Across DPR Blog: News

October 24, 2013

Are Current Scheduling Practices Broken?

For an industry striving to be more productive, the current state of scheduling practices is wasteful. To learn how to "right-plan" our projects and achieve better results, we first must look closely at our own scheduling practices and create a dialogue within the industry about which practices are efficient and which are not.

Recently, I wrote a piece called "How to Fix a Broken Scheduling System" for Engineering-News Record's (ENR) Viewpoint. In the article, I discuss how the use of production planning--specifically Last Planner System methodology--creates a more reliable workflow. 

While still valuable as a strategic roadmap, critical-path-method (CPM) scheduling systematically tries to predict daily activity years in advance. Specifications often demand wasteful and costly scheduling practices that are misused.

Production planning at the right time maximizes productivity and minimizes waste. This viewpoint is backed up by Stanford University's Center for Integrated Facility Management (CIFE) research on two large-scale DPR Construction jobs. 

Click the image below to read the full article.

What do you think about current scheduling practices? Tell me in the comments below.

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.

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.

February 19, 2013

It’s Official: SPW Interiors Group Certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in Installing Firestop Systems

After an intensive, multi-step process that began more than two years ago and involved: designated individuals taking exams, creating a documented quality management system, and receiving jobsite audits, I’m proud to announce that DPR’s Bay Area Self-Perform Work (SPW) Interiors Group received official certification in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Qualified Firestop Contractor Program!

Firestopping is a form of passive fire protection installed into a building. During a fire, firestopping keeps smoke and fire compartmentalized into designated areas so it does not spread quickly. By containing smoke and fire to designated compartments, it will protect others and buy time for help to arrive to put out the fire before it envelops the whole building.

There are currently only 25 contractors nationwide with the UL Firestop certification, and only one other in California. UL is the leader in fire safety testing, certification and research. This Qualified Firestop Contractor Program ensures that firestop systems are installed correctly to the high standards of the UL. To maintain the certification, we will continue to be audited every year.

Firestopping is important for owners to consider because it gives peace of mind over the lifetime of a building. If a fire ever does occur in a building, with firestopping, there are systems in place to make sure lives and financial investments are protected.

Healthcare buildings, which contain immobile patients who cannot easily get away from a fire, can benefit from the protection of firestopping in particular. Building owners of data centers, who invest millions in sophisticated servers, also benefit from this added security. Life sciences buildings, where vital research is conducted, also need to be protected from every angle. These are merely examples of why firestop systems are important; all owners can benefit from protecting human life and property.

February 6, 2013

DPR’s Eric Lamb Discusses Technology at Bisnow San Francisco Construction Development Summit

“The industry needs to talk about cost, not price,” said DPR’s Eric Lamb, one of the panelists at Bisnow’s 2nd Annual San Francisco Construction Development Summit on February 6th. The panelists at the summit discussed the new projects ready to break ground in the city of San Francisco. They also discussed the various neighborhoods poised for growth, what it takes to get a new project off the ground, and the process of renovating an existing building. The event included a timely panel discussion on new construction methods, financing strategies, construction costs (what “cost versus price” means and why that’s especially important in today’s climate), and building designs.

On the panel, Eric also discussed DPR’s use of technology, saying: “We’ve seen a huge push for technology in the field in the past 2 years. We now have 200 tablets in the field.” 

He also spoke about ways to maximize productivity, saying: “The key word in the industry for me is automation. It reduces labor cost and increases efficiency.”

January 28, 2013

CEA Safety Awards Presented to Rodney Spencley and DPR

Congrats to DPR Construction’s corporate safety director, Rodney Spencley, who has been awarded the 2012 Construction Employers’ Association (CEA) Leadership in Safety Award. The selection was based on measurable results, DPR’s safety program and Rodney’s impact on the construction industry. Additionally, the President’s Award for Safety was presented to DPR for the fourth consecutive year.

When asked about receiving the Leadership in Safety Award, Rodney said, "Our goal is an Injury Free Environment. This isn’t achieved simply by adhering to OSHA and industry regulations; it’s the product of the culture of safety we’ve built at DPR, a culture that believes that zero incidents is an achievable goal.” 

Helping safety professionals and safety coordinators become leaders and influencers is important to Rodney. He has trained, mentored and influenced many safety professionals who have gone on to have significant impacts on the safety world both inside and outside of DPR Construction. Rodney has worked tirelessly in the mission to create an injury-free environment (IFE) for DPR and the entire construction industry. Since becoming DPR’s safety director in 1993, Rodney’s leadership and passion for safety has led DPR to be one of the safest contractors in the nation--having one of the lowest incident rates and Experience Modifier Rates (EMRs) year after year. Rodney’s vision has been realized throughout the company and has influenced DPR’s culture, which values safety as a priority that is promoted by each employee.

