Across DPR Blog, Page 5

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

January 18, 2014

DPR Project Engineer Talks Construction with G.E.D. Candidates at Austin’s LifeWorks

Prior to joining DPR’s Austin office as a project engineer, Adam Cashner spent time in London working on the Olympic Stadium project through a study abroad program with Texas A&M University. On Aug. 29, he took that experience, along with others that helped him achieve his current role, and spoke to a class of G.E.D. candidates at the DPR Foundation-supported LifeWorks’ Austin facility.

In the course of the discussion, Cashner learned that several of the students currently work in construction. To help guide them in their careers following graduation, he discussed his education and work in London; different career paths within the construction industry, such as safety, superintendent, project manager, field office coordinator (FOC); and the various sectors of construction. Cashner also used his iPad to illustrate the intersection of technology and construction and discuss the future of construction technology.

According to Cashner, the group was particularly interested in learning about building in a different country, as well as the technology side of construction. Together, Cashner and the class reviewed how you can hyperlink plans using software like Bluebeam and how to post requests for information (RFIs).

“We talked about some of their aspirations, and I tried to give them direction on how to achieve their goals,” Cashner said, adding that he gave out business cards to students for follow-up questions. “Overall, I think the discussion was very successful and informative.”

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 $845,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2012. The DPR Foundation’s 2012 grant of $40,000 to LifeWorks supports the organization’s programs and is being applied to classroom supplies and G.E.D. testing fees. Over the past five years, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.4 million to 21 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school- and high school-aged children.

January 17, 2014

Recent Milagro Center Grant Brings Three-Year Support to $105,000

The Milagro Center in Delray Beach, FL, recently received a financial boost of $35,000, thanks to a 2013 grant from the DPR Foundation. The grant brings the Foundation’s support of the organization to a three-year total of $105,000.

The grant was awarded to the Center on Jan. 6 by DPR’s Luke Stocking and Deborah Beetson. Joining them were Theresa Kinsloe and Adriana Martinengo, both colleagues in DRP’s West Palm Beach office. Milagro Center Executive Director Barbara Stark accepted the grant on the Center’s behalf.

The grant will go to support the Milagro Center’s current programs, as well as its plans to implement a career development series for participating teens. According to Martinengo, most of the children at the Center do not realize the various career opportunities available within the construction industry. To educate them on the possibilities, volunteers in DPR’s West Palm Beach office will give presentations on different career paths within the construction industry (i.e., accounting, superintendent, manager). DPR also is committing to mentoring some of the kids on a regular basis.

“We can’t thank DPR Construction enough for supporting Milagro Center this year and in years past,” said Stark. “The hands-on projects completed by DPR’s West Palm Beach employees, augmented by the company’s financial support, and the anticipated future involvement of the employees in Milagro Center’s new Teen Career Development Initiative, all have a positive and resounding effect on our Center, our students, their families and the community at large. Thanks to DPR’s commitment to Milagro Center, so many undervalued and at-risk children are reaching their fullest potential and succeeding academically and socially.”

The Milagro Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency whose mission is to enrich children’s lives through cultural arts, academic support and living values, benefiting both the children served and their families, as well as the community. The Center was established in 1997 housing art exhibits, outreach programs and afterschool/summer camp programs for disadvantaged children. Since 2003, the Center has focused on providing superior arts education, academic enrichment, living values education, and mentoring for at-risk children, youth and families living at or below the federal poverty level in South Florida.

The Milagro Center 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.

January 16, 2014

Proud to Be #10 Best Company to Work For in America

It's DPR's fifth year on FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For list," and this year, we are so honored to take the #10 spot! 

"We’re very proud to be recognized as one of the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ for the fifth year in a row," said Doug Woods, co-founder and president of DPR Construction. "As an employee-owned company, we take great pride in constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation in the construction industry while delivering quality work to our customers.” 

DPR ranked on the list in 2010 at #57, in 2011 at #22, in 2012 at #13 and in 2013 at #15.

How did we become the 10th "Best Company to Work For" this year? For starters, we have the following:

Read more about why DPR was chosen in this review or here.

“People should take note of the companies on this list,” stated China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work, the firm behind the 100 Best list. “These will be the companies that attract and retain the most skilled, loyal, and innovative employees in the coming years.”

Thank you to all our employees for making DPR a great place to work every day!