American Red Cross
Strong Relationship Forged through Open Communication, Collaboration with Nation’s Top Emergency Response Organization
From its first new blood processing center project for the American Red Cross (ARC) near Atlanta, GA, to current and upcoming projects in North Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, and beyond, DPR has developed a strong relationship with the nation’s premier emergency response organization over the past several years.
Client: American Red Cross
Project: Douglasville New Blood Processing Facility
Project: Durham Blood Manufacturing Expansion
Project: Holland Laboratory Renovation
Project: Tucson Regional Blood Center
Architect: Sears Gerbo Architecture
That relationship, built on collaboration, cooperation and open communication, has grown as DPR has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to overcome technical and logistical challenges and adapt to the client’s changing needs and market conditions— all while keeping the construction process on schedule and budget. The recent projects are part of ARC’s 10-year national capital improvement campaign to consolidate and streamline the Red Cross blood system into a standardized network of facilities comprising laboratory, blood processing and administrative office spaces.
The springboard for DPR’s repeat work for ARC across the nation was the successful completion of a 182,000-sq.-ft. blood processing and distribution facility in Douglasville, GA in early 2007. The team overcame a series of challenges on that showcase facility and met all critical milestones along the way, completing it ahead of schedule.
PROJECT SAVINGS IN NORTH CAROLINA
In August of 2008, DPR undertook an 11,500-sq.-ft. renovation of ARC’s Regional Blood Center in Durham, NC. The project comprised a three-phased renovation of the manufacturing, kitting and distribution areas. DPR Project Manager Edison Glover and Project Engineer Henry Poole noted that the first phase was the most complex, requiring careful coordination to demolish the space and upgrade the manufacturing space all while the facility remained in full operation processing blood. One of the environmental cool refrigeration units that had to remain available 24 hours a day stood smack in the middle of the construction area, a delicate construction operation that Glover likens to a surgeon “operating on your whole body and not touching the heart.”
Through a series of measures, including the recommendation to use adaptors rather than building a structural steel frame for 75-ton air handling units being replaced on the roof, DPR was able to facilitate substantial savings for the owner. Overall, the team saved an estimated $250,000 on the total $2.7 million project, which was completed in July.
FAST-TRACK PERMITTING IN MARYLAND
Working on a design/build team with EwingCole, the same architect as the first ARC project in Georgia, DPR completed another project in Rockville, MD this past September. The Holland Laboratory Reno Project involved the renovation of a two-story facility and entailed converting laboratory space to office space for the biomed and IT group of ARC. The project was completed while tenants remained inside the fully functioning facility.
The project team’s successful push to fast track the permit process also enabled ARC to efficiently coordinate the staff coming from three different buildings to occupy the new office space. “Montgomery County is one of the few counties I know of that requires a furniture permit, which takes an additional four weeks beyond the building permit,” said DPR Project Manager Sarah Moreau. “We worked directly with the furniture installers to integrate all of the furniture into the drawings, helping to expedite the permitting process.”
BREAKING GROUND IN ARIZONA
This December, DPR will break ground on another project for ARC, the Arizona Blood Center in Tucson, AZ, being delivered via design/build on a team with Sears Gerbo Architecture. This project entails renovation of approximately 32,000 sq. ft. of space within a 60,000-sq.-ft. facility.
“The ability to meet the client’s changing needs has been critical on this project,” said DPR Estimator Oscar Salazar. Originally planned as a new ground-up facility, the job was well into preconstruction when changing market conditions required ARC to cancel that job in early 2009. DPR assisted the client in evaluating other alternatives.
Ultimately, ARC decided to purchase an existing semiconductor facility and retrofit part of the space for its needs. DPR’s relationship with ARC, combined with a highly competitive proposal, enabled it to win back the renovation project, which is slated for completion by the end of May 2010.
Posted on June 8, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022