Across DPR Blog, Page 5

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.

December 20, 2013

Topping Out of Hillside Laboratory: UC Berkeley Computational Research and Theory (CRT) Facility

In December, the UC Berkeley Computational Research and Theory (CRT) Facility team celebrated with a traditional topping out ceremony, where a beam signifying the end of the structural steel erection was put in place. 


The team watches the topping out ceremony

Building on the slope of a hill with access on only one side presents many challenges requiring tight coordination and planning from the team. The project began in April 2012 and is slated to be complete in late 2014.

The new $103 million facility builds on the groundwork of Berkeley lab’s tradition of information sharing and expertise while offering an optimal environment to advance research. Key research areas expected to benefit from the CRT Facility include global climate change research, fusion energy research, biological and environmental research, basic energy science and astrophysics. 


The team signs the beam


The last beam is lowered into place


The beam lands in place (Photos courtesy of Albert Lee and Brett Thompson)

The building will be approximately 140,000 gross sq. ft. and accommodate approximately a 300 person staff. There will be a computer floor to accommodate two high-performance computing systems, a visualization lab for modeling and viewing simulations, an electric feeder from Grizzly Peak substation to provide 7 megawatts (MW) of power capacity to serve the initial high-performance computing and office loads, and administrative support space with offices, workrooms and conference space.

The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification. 

December 14, 2013

Girls Inc. “Winter Workers” Event Breaks Record in Southern California

Seven DPR volunteers from the So Cal office, plus a few family members, turned out to Girls Inc. Youth & Family Center in Costa Mesa, CA, on Dec. 14 for the DPR Foundation-supported Girls Inc. of Orange County’s annual “Winter Workers” event.

The event was the culmination of a month-long food drive held in DPR’s So Cal office, according to Melissa King, the Foundation liaison for that region. Since November, DPR employees were busy collecting canned and boxed food items and gift cards that would eventually make their way into the Winter Workers gift baskets, she explained.

At the event, the DPR crew joined some 200 volunteers and assembled gift baskets for needy families in Orange County. King explained that volunteers would start at one station with a box assignment – “18-year-old mom with four-month-old baby boy,” for example – and then take the box to various stations and fill it with appropriate items, such as food, household items, teen items, toys, and school supplies and books. The food items and gift cards collected in DPR So Cal’s food drive were among the goods the volunteers picked from when “shopping” for their baskets.

According to Molly J. Quirk, program services associate for Girls Inc. of Orange County, this year’s Winter Workers event broke records, with more than 200 volunteers working to assemble 214 baskets for families in need – far surpassing the organization’s goal of 185 baskets.

Founded in 1954, Girls Inc. of Orange County positively changes the lives of 4,000 girls ages 4 ½ to 18 each year by providing year-round holistic, compensatory and intentional programming focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Its mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

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. Since 2012, the Foundation has supported the organization with grants totaling $70,000. Additionally, DPR’s Southern California region organizes numerous initiatives with Girls Inc. throughout the year, including an annual sustainability-themed event. In April 2012, DPR was awarded a “Giving is Living Award” by OneOC, which recognizes businesses that exemplify a commitment to the Orange County community through employee volunteerism.