Across DPR Spring/Summer 2010

A 3D model of the Butte College campus enhanced the school's efforts to implement a new master plan.
Net zero energy consumption is the goal of DPR's new 24,000-sq.-ft. San Diego office.
DPR was again honored for Excellence in Safety by the Construction Employers' Association of Northern California.
Michele Leiva, who joined DPR in 1990, was recently announced as the company's new chief financial officer.
DPR provided Sunshine Acres Children's Home much-needed bottled water before installing a reverse osmosis system.

The latest news from around the country: Offices, Jobsites, Awards and Events


What would you do with seven extra days? That’s what Advanced Micro Devices received when DPR turned over two Tier 1 data centers a full week ahead of the twelve week project schedule. The projects, totaling 17,640 sq. ft., involved renovating a former testing facility and consolidating off-site data centers. The versatility of DPR’s self-perform drywall team played a key role in shortening the schedule, as it was able to add efficiencies to the project by taking over miscellaneous trades from demolition to environmental curtains.


DPR continues to keep people safe in the Mid-Atlantic region. For the 11th consecutive time in the past two years, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspector visited one of DPR’s project sites, the United Medical Center pediatric emergency department project in Washington, DC, without violation. The inspector commented how well set the site was, with people tied off correctly, fire extinguishers in the proper places and all paperwork in order. In addition, the Mid-Atlantic region was recognized for meritorious safety performance by the Associated Builder and Contractors of Metro Washington.


In June, CBS Channel 5 news in the Bay Area featured DPR for a story on our employees using exercise balls, or Swiss balls, rather than chairs at work. The idea started with Patti Larson, a marketing professional in our Redwood City office. Patti has been working with a professional trainer who suggested she sit on a ball at the office to improve her balance and strengthen her core. The idea—what some health professionals call, “active sitting”—has now spread throughout the Bay Area and more than 70 employees have been using these balls at the office.


In May, DPR placed the final beam atop the 120,000-sq.-ft. Banner M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at a topping out ceremony attended by local dignitaries. The three-story facility, once completed in fall 2011, will be dedicated to outpatient services, including physician clinics, medical imaging, radiation oncology and infusion therapy.


Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton’s Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center has earned the first newly created Platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Schools certification—the highest rating a school building can receive from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The two-story facility, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and built by DPR, encompasses 44,000 sq. ft. and is sited to take maximum advantage of solar access and prevailing winds to reduce its heating and cooling costs. The building is designed to use 69 percent less energy than a typical school in the U.S.

“Sacred Heart Schools’ Platinum LEED for Schools certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chair of the USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Sacred Heart Schools serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

The Sacred Heart Schools building was one of 10 DPR projects to achieve LEED certification during the first half of this year. To date, DPR has completed a total of 52 LEED certified projects, and currently 70 projects under construction are targeting LEED certification.


Two Phoenix projects received awards from the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate development organization. The American President Lines (APL) regional headquarters project won 2009 Office Tenant Improvement of the Year and the Arizona State University (ASU) Polytechnic Academic Complex was recognized as the 2009 LEED for New Construction Certified Building of the Year. The 65,000-sq.-ft. APL project build-out spans two floors and was completed in three months, a critical timeline due to the relocation of APL from Oakland, CA, to Phoenix. The ASU Polytechnic Academic Complex project features dual-pane, low-emissivity exterior glass for natural daylighting and views, perforated metal shades, and hardscape made from stabilized decomposed granite, chosen to reduce the “heat island” effect.


At the recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention in Miami, the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project received the 2010 AIA Technology in Architectural Practice award for Process Innovation using BIM. The award honors projects that highlight innovative use of technology to advance design and construction. With construction of the new facility taking place adjacent to the existing Eden Medical Center, which will remain in full operation until the new medical center is completed in January 2013, detailed planning was critical. Utilizing BIM on the project not only helped to improve logistics but is also being used for model-based estimating to generate estimates quicker and more frequently, giving the team access to real-time cost information.


DPR is the best place to work in San Diego. The region ranked number one on the San Diego Business Journal’s 2010 Best Place to Work list in the large-sized company category (250 employees or more). DPR also ranked on several other business journal lists across the country, including in South Florida Business Journal—a first for the two-year-old West Palm Beach office.


Each year, hundreds of DPR employees around the nation join forces with Rebuilding Together to help restore community buildings and hope for their occupants. This year, the DPR Glen Allen faction participated in a successful Green Day Challenge under the leadership of Mark Pitts to help not only rebuild, but rebuild in a sustainable manner. As a result of his passion and commitment, Mark was then asked to join the operations committee for Rebuilding Together to help continue rehabilitation efforts throughout the year.


A central plant upgrade project for Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Houston required a major high voltage shutdown during which two office buildings, two parking garages and a central plant had to rely on emergency power. Four weeks of careful planning with the owners and a top-notch crew—including high voltage, testing and electrical crews, HP representative, and DPR supervision—started at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday and finished at noon the following day, six hours ahead of schedule. According to the HP project manager, this was “the smoothest and best-planned” electrical shutdown ever completed at this plant, and the first of its kind to finish ahead of schedule.


A group of DPR project engineers has taken to hydration as a philanthropic focus. Sunshine Acres, a home for children separated from their parents, voiced an urgent need for bottled water for children who will be spending much of the hot Arizona summer outdoors playing sports and participating in camps. DPR donated an entire palette of bottled water to fill the immediate need, but also began working with the facility to establish a more sustainable solution, eliminating plastic bottles by installing a reverse osmosis system.


Net zero energy consumption is the goal of DPR’s new 24,000-sq.-ft. San Diego office, which is targeting LEED for New Construction Platinum certification. Located at 5010 Shoreham Place, the office includes a host of green features, including operable windows, skylights and a 64 kW photovoltaic system. According to the May progress reports, the office is exceeding expectations for HVAC energy efficiency. The energy model predicted the office would consume 1,841 kilowatt-hours in May for HVAC and actual consumption was 21 percent less.

The building is also beating new California state requirements that will be imposed as of January 2011. The new CALGREEN Building Codes, the first mandatory sustainable requirements in the nation, mandate, among other things reduction in water consumption by 20 percent, diversion of 50 percent of construction waste from landfills and installation of low pollutant-emitting materials.


Upon completion of four new buildings and a host of additional improvements, Butte College needed a new master plan. Using an aerial survey from a helicopter to get a topographic survey, a 3D model of the campus was created that made it much easier to incorporate a new quad area, roadways and walkways, particularly important to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The model also helped in gaining board of directors’ approval and will be used as a bridging document for future design-build projects.


Joel Becks of DPR accepted an Excellence in Safety award from the Construction Employers’ Association of Northern California on behalf of DPR. Having received this award for the past several years, DPR also received the President’s Safety Award for the second straight year in a row and was among nine Northern California contractors honored.


DPR is pleased to announce Michele Leiva as the company’s new chief financial officer (CFO). Michele joined DPR in September 1990 as its sixth employee and was responsible for everything from payroll to accounts payable/receivable for the then construction industry start-up. “Through the years, we have been able to count on Michele for her unwavering integrity and honest feedback, traits that we truly appreciate,” said Doug Woods. “We are excited that Michele has finally, after many years, agreed to be DPR’s new CFO.”