BioMarin Pharmaceutical

DPR welcomed the opportunity to get its foot in the door at BioMarin Pharmaceutical’s Novato, CA, campus last fall with the award of two projects, based on its strong biotech experience and personal background with Senior Director of Engineering and Facilities Hank Szeto. Built concurrently beginning in December of last year, the two projects, although relatively small in scale, presented big challenges for the project teams.

“BioMarin has been quite successful in carving a special niche in this industry in a fairly short time frame,” said Michael Lynch, DPR’s National Life Sciences Core Market Group Leader. “They do very good stuff, and this is an important company for us to be doing business with.”

Team Players

Project: QC Laboratory Renovation and Systems Validation

Client: BioMarin Pharmaceutical

Architect: VDK Architects

Founded in 1997, BioMarin is a multinational biopharmaceutical company that specializes in providing first-to-market therapeutics to patients with rare genetic diseases. In just 11 years, the company has developed and commercialized three products that treat rare diseases and medical conditions, a remarkable accomplishment in the pharmaceutical industry.

DPR secured its first job on BioMarin’s Novato campus in October 2008. The project involved the remodel and conversion of office space into a 5,000-sq.-ft. QC laboratory space. Construction took place while the building was still fully occupied and functioning. The project required DPR to share space and coordinate its efforts with two other general contractors also involved in projects on the campus. Project Manager Elke Roggenstein notes that extensive involvement and input from the user groups, as well as DPR’s ability to maintain a strong relationship with the City of Novato, the permitting entity, were vital to the success of this project that completed in March.

Soon after it secured the QC renovation job, DPR was awarded a second project in December for BioMarin: managing a facility shutdown and systems validation process. DPR was brought in approximately one week before the shutdown project was to get underway during the holidays, with the expectation that the team would be able to mobilize quickly and successfully manage the shutdown process within the tight schedule requirements.

The shutdown project entailed managing and obtaining validation documents, issuing contracts for subcontractors and suppliers, and coordinating the work not only of the various subcontractors on site but also of two other general contractors performing other jobs on the campus—all with a constant focus on the end goal of achieving validation and getting the system back up and running on schedule for the customer.

According to DPR Project Manager Charlie Allnutt, DPR helped BioMarin secure the necessary validation documents a week ahead of the one-and-a-half month schedule, while accommodating added scope and in the face of a “very quick learning curve.”

“DPR performed not only as a DPR performed not only as a ‘great general contractor’ but as a ‘trusted partner,’” commented Marty Maglinte, facility project manager with BioMarin, in a letter at project completion. “Despite all the twists and turns that shutdowns bring, each and every member of your DPR team displayed the ‘can do’ attitude, perseverance and dogged determination necessary to get us through this challenging shutdown.”