When people work in an environment that inspires creative thinking and teamwork, great things happen. This concept drives us in building corporate offices, one of our five core markets, which includes ground-up and tenant improvement for corporate settings of all shapes and sizes.



July 6, 2017

DPR Completes Its Largest Ever Self-Performed Concrete Pour

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To avoid traffic disruptions, the team began the concrete pour at 4 a.m. Photo courtesy of Everett Rosette

On a Saturday morning this spring, Jon Shores and about 70 members of the DPR team rose much earlier than the sun and headed to a leading enterprise software company’s campus in Pleasanton, California. They positioned 15 light towers around the site to illuminate what would become DPR’s largest ever self-performed concrete pour. 

The 410,000-sq.-ft. commercial office space will become the company’s corporate headquarters when it is completed in 2019, and is a full cast-in-place concrete structure, unique in an area where most buildings are made of structural steel. The cast-in-place concrete structure will help foster a look and feel of structural, exposed concrete from a design perspective and reduce vibrations in the building for user comfort. To support the 3-foot thick concrete core walls that rise from the mat foundation all the way up seven stories to the roof, the team needed to build a thick mat foundation, as unique as the building it will hold up. 

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Approximately 70 DPR team members worked closely together to coordinate the pour of 4,800 cubic yards of concrete, using 1.2 million pounds of rebar. Photo courtesy of Everett Rosette

In 11 hours, DPR coordinated the pour of 4,800 cubic yards of concrete, reinforced with 1.2 million pounds of rebar. The foundation is notably 6 feet 6 inches thick in its center, and about 5 feet thick around the perimeter. Although the project is a large structure, the construction site itself is relatively small, bordered by a highway, a mall and a BART station.

The DPR team set up its own traffic control system to manage the nearby mall traffic and make sure the commercial hub and its shoppers were not affected by the 480 truckloads of concrete coming in and out of the site all day. The pour was serviced by four on-site concrete pumps and four concrete plants based in Pleasanton, Hayward, Oakland and Martinez. Because of the sheer volume of concrete needed for the foundation, the team was pouring as many as 500 cubic yards of concrete per hour. By the end of the day, the team had poured enough concrete to fill one and a half Olympic-size swimming pools, or 3.7 million 2-liter bottles of soda. 

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The team poured as many as 500 cubic yards of concrete per hour. Photo courtesy of Everett Rosette

“We were able to pull this off because of the strength of the team we have on site, including our highly skilled craftspeople and their dedication to quality and safety,” said Shores. “Self-performing structural concrete allows us to set the tone and pace for the job and ultimately allows us to deliver a quality product to our customer.”

11 hours after that dark, early morning, the team celebrated the major milestone, as the successful completion of the mat foundation cleared the way to begin vertical construction on the core walls. Eventually 600 lineal feet of walls will rise above the mat, as the team continues to build great things–from the ground up. 

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11 hours later, the team celebrated completing the milestone, and will continue to build great things–from the ground up. Photo courtesy of Everett Rosette

October 22, 2015

ENR’s Annual Sourcebook: Rankings, Trends and Industry Insights

Recently, Engineering-News Record (ENR)—a publication often referred to as the “bible” of the construction industry—published its Sourcebook for 2015 (subscription needed for link). The results show that the U.S. construction industry is generally moving in the right direction. ENR Sourcebook supplements the initial Top 400 list, which is published in June.

Slow but steady growth seems to be the overall market tempo, according to ENR. 

As a whole, ENR described 2014 (the source year for its 2015 rankings) as a “pretty good year” that saw contracting revenue increasing 2.4% from 2013 to a sum total of $331.94 billion for the Top 400 U.S. builders. In addition to the rankings, the ENR Sourcebook offers a wealth of industry insight and analysis on the growth drivers, market movements and current challenges facing our industry. Among the trends this year: Doing more with less.  

In its analysis of the booming office sector, ENR quoted DPR’s Mike Ford who noted that the strong cycle in the office market sector is expected to continue for at least three years. “All of our [geographic] markets in office are strong right now,” Ford said. Last year, DPR more than doubled its national revenues in the commercial office market from the year prior, thanks to a boom in that sector and supported by our expertise in helping clients meet and exceed their green and sustainable building needs, among other things.

For DPR’s part, we continue a multi-year trend of being ranked among the top five to ten percent or so of U.S. construction firms by overall volume on the ENR’s annual Top 400 Contractors List. Holding steady with the year prior, in 2015 we again came in at spot #21, backed by $2.66 billion in 2014 revenue.

