The Sustainable Advantage

Being “green” is no longer novel. Building sustainable structures is simply the right thing to do—right for the environment and right for business. Sustainable building projects routinely produce greater marketability, higher employee productivity and improved building efficiencies. To assist owners in developing and implementing the best strategies, DPR combines experienced people, a collaborative methodology and custom tools to help customers address the triple bottom line: environmental, social and economic.

Watch the following videos below and read The Path to Net-Zero Energy to learn about how DPR “walked the sustainability walk” with our Phoenix regional office and how it became the world’s largest office building to achieve net-zero energy building certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). It was then replaced as the “world’s largest” ILFI-certified net-zero building by another DPR project (this time, it was ground up construction): The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters.

A Proven Team for Different Shades of Green

From inception to completion, we have repeatedly demonstrated the value of having knowledgeable resources in-house and readily available to fit specific customers’ needs. Ranging from light to dark green, DPR’s portfolio of sustainable projects consists of 200-plus LEED® certified projects and green projects worth more than $5 billion. DPR’s LEED®-accredited professionals, located in every office across the country, not only have practical green project experience but also continuously research and implement the latest green building practices and techniques to further improve sustainability.

Custom Tools to Enhance the Process

Understanding and evaluating cost premiums for various sustainable strategies are essential to any green building project. Imagine the advantage of having current first costs and life cycle data at a very conceptual phase of a project — even before start of design. DPR’s greenBook, a custom application, helps teams determine with a higher level of certainty which sustainability measures make the most sense for a specific project’s goals. Using greenBook, DPR provides detailed cost data and identifies the “break-even” point based on estimated design and construction costs and anticipated operational savings. greenBook is also used to analyze various LEED rating systems and levels of certifications from the earliest stages of preconstruction through project completion.

DPR Living Labs

One of DPR’s goals is to have “a proven track record of being environmentally responsible in the way we do business.” Our passion for sustainability extends to what we build and how we run our regional offices and jobsites. In fact, DPR’s Sacramento location was the first privately owned office building in California’s Central Valley to achieve LEED® certification in 2003. Also, in 2011, DPR’s San Diego office became the first and only commercial office in San Diego to achieve both net-zero energy status and LEED for New Construction (NC) Platinum certification. In 2013, DPR’s LEED®-NC Platinum Phoenix office became the first building in Arizona to achieve net-zero energy certification from the ILFI. In 2014, DPR built its San Francisco office, which is now the first Net-Zero Energy commercial building in the city. It won ENR’s Northern California’s Project of the Year and Best Green Project.

You can see the up-to-the-minute energy and water usage for several of our offices by checking out our Lucid Building Dashboards. Along with treating our offices as living labs for sustainability, we have instituted many other in-house initiatives, including:

  • Carbon reduction: DPR joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders and committed to reduce overall employee greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2015. Eight years later, DPR met and exceeded that goal by reducing emissions by 30 percent. In recognition, DPR was awarded the EPA Climate Leadership Award in the category of Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement). To achieve this, DPR implemented a combination of solutions to reduce its carbon footprint, including improving building efficiency in its offices and providing employee education. Efficiency features range from simple energy audits to replaced lighting systems and appliances to complex net-zero energy designed offices.
  • Green offices and jobsites: DPR tracks energy use at offices and jobsites through the EPA’s Energy Star program, implementing green purchasing and cleaning practices.

Sustainable Construction Projects