Happiness is…

This article is included in the Fall/Winter 2011 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

What is the value of happiness? The January-February 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review shined a spotlight on happiness with articles touting the economics of well-being and how thriving employees create long-term sustainable performance. According to one article, happy employees have 31 percent higher productivity on average and their creativity is three times higher based on analysis of 225 academic studies.

For us at DPR, happiness—or enjoyment as we call it—has always been a core value. While we have yet to conduct a formal study tying employees’ happiness to our company’s performance, we have always believed that work should be fun and intrinsically satisfying, and we have worked hard to nurture a culture of trust and learning that helps build collaborative high performing teams who have indeed achieved great results.

From the start, DPR was set up to allow people the maximum amount of flexibility, freedom and opportunity to do what is right for our projects and our customers. Now, nearly two decades later, it is exciting to see the shift in project delivery with progressive owners, such as Sutter Health, Autodesk, Fortune Data Centers, M.D. Anderson, UHS, Banner Health, Palomar Medical Center, the University of California and others. They are adopting integrated team delivery and implementing lean construction practices.

DPR is currently involved in more than 14 different integrated delivery projects with our teams collaborating to successfully provide low-cost solutions while maintaining scope, accelerating schedules, and enhancing quality. On the 230,000-sq.-ft. Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project, featured on the cover of ENR (September 19, 2011) for its “IPD on steroids” approach, the team is set to deliver the project six weeks early and at the $320 million target cost established in April 2008 when the owner finalized its clinical space program and LEED certification goals.

In addition to integrated delivery, we are seeing the benefits of partnering with other construction companies to deliver greater value. For example, our 320,000-sq.-ft. Facebook data center in Prineville, OR, which we built in a joint venture with Fortis Construction, was recently named the “Best of the Best Green Building” in the nation and picked as ENR Editor’s Choice for being one of the most energy efficient data centers ever built. We also have joint ventures with Skanska, Turner, Sundt, Weitz, Big-D and Balfour Beatty on several large-scale projects, including the largest construction project in the U.S. to start construction in 2011 as recently ranked by In addition, we continue to collaborate with contractors around the world, such as GS Construction in Korea, NCC in Sweden and Constructora Conconreto in Columbia, to share lessons learned and develop best practices for virtual design and construction, lean practices, sustainability, and integrated delivery.

For us at DPR, happiness truly is happy people working together to cultivate environments of trust where teams can thrive and great things can happen.