Across DPR Blog, Page 5

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! 

January 14, 2014

Whitepaper: BIM Visualization for Building Better

Recently I published a whitepaper, “Seeing is Believing—and Building Better.”

The paper explores how maximizing building information modeling’s (BIM) benefits requires getting the right people involved in the process at the right time. It also makes the case that when using BIM visualization correctly, teams can increase productivity and accuracy, and involve stakeholders. 

While it is not a “plug and play” solution, teams can use BIM as a tool to work together better. This can help save money, time and resources in the long run.

Read the Whitepaper Watch article in the latest issue of the DPR Review newsletter for a summary of the whitepaper.

January 10, 2014

How Do We Deliver Predictability in an Unpredictable Setting?

As builders, we always aim to deliver predictable results to owners. This includes unpredictable project settings where challenges such as extensive hidden conditions or logistical issues can arise. 

This was the case for the DPR Special Services Group (SSG) modernization/renovation for the University of Arizona’s University Medical Center - University Campus (UAMC) in Tucson. The setting was a hybrid operating room (OR). Hybrid ORs are equipped with both full OR equipment as well as imaging technology for minimally invasive surgery. 

The sterile, sensitive facility surrounding the renovation was fully functioning during construction.

“It really couldn’t have been much more difficult if we tried,” said Lynn Harris, senior project manager for the University of Arizona Health Network. 

However, in the face of challenges and unpredictable circumstances, the team produced a predictably high quality result.

Read the full article from the latest DPR Review newsletter to discover how the team overcame challenges or read the extended case study for more project detail.


Photo Credit: Gregg Mastorakos

January 3, 2014

Short-Interval Planning + Critical Path Method Scheduling = Efficiency, Predictable Results

"And" is a powerful word. When combining milestone-based short-interval planning (SIP) AND an appropriately detailed critical path method master (CPM) schedule, the benefits include increased efficiency and predictability. 

DPR project teams across the country on projects such as the Facebook data center project in Forest City, NC, and the Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business project in Tempe, AZ, have experienced the results that SIP delivers in tandem with a strategic CPM schedule.

Said DPR superintendent Tom Corey on the ASU project, “I wouldn’t want to do [a project] any other way. Once you commit to it, go through the learning curve, and use all the tools, it truly works.”

DPR superintendent Lance Wafler on the Facebook project said the following about using this strategy, “Everyone gets better, and soon the team is really cohesive and understands how to interact to formulate a good plan.”

Interested in how ourPlan, Last Planner System and pull planning factor in? Learn about that as well as proven results, three components for improvements, and hurdles and benefits in the latest issue of the DPR Review newsletter.

December 30, 2013

DPR Phoenix Volunteers Make Future for KIDS Holiday Party a Success

More than 50 children at the Native American Connections Coral Canyon low-income housing community in Phoenix had a happier holiday thanks to a tremendous volunteer effort from DPR’s Phoenix office.

For the third year in a row, DPR Phoenix sponsored the community’s holiday party, in conjunction with the DPR Foundation-supported Future for KIDS. Tim Hyde, the Foundation liaison in the Phoenix office, organized the party for kids living there who participate in the organization.

According to Hyde, the party’s success was set in motion in November, when DPR set up an Angel Tree in the Phoenix office. The goal was to purchase gifts for 49 children, but 40 generous employees raised the bar and personally donated 54 gifts, valued at $25 to $35 each, for the kids. DPR’s Mary Price organized the Angel Tree, and 10 volunteers gathered to wrap the gifts prior to the party, Hyde said. He estimates that DPR employees spent 35 hours volunteering in some capacity for the event.

On Dec. 5., the day of the party, another five DPR volunteers came out to Coral Canyon to help with the event, which included four rotations for the kids, including an arts and crafts table, a cookie-decorating table, and a story-telling station where DPR’s Lew Law read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” A fourth station involved candy cane races, where partners would link candy canes and race to the cones without breaking their candy canes.

After rotating through the stations, the kids received presents from DPR’s Randy Riter, who once again came dressed as Santa Claus. “We called each child up individually to meet Santa, and we handed them a wrapped gift. Once all the gifts were passed out, we had all the kids open them at the same time. It was a frenzy of wrapping paper flying all around, kids screaming in excitement, jumping on chairs, and just having a blast,” Hyde said.

Future for KIDS is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Since 2010, the DPR Foundation has supported Scottsdale, AZ-based Future for KIDS, which is dedicated to providing at-risk children education through mentorship and sports and fitness programs. The 2013 grant of $60,000 brings the four-year total to $155,000. DPR’s Phoenix office has raised additional funds for the organization through its Fantasy Football League and an annual golf tournament.

December 23, 2013

DPR Bowling Teams Raise Money for SF’s Seven Tepees Youth Program

Once again, DPR San Francisco employees hit the lanes to support the DPR Foundation-supported Seven Tepees Youth Program. On Nov. 7, bowlers returned to the Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco for the second annual “Bowling FUNd-Raiser.”

According to Steven Grandin, who serves as a DPR Foundation liaison and sits on the Seven Tepees board of directors, each team was tasked with raising a minimum of $2,000 to participate in the bowling tournament. This year, DPR employees formed two teams – Dylan Swallow’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) team (“In it to Pin It”) and Jamie Robertson’s University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Medical Center at Mission Bay team (“DPR-UCSF”) – and raised well above the entry minimum. According to Deb Glazer, development director for Seven Tepees, DPR-UCSF raised just shy of $4,000 and came in fourth for fundraising (out of 13 teams), and In It to Pin It raised $2,575 and took home the prizes for highest team bowling score overall.

The fundraising efforts for the DPR-UCSF team alone entailed 70 employees spearheading 10 individual fundraisers, ranging from bake sales to auctions to car washes with some craft making and good-natured peer pressure thrown in for good measure. Additionally, DPR-UCSF was able to secure high-value items for the silent auction, which netted the organization an additional $2,500.

To raise nearly $4,000 for Seven Tepees, the DPR-UCSF bowling team spearheaded 10 individual fundraisers, including car washes.

In total, the event raised more than $76,000 for Seven Tepees – almost double this year’s goal and approximately $56,000 more than last year. Grandin said that the office is already working out next year’s teams and ways to enhance the fundraising efforts.

Seven Tepees Youth Program is dedicated to impacting the lives of promising inner-city youth, fostering the skills they need to make lifelong positive choices and to create their own opportunities for success. The program targets inner city youth and works with them for a period of seven years, providing them with the building blocks that will help them create positive, successful futures. Youth are encouraged in social competency, academic skills, healthy self-esteem, exposure to new options, and increased understanding and appreciation of their natural environment.

Seven Tepees is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $825,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in 2012. Since December 2009, the DPR Foundation has supported the organization with grants totaling $230,000.

December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays from DPR Construction!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

It's been a great year, so great that there's a surplus of cheer. 

Click on the image below to get your special cheers from the Cheer Containment Facility, located inside the Arctic Circle. It stores every wink, smile, giggle and guffaw produced this year.