Construction’s Role in a Sustainable Future
A lot has changed since we first aligned with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. Today we think: what if people expected more? What if construction left a community’s environment better than it was before? What if new buildings didn’t use any more energy? What if the things we built today could also be run efficiently in 50 years?
Talk about raising the bar won’t be enough, which is why sustainable practices are a key part of our approach to global social responsibility. We’ve built some of the first-ever net-zero-energy buildings, including the world’s largest building to achieve ILFI’s Zero Energy Certification™, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation Corporate Headquarters in Los Altos, California.
Photo: DPR Phoenix Office Parking Lot Solar Array
As believers that more collaborative forms of delivery—where all project partners work together before a design is completed—deliver the best results over the life of the facility, DPR aims to counsel customers and partners on what we’ve learned so practical solutions can be implemented at project conception. Similarly, as material standards advance, DPR is leveraging tools that guide materials procurement so that project goals stay on track.
The greenest buildings still have to be built green. We constantly pursue ways to make our job site operations more sustainable through waste reduction, innovative technologies and efficient job site offices and ensure that every project controls environmental aspects that affect the surrounding community. By hiring local labor and supporting local businesses and causes, DPR believes its triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability will lead to communities that can thrive for generations.
Photo: DPR Reston Reclaimed Wood Wall
LEED Green Building Program
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
DPR has built 300+ LEED-certified projects, and has more than 600 professionals trained to build and design LEED buildings.
Suite of Certifications
”Using principles of social and environmental justice, ILFI seeks to counter climate change by pushing for an urban environment free of fossil fuels.”
DPR has worked on several NZE and Petal certified projects, including:
- David & Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters in Los Altos, CA
- DPR offices in Austin, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC
- WRNS Studio in Seattle
- Mill Hull Studios in San Diego
Photo: David & Lucile Packard Foundation Outdoor Plaza
WELL Building Standard™
“Based on performance, WELL measures, certifies, and monitors features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.”
Several of DPR's offices have earned WELL certification, including offices in Austin, Nashville, Sacramento and Washington DC.
Photo: DPR Phoenix Living Wall
Sustainability isn’t just about energy and water use. It’s also about creating high-performance buildings that positively impact the health and well-being of a building’s occupants. That’s what IWBI’s WELL Building Standard™ addresses, focusing on seven wellness areas—air, water, nutrition, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
Our Washington, DC, office was our first to combine net-zero with WELL and more are coming online in places like Austin and Sacramento. But we’re just getting started. Our vision is for every building to build on the lessons of predecessors, creating a progressively greener built environment.
You can take our word for it.
DPR’s regional offices in Austin, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, DC, have all achieved or are tracking for Net Zero Certification and function as “living laboratories," for wellness and sustainability where we implement and test technologies and ideas that carry over into client projects. These living labs allow us the flexibility to think outside the box, discover new strategies and create intelligent, high-performing buildings for our clients.
After all, if we say we believe in this, shouldn’t we be the first to show what’s possible? We believe that moving the needle toward a more sustainable built environment means we have to lead the way in our own workspaces. We have to show that high performance can be built at competitive market rates. We even wanted to use mass timber so much in our Sacramento office that we worked with the city to change building codes to permit it.
In addition to our living labs, in 2007 DPR joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders program, setting an aggressive goal to reduce employee greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2015. We exceeded that goal — reducing emissions by 30% and earning an EPA Climate Leadership Award in the category of Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement).
We are constantly evolving our carbon footprint tracking and reduction strategies both in our business and jobsite operations to help our customers know what’s possible.