Take a look at what’s going on at DPR across the country!

June 27, 2016

DPR Survives the Big One! Six-Story Steel-Frame Building Withstands Earthquake Simulation

On the world’s largest outdoor shake table at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), DPR erected the tallest cold-formed, steel-frame structure ever to be tested on a shake table. As engineers, scientists, earthquake experts and media watched, the six-story building withstood a simulation of 150 percent of 1994’s 6.7-magnitude Northridge, California earthquake, shaking and rocking, but remaining structurally intact and safe.

“What we are doing is the equivalent of giving the building an EKG to see how it performs after an earthquake and a post-earthquake fire,” said principal investigator and UC San Diego structural engineering professor Tara Hutchinson.

The project is part of a $1.5 million three-week series of tests, analyzing how cold-formed steel structural systems perform in multi-story buildings located in high seismic hazard zones. Prior to this test, the largest building ever studied was a two-story residential structure in 2013. The structure experienced accelerations of 3.0 to 3.5 G’s at the upper levels, putting a tremendous amount of demand on the “light-gauge” structural frame. Lighter than a concrete, or hot-rolled structural steel building of the same height, the cold-form, light-gauge panelized structure is strong and flexible, thus able to move with the shaking instead of against it.

“The introduction of light-gauge structural systems in areas of high seismic hazard offers owners a superior option over traditional wood framing construction from economic, quality, safety, sustainability and overall building performance standpoints,” said DPR’s Zach Murphy, who is part of DPR’s cold-form steel prefab operations team. “We believe the results of these tests and future projects will continue to prove that this is the better way to build and create higher quality, safer structures in a cost-effective manner.”

In 2015, DPR constructed the MonteCedro senior-living community in Altadena, California, using prefabricated light-gauge panels. While the direct costs were close to wood-frame construction, additional savings were realized through faster schedule, better fire resistance and higher quality framing. DPR also recently built student housing at Otis College in Los Angeles using cold-formed structural framing.

Full video of this week’s shake test can be viewed below:

Scott Reasoner (DPR), Steve Helland (DPR), Tara Hutchinson (UCSD), James Atwood (DPR) and Kelly Holcomb (Sureboard) celebrate the performance of the prefabricated light-gauge structure in San Diego, California.

December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays from DPR Construction!

Happy holidays from 2090, the year DPR has finally figured out time travel. Join us on a trip back to our momentous 25th anniversary year and take a look back on 2015.

November 30, 2015

Building Great Things in Austin (Video)

This year alone, DPR was ranked No. 2 on the Top Commercial Construction Company list and No. 6 on the list of the Top Midsized Employers in Austin, Texas.

Curious about our Austin office? Learn about our passion for building and vision of shared leadership, and meet some of our folks in the following video.

With projects like the new Charles Schwab corporate campus, the Aloft/Element Hotel, Third+Shoal Office Building, the Replacement Office Building and the Business School for the University of Texas, there is so much to be excited about in Austin this year, next year and beyond.

July 17, 2015

Special Guest at Ronald McDonald House at Nemours Children’s Hospital Jobsite (Video)

On Wednesday, July 8th, DPR Special Services Group (SSG) team received help from a very special guest at the Ronald McDonald House at Nemours Children’s Hospital jobsite in Orlando.

Two-year-old Isabella Davis, along with her parents and big brother Skyler, joined DPR team members and project leaders to place the final tiles into a mosaic heart, symbolizing the official start of construction. The art piece will be incorporated into the House, tying back to its theme, “The House that Love Built.” What made the event even more symbolic? Isabella had just received her last chemotherapy treatment at Nemours!

Read an update on the House in the Orlando Sentinel here.

Learn more about the project and Ronald McDonald House here.

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.

June 27, 2013

Green Video: Reuse of Existing Buildings

Old things can become new again, as shown in this short video, "Reuse of Existing Buildings: DPR Phoenix Case Study."

The video explores how sustainable building does not necessarily require new construction. In the case of DPR's Phoenix office, the team took an older retail building—seemingly at the end of its lifecycle—and completely transformed it into a model for green construction.

In the video, project team member, DNV KEMA's Shayne Rolfe explains, "When you're working with an existing building, you're able to take what may be limitations and make them into opportunities. That doesn't that doesn't occur in new construction."

