Just in time for college football season, The University of Georgia (UGA) formally unveiled its enhancements to the west end zone of Sanford Stadium, the tenth largest college football stadium in the country.
Led by DPR’s Lauren Snedeker, the project team embraced the challenges of renovating the stands, locker room, recruit club, plaza and concourse area of UGA’s beloved Bulldogs, all while over 94,000 curious fans flooded the stadium during last season’s six home games. Through careful planning every week, the team demobilized the entire jobsite prior to each game day.
The $63 million project, funded primarily by donor support, creates a new game-day experience for current and future student-athletes, as well as fans. The 120,000 sq. ft. of new and updated space includes:
A 10,500-sq.-ft. hospitality lounge for hosting prospective student-athletes and their guests on game days. The lounge is the first of its kind at Sanford Stadium for the Georgia football program.
New locker room, including fully equipped locker and shower facilities, as well as additional storage space for sports medicine, equipment and coaches’ locker rooms.
New plaza replacing all existing entrances in the stadium’s west end.
Expanded and enhanced concession and restroom facilities as well as a new video board that is 33 percent larger than the previous one.
“This extension, renovation, and expansion project has made Sanford Stadium, already one of the finest college football environments, even better,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is one more step that the University of Georgia is taking to reach new heights of excellence across all our athletic programs.”
Central Arizona College (CAC) recently opened two new, ground-up facilities that DPR Construction delivered on its Signal Peak Campus in Coolidge, AZ: the Mel A. Everingham Student Union and a Science Building. CAC President Dr. Jackie Elliott, CAC Governing Board members, staff, students and the local community joined to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony as the new school year kicked off.
The new Student Union promises to be a new campus landmark and a destination for all students, enhancing the student experience with a modern campus hub. Architekton designed the 40,600-sq.-ft. facility to mirror the surrounding mountainous landscape with an undulating, angular roofline that provides a soaring open feel to the interior public space. The Student Union houses a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, a bookstore, student lounge, meeting rooms and the campus public safety office. An 8,900-sq.-ft outdoor seating and landscape area provides space for students to relax between classes and includes AV infrastructure to convert into an outdoor amphitheater to host large events, such as graduation.
Just north of the new Student Union, the new two-story, 32,250-sq.-ft. Science Building offers students and faculty a Maker Space/STEM classroom with 3D printers and robotics, teaching labs, wet and dry labs, prep room and faculty offices.
“The efficient and functional learning space of the science building is designed to draw and engage students in a 21st Century educational atmosphere,” said Daniel Childers of Architekton. The building’s design offers nods to the surrounding desert with an outdoor garden and a water feature running through the building with roof drainage.
It was critical for DPR to deliver both buildings in time for the start of a new school year. To help ensure the schedule was met, DPR used Digital Building Components, a Phoenix-based custom fabrication facility that uses robotic technology to precisely roll aluminum studs and build framing components. The CAC Science Building had all exterior panels fabricated at Digital Building Components and delivered sequentially for immediate installation at the project site, reducing the exterior skin installation time from four weeks down to a day and a half.
In honor of Labor Day, DPR Construction is launching a new blog series, Builders at our Core, dedicated to sharing stories of DPR’s self-perform work teams. These builders are successfully executing complex, technical projects for some of the world’s most progressive and admired companies.
With diverse career paths, we’ll hear from people who got to where they are in very different ways, but have a few key things in common: a passion for continuous learning, growth and building great things.
The Builders at our Core series kicks off with the story of Jesus, Ruben and Isidro Guzman, three brothers who started their careers at DPR as carpenters in Reston, VA. Over the course of nearly a decade, all three have grown and developed their careers at DPR:
Jesus, the youngest of the Guzmans, was the first of his brothers to join DPR as a carpenter in 2008 and has since been promoted to general foreman. After hearing about DPR’s unique culture, his brothers came on board as well.
Ruben joined DPR as a carpenter in 2009, and went on to become a foreman, general foreman, assistant superintendent and is now a superintendent. He has also worked his way into estimating, and shares estimating duties 50/50 with another teammate in DPR’s Reston office.
Isidro, who prior to DPR began his career as a carpenter at age 15, joined DPR in 2010 and has since been promoted to foreman and assistant superintendent.
The Guzmans recently shared their passion, expertise and advice for the next generation of builders with us:
Q: What do you love about construction? Ruben: It’s never the same; every day is something different. You are never finished learning. You keep yourself busy all the time. I fell into becoming a carpenter, but I found out it was actually what I wanted to do. When I came to DPR, I saw that DPR operates differently than more traditional general contractors. I really liked that, and it was one of the things that drove me to put more effort into what I did.
Isidro: I started in construction when I was young. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college; everybody has a different path. I like everything about construction: putting work together and working around people, as well as managing teams and empowering them to do good work.
Jesus: The big responsibility. Sometimes people don’t see it like that, but I like to have responsibilities and do my work the best that I can.
Q: To be successful in your role, what skills does a person need? Ruben: In my case, it helps me a lot to come from the field, knowing how to build things. You can see the drawings, imagine people building it and know what it takes.