DPR also was ranked on a number of market specific sub-lists that were called out within both the ENR 2015 Sourcebook and the Top 400 list. Among these, we were ranked:

  • #3 in Pharmaceuticals
  • #6 in Data Centers
  • #7 in Commercial Office 
  • #8 in Healthcare  
  • #8 in Telecommunications
  • #9 in Aerospace
  • #11 in Green Building Contractors
  • #16 on the Top 50 contractors by volume in the General Building category
  • #18 in Industrial Process
  • #20 in Hotels, Motels, and Convention Centers
  • #32 in Manufacturing

While ENR’s annual Sourcebook offers a chance to “check out the numbers," at DPR, we understand that our most important measures of success include how satisfied our clients are, how predictable our project outcomes are, and how much we are pushing our project practices “ever forward.” 

Our 25 year anniversary offers the chance to reflect not just on all the projects we've delivered since 1990 (as shown in the image below)—but more significantly, how we continuously work to create and sustain highly satisfied customers along the way.

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one. Follow #DPR25 on social media to learn more.

February 4, 2015

Tracking Green at Space Designed for Net-Zero Energy

At DPR's San Francisco office-—which is designed for net-zero energy—it's all about collecting data and using it for optimization. Like each DPR green/net-zero energy building before it, DPR will use the collected building data to improve the next space. 

The office uses 3 primary data collection and building management technologies, which include:

  • Integrated Honeywell building management system—the “brains” of the building;
  • Lucid Building Dashboard®— the key energy use “benchmarking” tool; and
  • LEED Dynamic Plaque™—a new technology that tracks LEED certification. 

Learn more about how DPR is using these technologies to optimize the high-performing building in this article.


DPR's office is one of the earliest adopters piloting the new LEED Dynamic Plaque™. Photo Credit: Lyzz Schwegler

December 16, 2014

ENR Picks Net-Zero Energy Office as Project of the Year

“A beautifully done project that pushed existing technology.”

That’s how one of the Engineering News-Record (ENR) judges described ENR’s Northern California Project of the Year and Best Green Project: DPR’s net-zero energy designed office in San Francisco.

The team with the award at the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Walker)

There were 140 total entries for ENR California’s Best Project Award. Judges evaluated projects on five distinct criteria:

  1. Overcoming challenges and teamwork
  2. Safety
  3. Innovation & contribution to the industry/community
  4. Construction quality & craftsmanship
  5. Function & aesthetic quality of design

Along with DPR as the builder, the design and consulting team included FME Architecture + Design, Integral Group, Paradigm Structural Engineers, Inc., Decker Electric, Anderson, Row & Buckley, Inc. and 58 other essential partners.

In five months, the team researched, designed, permitted and built the highly-efficient, 24,000-sq.-ft. modern workplace with a number of sustainability features, including the LEED Dynamic Plaque. DPR’s office and the U.S. Green Building Council’s headquarters in Washington, DC, are the first two to use the LEED Dynamic Plaque, which is a building performance monitoring and scoring platform.

Watch the videos below, which explain DPR's net-zero energy designed office and its LEED Dynamic Plaque.

September 28, 2014

Digital Project Resonates with Technology-Driven Owner

Digital projects are a growing trend around the country, and recently DPR completed its first in Florida. The 80,000-sq.-ft. headquarters for Carley Corporation, a training and technology solutions company, is owned by SWAMP 1. The project was completely digitally managed, saving the owner time and money despite the challenging, swampy Florida terrain.

The team primarily collaborated through the cloud, which also facilitated digital turnover and archiving, and used BIM 360 Glue on iPads in the field, laser scanning, and digital lean tools such as Last Planner. 

“When DPR said they were going to run this whole job electronically, I thought, a lot of companies say that; they don’t really do it,” Carley’s Chief Information Officer Jeremy Good said. “But in this case, it was true.”

See the full story on the SWAMP 1 project in the latest edition of the DPR Review.

July 17, 2014

Topping Out in Downtown Austin

Colorado Tower
Photo courtesy of Bernadette Donato

The team on the new Colorado Tower office building in downtown Austin celebrated a major milestone this month. Roughly 330 construction workers, developers, architects and engineers turned out for a traditional topping-out ceremony, watching from the 20th floor as the final 30-foot steel beam was hoisted to the top of the new tower. In keeping with the topping out tradition, an evergreen tree, an American flag and a Texas state flag were perched on top of the beam, which was decorated with colorful autographs of employees and construction crew.

DPR thanked the subcontractors and construction crew for their long hours of hard work and dedication. Jason Frost, vice president of developer Cousins Properties, Inc., also spoke. He thanked DPR for keeping the project on target for completion in December 2014.

This 30-story, 775,000-sq.-ft. Class-A office building and parking garage will include 10,000-sq.-ft. of ground floor retail, 372,000-sq.-ft. of rentable office space and a 12-level, 880-space parking structure. The building is designed to an Austin Energy Green Building Two Star rating.

May 28, 2014

San Francisco Office Makes Big Green Move—First Net-Zero Energy Office in the City

It really is greener on the other side of the street—or in this case a few blocks away.