SmithgroupJJR's Mark Roddy says, "I can't think of a better way to maximize a recycle concept than to use an existing building."

This is just one video (out of 8) that was filmed at the DPR Phoenix office. The video series covers the broader themes of green and net-zero energy building, and includes the following topics:

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

Watch the entire green video series here (8 videos total).

Read the DPR Phoenix 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.

June 13, 2013

Green Video: A Living Lab

In this 2 minute video, "A Living Lab: DPR Phoenix Case Study," the project team chats about the thought behind setting up DPR's Phoenix office as a living lab for the community.

DPR was the owner and the client for this ILFI-certified net-zero energy building. It demonstrates the viability of attaining net-zero energy operations within any environment—even a desert environment—and serves as a model for sustainable development and urban renewal.

In the video, DPR's Cassie Robertson explains, "We know we're going to be making adjustments and improving what we've put into place for the life of the building and we're excited to do that. It's a laboratory because of that. It's almost like an experiment for the rest of the community."

This is just one video (out of 8) that was filmed at the DPR Phoenix office. The video series covers the project's green and net-zero energy building themes and includes the following videos:

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

Watch the ENTIRE green video series here (8 videos total).

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.

January 29, 2013

CEA Safety Awards Presented to Rodney Spencley and DPR

Congrats to DPR Construction’s corporate safety director, Rodney Spencley, who has been awarded the 2012 Construction Employers’ Association (CEA) Leadership in Safety Award. The selection was based on measurable results, DPR’s safety program and Rodney’s impact on the construction industry. Additionally, the President’s Award for Safety was presented to DPR for the fourth consecutive year.

When asked about receiving the Leadership in Safety Award, Rodney said, "Our goal is an Injury Free Environment. This isn’t achieved simply by adhering to OSHA and industry regulations; it’s the product of the culture of safety we’ve built at DPR, a culture that believes that zero incidents is an achievable goal.” 

Helping safety professionals and safety coordinators become leaders and influencers is important to Rodney. He has trained, mentored and influenced many safety professionals who have gone on to have significant impacts on the safety world both inside and outside of DPR Construction. Rodney has worked tirelessly in the mission to create an injury-free environment (IFE) for DPR and the entire construction industry. Since becoming DPR’s safety director in 1993, Rodney’s leadership and passion for safety has led DPR to be one of the safest contractors in the nation--having one of the lowest incident rates and Experience Modifier Rates (EMRs) year after year. Rodney’s vision has been realized throughout the company and has influenced DPR’s culture, which values safety as a priority that is promoted by each employee.

From the smallest SSG projects to large data centers, Rodney meets with operations groups, owners and customers to help plan for safety and promote the DPR safety culture across all 17 DPR locations. He helps assemble the right safety professionals for the team and then brings the whole group together to find the best ways to succeed in getting everyone home safely. The goal is to create an injury-free environment through planning and adherence to the principles of:

  • Supportive Leadership
  • Personal Commitment
  • Free and Open Lines of Communication
  • Accountability

DPR's Safety Group with both awards -- Rodney (third from left) with his Leadership in Safety Award and DPR's President’s Award for Safety (third from right)

Here's Rodney talking safety:

About CEA
The Construction Employers’ Association is the premier association in Northern California representing union commercial building contractors in collective bargaining, labor relations and legislative advocacy. It is the only organization whose sole purpose is to protect and promote the interests of the unionized commercial building contraction industry in Northern California.

June 28, 2012

The Facebook Effect: Forest City Data Center Edition

Where Facebook goes, economies are revitalized. Rutherford County experienced that first-hand. DPR is working with Facebook to to construct a data center in Forest City, North Carolina. Before the social media giant decided to build there, the area felt the sting of their main industry--textile--drying up, leaving thousands unemployed. Now, much of the town's talented workforce is engaged on this project. Facebook is also giving back with community grants.

Watch the video to learn more about this project and the effect it has on Rutherford County. DPR's Sue Levin and Pat Ray are also featured. Be sure to like Forest City Data Center on Facebook to get more updates.

June 7, 2012

My Morning Commute: DPR BIM Engineer’s Ride to Work

Get an inside peek at my morning commute. I travel from my home in San Francisco to the construction job site in Palo Alto on my bike with the help of CalTrain.

Public Transit isn't so bad, give it a try.

Enjoy the scenic ride.