Isidro: It’s important that people have experience on the actual job that they’re doing. If you have experience doing things with your hands, that makes everything easier. It’s important to prepare yourself with trainings, and do as much as you can to be successful.
Jesus: A person needs to be open-minded to learning about all kinds of work, and be able to build good relationships with all the trades.
Q: What’s your proudest moment at DPR? Jesus: At the holiday party in 2015, I was one of ten people, including my brother Ruben, recognized for safety. I completed 10,000 work hours without any incidents. People who work at DPR do good work, and DPR takes care of them.
Ruben: It was the first year DPR did these awards in Reston, VA. It makes people proud to be one of the few recognized for the 10,000 incident-free hours.
Isidro: The most important thing when you are a leader is to get better at it. It’s not easy, and it’s a lot of responsibility. You might have 100 people onsite, working around the clock, and you are responsible for the safety of every person. You are responsible for making sure they go home to their families at the end of the day. That’s the reason I am proud of getting the job done on time and without injuries.
Q: What would your advice be for the next generation of builders entering the field? Ruben: Never give up. Don’t believe that because you are a laborer or a carpenter, you can’t become a project engineer or superintendent. As long as you have goals, and you study, it’s possible for everybody. If you need a tool to learn, people will always help you at DPR.
Isidro: Don’t be complacent; always try to learn new things. Carpenters, think about being foremen; foremen, think about being general foremen. It’s possible. Think about it, and work hard to get it. There are a ton of possibilities.
Working together at a confidential life sciences project in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, project engineers Devin Kennedy and Ben Salsman noticed that their customer was disposing of a few old bioreactors. Designed to grow and develop cells to extract proteins that are used to create injectable medicines, bioreactors are an important aspect of life sciences–a piece of equipment that engineers usually learn about out of a book.
Wanting to gain more hands-on MEP experience in DPR’s culture of continuous learning, Kennedy and Salsman decided to turn the discarded 60-liter bioreactor into a learning tool. With a core team of DPR’s technical experts, they brainstormed what they could do, such as adding valves and instruments, building a control panel and developing a sequence of operations. They stepped up to the biggest challenge: making the out-of-service bioreactor fully functional.
A team of 20 project engineers in DPR’s Raleigh-Durham office set out to create a physically self-contained bioreactor on one skid and understand how its components (sensors, valves, pumps, controls, wiring) interacted in a highly controlled, pressurized environment. Through hands-on workdays led by DPR experts focused on mechanical, controls and electrical aspects of the bioreactor, the project engineers gained experience from design through commissioning.
Focusing on the “why,” not just the “what,” the project engineers looked at the bioreactor as a holistic system that helped them connect to DPR’s work. They gained hands-on experience with concepts including controlled automation systems, welding and wiring–all of which reappear in projects across core markets, and all of which project engineers typically don’t get to touch with their own hands.
“Knowing how the bioreactors work, and knowing how to build them through their own experiences only makes our project engineers better team members for our customers,” said David Ross, who leads DPR’s life sciences core market in the Southeast. “On a broader level, Project Tinman helped them better understand our life science customers, as well as the perspectives of trade partners and equipment manufacturers.”
This spring, about 40 women from DPR and across the industry came together to make much-needed improvements at Project Bayview, a home in San Francisco for women transitioning out of difficult situations, including homelessness, addiction and human trafficking.
As part of Rebuilding Together San Francisco’s second annual SHEBUILDS community project, the team of all-female builders, engineers, craftspeople and community volunteers worked to increase health and safety at Project Bayview, empowering women to become change-makers in their communities.
Over the course of two build days, the SHEBUILDS team completed a series of improvements to the women’s home, including:
Turning an empty, unmaintained backyard area into an outdoor living space, including installing a new raised deck area and landscaping to create a safe, peaceful place for women and their children;
Building a platform for the washer and dryer to prevent flooding;
Installing a new pot-filler faucet and garbage disposal in the kitchen;
Patching holes, drywalling, painting, caulking and organizing throughout the home.
“The great thing was not only did we have skilled carpenters on this project, but also women who just wanted to learn more and wanted to give back,” said DPR’s Renee Powers. “We had an incredibly cohesive team of all-women builders working together to create positive change for other women.”
According to Heather Kusunoki, house manager at Project Bayview, some of the women living at the home joined the team to work on repairs, and were inspired working alongside and learning from the all-women team’s attention to detail and quality. One of these women now aspires to enter the trades after she finishes her program at Project Bayview, breaking a cycle of difficult situations and creating a new one: one of women empowering women to create positive change in their lives and communities.
Check out radio host Peter Finch’s podcast about the SHEBUILDS project, featuring DPR’s Vic Julian and Lea Rewinski here!
In Ashburn, Virginia, Digital Realty’s (DLR) latest data center is rising from the ground up with tilt-up wall panels. Scheduled for completion in December 2018, the 230,000-sq.-ft. hyperscale data center is leveraging the cost and time savings of using tilt-up construction, a method in which large slabs of concrete are poured directly at the jobsite, then raised into position to form the building’s exterior walls.
