that demonstrate exceptional performance in terms of resource efficiency, overall design and occupant satisfaction (using CBE's Occupant Indoor Environmental Quality Survey). CBE's survey is used to study occupant satisfaction with the quality of the indoor environment and has been used in over 575 buildings around the world.

Photo Credits: Drew Kelly

September 20, 2012

Best Projects in California Announced by ENR

Two DPR projects were selected as winners for this year's ENR California Best Projects. The David & Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters in Los Altos won Best Green Project. Palomar Medical Center in Escondido--regarded as the "Hospital of the Future" and featured in DPR's Future of Healthcare study--won Best Health Care Project.

The competition recognizes 38 of the region’s best achievements in construction and design. Winners will be featured in the December 2012 issue of ENR California. On December 6th, winners will also be honored at the annual Best Projects breakfast at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel. Congratulations to all!

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters (Photo Credit: Ted van der Linden):


Palomar Medical Center (Photo Credit: David Cox):

September 19, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It in the DPR Review Newsletter

The Spring/Summer 2012 edition of the DPR Review newsletter is out. Learn about new, intriguing developments and trends in construction.

Want to read about how chilled beams result in cost savings? Interested in the Hospital of the Future and the Future of Healthcare? The Packard Foundation's Net-Zero targeted new headquarters? 

Did you know that Florida is now home to world-renowned, German-based Max Planck Society’s first research institute in the U.S.? Curious to learn what 60 AEC professionals said needs to change about current scheduling practices?

Read about these topics, how owners can reduce costs, what's happening across the industry and much more in the new edition of the DPR Review.

September 6, 2012

“Hospital of the Future” Opens to the Public

After a four year construction process, DPR's new Palomar Medical Center opened to the public in late August. The hospital's historic opening commenced when over 100 patients were transferred from the existing medical center in downtown Escondido to the new Palomar Medical Center in western Escondido.

The project team used a collaborative, hybrid integrated project delivery model with numberous lean processes to build the new hospital. Designed by CO Architects, the state-of-the-art, 11-story, 740,000-square-foot, 288-bed facility is one of the most technologically-advanced hospitals in the nation. Eventually, it will be built out to 650 beds. This world-class healing environment is also one of the largest new hospitals built in California and is designed to meet both current and future needs of the community. The hospital provides inpatient care as well as surgical, rehabilitation, and emergency and trauma services. Innovative features include: all private patient rooms with flexibility; secure wireless network; expanded trauma and emergency services; a 1.5-acre green wavy roof, natural lighting and sustainable materials. About 1,700 employees will work at the new hospital and staffing could eventually grow to more than 2,000.

Says Palomar Health President and CEO Michael H. Covert, “Our goal was to create a uniquely flexible, future-oriented facility that would combine all of the principles that have been studied for many years to enhance the care and safety and well-being of patients and their families on one site, something that has not been effectively achieved on this scale anywhere in the country or the world.”

Chief Administrative Officer of the new Palomar Medical Center, Gerald Bracht says, “Palomar Health had a vision to forever change the way health care is provided, and the people we serve placed their trust in us to make it happen. We are delivering on that promise by unveiling a world-class facility designed to transform the patient-care experience. The building is an architectural and technological masterpiece, but our outstanding staff will bring it to life and ultimately fulfill the vision.”

Palomar Medical Center was featured in DPR's Future of Healthcare study. Read about the Future of Healthcare here.

(Photo Credit: David Cox)