DPR’s San Francisco office made a big move this month from its long-time home on Sansome Street to a new net-zero-designed space at 945 Front Street. Recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the office space is on track to be the first net zero office in San Francisco and one of only a handful in the nation.

Lobby of DPR's new San Francisco office featuring a living wall (Photo: Drew Kelly)

While the previous DPR San Francisco digs were LEED certified, this new space pushes green building further. The office boasts a host of unique green solutions, including recycled products throughout, dynamic glass that tints to let in the appropriate amount of light, fans to circulate air, and solar panels to convert San Francisco’s sunlight to power, which should generate more electricity than the building needs—about a third of the amount that a typical San Francisco office building uses—to run comfortably over the next year.

For more features and details read the full press release.

October 17, 2013

The Packard Foundation Achieves Net-Zero Energy Status

About 16 months ago, we helped one of Silicon Valley’s leading foundations open the doors of its new Bay Area office building. The Los Altos-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which has already received a number of awards, including ENR’s National Best of the Best Projects 2012, adds one more accolade to its name: Net Zero Energy Building Certification™ through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

LPFH Net Zero Certification
Project Manager Mike Messick with Project Superintendent Bob Colhour Photo courtesy of Ted van der Linden, Project Sustainability Manager

At 49,000 sq. ft., the Packard Foundation headquarters is, to date, the largest building to be certified for producing as much energy to meet or exceed its energy needs. The title of "world's largest ILFI-certified net zero energy building" was previously held by our own Phoenix Regional Office.

The Packard Foundation is one of very few buildings worldwide to carry both that designation as well as LEED® Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Net Zero Energy Building certification (Photo courtesy of Integral Group); David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Photo Courtesy of Ted van der Linden)

This building was one of DPR’s first ground-up, net-zero energy projects and it was unlike any other. Our job included deconstructing the prior building, 96% of which was recycled. With EHDD as the design architect, our team built the existing structure using a diverse array of exterior building materials including aluminum, glazing, copper panels, stone, stone veneer and wood siding – all carefully overlaid to form a highly thermal rated exterior skin.

Every building component contributed to the net-zero energy goal. This included highly energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems to rooftop photovoltaic panels that generate onsite energy, to native plants and innovative drains that capture and filter runoff before it enters the storm drains and ultimately, our oceans.

We are proud to call ourselves partners of the Packard Foundation. It has been through a partnership of mutual vision and trust, that we’ve been able to help the Foundation bring its hopes to life. It has also been through our experienced and dedicated project team that we were able to ensure the Foundation would be capable of its sustainability goals.

Often, business leaders believe that a choice needs to be made between comfort and care for their building’s inhabitants and being an environmentally-friendly place to work. However, we would challenge this assumption whole-heartedly. We believe that comfort and environmentally-friendly design do not need to be a choice, but can be built and operated successfully hand-in-hand.

The Packard Foundation building is a physical manifestation of the Foundation’s and our long-term commitment to sustainability.

August 29, 2013

Ensuring Worldwide Consistency and Quality with EMC Corp.

Sometimes, things have a way of working out...When DPR's Camilo Garcia moved from the U.S. back to his native Bogota, Colombia, he discovered that existing DPR customer, EMC Corp had needs in the region. 

The global IT services provider was launching a growth initiative in Latin America and started working with Garcia in that part of the world. Almost two years later, the experience has led to notable successes such as a “Next Generation Office” renovation.

Scott Krall, EMC’s Manager of Project Services, said the following about the partnership formed by EMC with DPR and Garcia: “The opportunity came up and the fit was good. Having someone who understands EMC’s project management procedures and processes, who can speak the local language, and has an understanding of EMC’s culture based on our relationships here [in the U.S.] have been clear benefits.”

Read more about the initiatives in Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico in the latest issue of the DPR Review newsletter.

August 14, 2013

Green Video: Return on Investment (ROI)

Sustainability doesn't have to be more expensive. In many cases, green building can result in savings for the building owner (whether upfront or in the long term). This Return on Investment video is just one (of 8 green videos) that was filmed at the DPR Phoenix office, which was certified by the International Living Future Institute as a net-zero energy building. It explains how pursuing sustainability can be a business decision as well as a thoughtful environmental consideration.

Government incentives—both local and federal—are great ways to maximize green building benefits. In addition, creating an energy-efficient design upfront reduces operational expense and can pay off in a big way over the life cycle of a building./p>

Watch the entire green video series here (8 videos total). These videos cover the broader themes of sustainability and net-zero energy building, and include the following topics:

  • Evolution of Green Design
  • Low Tech Meets High Tech
  • A Living Lab
  • Walking in the Owner’s Shoes
  • Sustainability and Employee Satisfaction
  • Reuse of Existing Buildings
  • Why Net-Zero?

These videos scratch the surface. Read the DPR Phoenix office case study to learn about the path to net-zero energy building in much more detail.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments below.