Speed-to-market is a critical factor for DLR, as the need for data centers designed to deliver services and content to support the world’s largest cloud platforms continues to grow. With its customer’s needs in mind, the team chose tilt-up panels to eliminate the traditional limits of the size of panels that could be transported to the site. Since larger panels were poured onsite, less panels were needed to complete the structure, further speeding up the process. The tilt-up panels also allowed for early scope release of certain trades, specifically the plumbing and structural steel subcontractors, who installed plumbing risers and steel connections before the tilt-up panels were lifted, saving time down the road.
After pouring concrete walls around the building’s perimeter, the team began lifting the walls into place this summer. The process takes approximately 45 minutes per two-story panel, with the team installing between eight to ten panels per day. It will take 105 panels and 2,000 cubic yards of concrete to complete the perimeter of the data center.
Once complete, the data center will also include the build-out of a 6MW data center hall and will ultimately host 36MW of power.
Penn State University (PSU) recently opened its newly modernized Agricultural Engineering Building, which houses the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on June 8, 2018, giving PSU the opportunity to recognize the gifts and donations that made this facility a reality.
Home to some of the nation’s top architectural, engineering and building construction programs, PSU is incorporating Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) on this project, the first time the delivery method will be used on campus. The selection process began in the early summer of 2014, followed by PSU, DPR Construction, EYP Architecture & Engineering and mechanical and electrical subcontractors signing a multi-party IPD contract in 2015.
The two major components of this 93,500-sq.-ft. project are:
The modernization of the existing Charles Klauder building: built in 1938, the historic building needed major upgrades to meet safety and energy standards, as well as building needs.
The demolition of a 1960s addition to the building: In its place, the team constructed a new, replacement building, designed to match existing campus architecture.
The Agricultural Engineering Building houses four multi-purpose
classrooms, more than 30 comprehensive research and teaching labs, and several
conference rooms and collaboration lounges. Agricultural engineering, with its
diverse range of study, houses not only bio-chemistry laboratories, but machine
shops, integrated hydrology-hydraulics laboratories and a new centralized
With an energy efficient, open-concept design, the Agricultural
Engineering Building is aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification through
sustainable elements including a green roof, water conservation technology,
renewable materials and use of natural light.
In Tampa, the DPR team at Crosstown Center Phase II celebrated the completion of vertical structural steel construction with a traditional topping out ceremony this spring.
The corporate office campus will include a 5-story, 260,000-sq.-ft. core-and-shell office building with a 7-story, 1,260 space parking garage and connecting pedestrian bridge when it is complete in late 2018. Pursuing LEED Silver certification, the campus will leverage sustainable elements such as daylighting and recycling of 75 percent of construction waste.
More than 250 guests including design team members, subcontractors, craftspeople and owners enjoyed a barbecue lunch, presentation and ceremonial signing of the final beam to be raised into the structure. DPR thanked the subcontractors and construction crew for their hard work and dedication to maintaining a safe project site.
Redwood City, California-based LEMO Foundation recently found itself in dire need of the skills that DPR’s self-perform work crews bring to the table. A charitable organization dedicated to providing a home base where underprivileged youth can feel safe, build positive relationships and develop their dreams in an environment where they can excel in academics, athletics and life skills, LEMO was in danger of losing the lease to a portion of its Redwood City facility. Because the previous owner built volleyball courts underneath power lines without PG&E consent, the organization needed the courts to be demolished and removed to maintain its lease and continue holding tournaments at its facility.
DPR’s Alex Saldana was already familiar with the organization and the outstanding work it does in the community helping underprivileged student-athletes succeed in school, athletics and life in hopes of receiving college scholarships.
“I knew it was an opportunity for our SPW demo crew to participate in something that was a unique fit for our skills,” Saldana said. “A demo project is not something that comes up often for volunteer work, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for DPR to help.”
Over the next two months, DPR’s team worked with LEMO to set a scope of work, find additional help and complete demolition before its critical deadline. Six DPR crews helped complete the demolition project in one weekend. All totaled, DPR dedicated 116 administrative hours and 100 craft hours to complete the project.
LEMO Foundation has since been in touch with Saldana, letting him know that the organization was able to renew its lease on the parking lot. It now has additional capacity to accommodate a surge of growth to its volleyball program, which is ranked among the leading programs in the Bay Area. LEMO also has plans to start after-school classes to expose students to potential career paths, such as education, entrepreneurship and sound engineering.
Formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2008, LEMO Foundation has accomplished unique results, with 75 percent of its student-athletes earning full scholarships and 100 percent of student-athletes receiving admission to college.
In Durham, North Carolina, Marion Broome, PhD, RN, Dean of Duke University School of Nursing, paid a visit to personally thank the DPR crew on the progress of Duke Health's new five-story, 103,000-sq.-ft. interdisciplinary building.
Expected to be completed in fall 2019, the building is the future home of the Duke School of Medicine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the School of Nursing. The shared space aims to promote collaborative scholarship and strengthens Duke’s academic community by teaching students the value of patient-centric care across multiple medical disciplines.
“On behalf of the Duke University School of Nursing faculty and staff, we are so excited about this opportunity to do, as Duke does, to collaborate so well but to also take interprofessional education to the next level,” said Broome.