From the smallest SSG projects to large data centers, Rodney meets with operations groups, owners and customers to help plan for safety and promote the DPR safety culture across all 17 DPR locations. He helps assemble the right safety professionals for the team and then brings the whole group together to find the best ways to succeed in getting everyone home safely. The goal is to create an injury-free environment through planning and adherence to the principles of:

  • Supportive Leadership
  • Personal Commitment
  • Free and Open Lines of Communication
  • Accountability

DPR's Safety Group with both awards -- Rodney (third from left) with his Leadership in Safety Award and DPR's President’s Award for Safety (third from right)

Here's Rodney talking safety:

About CEA
The Construction Employers’ Association is the premier association in Northern California representing union commercial building contractors in collective bargaining, labor relations and legislative advocacy. It is the only organization whose sole purpose is to protect and promote the interests of the unionized commercial building contraction industry in Northern California.

January 25, 2013

Ever Forward: DPR’s Innovation Story Selected as Finalist for MIX Challenge

How do we make innovation an everyday, everywhere capability in our organizations? That's a question that the Innovating Innovation Challenge seeks to answer. DPR was selected as one of 24 finalists for the challenge that was presented by the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), along with partners Harvard Business Review and McKinsey & Company. There were more than 140 entries. 

Check out the DPR's story here. "Likes,” comments and shares on DPR's Innovation story are welcome and will help with the judging process. Just create an account, which is quick and easy, and you can impact the outcome of this challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced the week of February 11th. Stay tuned!

January 24, 2013

ENR Mid-Atlantic Selects DPR’s Lisa Lingerfelt & Christopher Gorthy as “Top 20 Under 40”

Congrats to Christopher Gorthy and Lisa Lingerfelt for making ENR's Top 20 Under 40 list in the Mid-Atlantic for 2013! ENR's Top 20 Under 40 competition in the Mid-Atlantic celebrates the excellence of young design and construction professionals in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. An independent jury judged the candidates on factors such as: career experience, industry leadership, and community service. 

About Lisa
Lisa joined DPR 10 years ago and has quickly grown within the company ever since. With a passion for nurturing the talent around her, Lisa is a strategic thinker who can manage many details and projects while simultaneously looking at the big picture. For the last year and a half, Lisa has been a project executive as well as the manager of the DPR Richmond, VA office. As the leader of the Richmond office, Lisa is in charge of: creating and managing the DPR Richmond business plan; pursuing work; overseeing operations of current projects; hiring and mentoring people; and risk management. In addition to these responsibilities, Lisa has also recently taken on substantial management responsibilities for DPR's Washington, DC office. Lisa is involved with causes such as: Camp Comfort Zone, a bereavement camp that supports children who have lost a loved one; Rebuilding Together; ACE mentoring program; Youth League of America; Charlottesville Literacy Volunteers; and the American Heart Association's "Go Red" campaign. She is also involved with professional organizations such as: American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE)'s Central Virginia chapter; 7x 24's Richmond chapter; and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

About Christopher
With 14 years of experience in preconstruction, estimating, business development and project management, Christopher has developed a deep understanding of the design and construction industry from multiple perspectives. From his first day at DPR, over nine years ago, Christopher knew that to help grow the company, he needed to broaden his knowledge base, and embrace his goal of experiencing the many sides of the design and construction industry. Since that time, Christopher has exemplified the core values of the company and embraced the culture, becoming an integral member of the preconstruction team, and, as of two years ago, the Regional Leadership Group. It is through these two pivotal roles that he has been an active participant in mentoring and growing the next generation of leaders within the company. He also provides support for DPR’s national sustainability program with a focus on the East Coast. Christopher is involved with professional organizations such as: USGBC; Virginia Sustainable Building Network; Associated General Contractors; American Institute of Architects; and causes such as: Maryland Multicultural Youth Center (MMYC) and Rebuilding Together.

Look out for a special Mid-Atlantic edition of ENR on March 25, 2013, which will feature profiles of the winners. Congratulations to all who made the list!

January 17, 2013

Fortune Ranks DPR the 15th Best Company to Work For in the U.S.

DPR is proud and honored to be selected as the 15th best company to work for in America. This is the fourth year that DPR has ranked on the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" list.

Central to this achievement is DPR's purpose: “We Exist To Build Great Things,” and core values of:

  • Integrity
  • Enjoyment
  • Uniqueness
  • Ever Forward

Additionally, DPR has long been recognized for its progressive employee practices. From customized wellness programs, a Phantom Stock program, extended time off and a refreshed companywide innovation program, DPR makes the wellbeing of employees a priority.

Said Doug Woods, co-founder and president of DPR Construction, “Inspiring employees and cultivating respect are pivotal to DPR’s business. As a company, it’s our job to take care of our customers, which means consistently delivering the highest quality facilities in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest possible cost. To do so, we know we must continue to hire, inspire, develop and grow the best people in the industry and to measure our performance against some of the best companies in the world.”

In its 16th year, Fortune's annual ranking of the best workplaces in corporate America is conducted with the Great Place to Work© Institute. The survey is the most extensive employee survey in corporate America, polling employees from companies nationwide about their company culture, credibility of management, individual respect, fairness, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The employee survey results accounted for two-thirds of DPR’s score. The other third was based on responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which included detailed questions regarding pay and benefit programs, as well as open-ended questions about hiring, communication, training and diversity.

Check out the full Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list here. Congratulations and thank you to all of DPR for continuing to build great things, including a great place to work!