DPR Maintains Near ‘Paperless’ Environment On Newspaper Headquarters Project
When DPR completed construction of a new five-story corporate office building for newspaper publisher The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA in April of this year, the project team had a mere two drawers full of printed documents to show for what it had built over the past year-and-a-half.
And that was a good thing.
The lack of paper signaled the team’s success not only in completing the job early and with savings returned to the owner, but also in achieving a near “paperless” environment on the project. It serves as a model for how to build in the digital world with less waste and greater efficiency.
“Having a ‘paper-less’ environment was kind of like owning the first fax machine,” said DPR Project Manager Michael Konetzke. “It’s another big paradigm shift. People didn’t have as much paper on their desks. It was something that you needed to get used to, not having physical reminders. You know, like where’s my in-basket?”
Client: Belo Corporation
Architects: LPA, Inc.
Designed by architect LPA, Inc., the new 150,000-sq.-ft., five-story media center/corporate headquarters building for owner Belo Corporation featured a new ground-up, steel-framed office building and an expanded 78,000-sq.-ft. parking area for 171 cars. The building’s terra cotta tiles and the opposing angles of the new media center fit seamlessly in with the downtown Riverside skyline. Site work included demolition and renovation of existing paving, light structures, terra-cotta tile, glass and aluminum composite panel exterior and landscaping. The building houses more than 630 employees of The Press-Enterprise newspaper and website, PE.com. Dedicated to champion newspaperman Howard H. “Tim” Hayes, the building accommodated the first operations move for The Press-Enterprise since 1955. Its 34 conference rooms are all named after a well-known landmark or community around Southern California’s Inland Empire.
DPR’s decision to beta test an electronic system for document filing, control and distribution on this project came in recognition of the amount of time and money that is spent—and often wasted—managing the paper trail on construction projects. “We decided The Press-Enterprise project was a good pilot project, because it was a mid-size job with a technically competent owner who was open to a new approach,” said Project Engineer Jason King.
The team researched and interviewed software providers, ultimately selecting DocuWare for this project, which they customized to fit their construction specific needs. A dedicated server was set up on site to house the system and was networked into a combined copier and scanner. Incoming faxes were routed to the appropriate parties’ emails and electronically filed rather than being printed. A variety of digital and electronic tools were used to maintain the virtually paper-less environment. Email was used to track workflow and retrieve documents. Some items were digitally printed for the field, while tablet PCs were provided to some of the project foremen as another pilot project effort.
One major benefit of filing and storing documents electronically proved to be the enhanced ability to locate and research information on a specific issue later on, with just the touch of the keypad.
“Just being able to find stuff later is one of the biggest values; it is easy to develop history on an issue simply by searching the key words,” King noted. “And even if you’re not very disciplined at filing, this system forces you to be. It is a pretty useable and useful tool.”
While Konetzke said that it took “a lot of buy-in” from the team to go completely digital, the results were ultimately worth it.
“With digital filing, there is no big stack of papers, and everything is clean,” he commented. “We only had two physical filing cabinets for a total of four drawers, and by the end of the project, we had only filled up two of the drawers with actual paper. We will be able to burn all of the materials to one DVD, allowing the owner to pull information from any computer and giving people access to the information from anywhere.”
The construction team plans to transfer its successful use of electronic document management onto future projects, including one currently under construction for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. Meanwhile The Press-Enterprise owner, Belo Corporation, reported strong satisfaction with the project from its vantage point. “It’s driven in the DPR team to build a quality product,” commented the owner in awarding DPR the highest customer satisfaction score of 10 out of 10 both at mid-point and end of construction as part of DPR’s customer survey process. “Most companies expect a punch list at closeout, and DPR is the first company I’ve come across that strives for a zero punchlist.”
Posted on June 8, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022