July 31, 2012

ENR Webinar on Data Center Evolution

David Ibarra, DPR's National Data Center Services Practice Leader and MEP Manager, will be part of a panel for a webinar that Engineering News-Record (ENR) is hosting. The topic is Data Center Evolution: Sustainability in Mission Critical Facilities. The free webinar takes place tomorrow, August 1st at 2-3 pm EDT.

Throughout his career, David Ibarra has worked on more than $1 billion worth of data center projects. Ibarra was selected by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Steering Committee for the Datacenter Adaptation Working Group. He will be involved in making recommendations to change existing LEED credits specific to data centers.

Among other things, the focus of the webinar will be the innovative ways that contractors and designers are reducing power consumption in data centers for socially responsible companies. It will also cover how sustainability efforts will change within the dynamic data center marketplace.

July 29, 2012

Secrets to DPR’s Employee Engagement

Training has a lot to do with happy employees. According to professional development magazine, Training Magazine, it can also develop positive company culture and increase employee engagement. How exactly can training help organizations foster engagement? To answer that question, Training Magazine looked at the 2012 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list and cross-checked it with the 2012 Training Top 125 list. DPR was one of 19 companies that appear on both the Fortune and Training lists.

Quoted in Training Magazine's article are DPR's Training Coordinator, Melissa Bargman and People Practices and Training Leader, Cari Williams. Williams and Bargman say DPR’s People Practices group plays an integral role in building great people and culture. Among other things, the article discusses how the People Practices group reviews specific answers from DPR's employee satisfaction survey, which can turn into specific learning and training opportunities at the company. 

July 23, 2012

One Million Safe Hours for Facebook Prineville Data Center

One million safe hours and counting; 1,076,096 hours at this point, to be exact. DPR Fortis--a joint venture between DPR and Fortis Construction, who regularly team together for Mission Critical projects--and Facebook celebrated this safety milestone at the Facebook Prineville Data Center in Oregon. Facebook and DPR Fortis threw a memorable celebration last week to honor the construction crew's one million hours of work with no serious injuries or lost time accidents. 400 workers enjoyed the celebratory, joint barbecue lunch. 

“I have never been part of a project where the workers seem to have a genuine interest in raising the bar for themselves when it comes to safety,” commented Ron Stocker, Safety Superintendent, DPR Fortis Facebook Prineville Datacenter jobsite. “We talk often in our weekly safety meetings about the importance of doing things safely, not just for ‘compliance sake,’ but because it is the right thing to do for everyone out there. This goes beyond safety to create a culture where we take care of one another, despite your individual trade. It is truly impressive when 400 folks make a conscious, collective decision to pull together, with the ultimate goal of going home each night safe to their loved ones.”

You may have heard of Facebook; the social media giant has now grown to 901 million monthly active users. Ken Patchett, Facebook Pacific Northwest Data Center Manager said, "We’re now at one million hours of labor on this project, and that’s the direct result of a lot of hard work from the public leaders and other members of the community who helped bring us here. It’s a good day in Central Oregon.”

The safety announcement marks approximately two-and-a-half years since Facebook first announced its intention to build this data center in January 2010. The facility covers 643,800 square feet.

July 8, 2012

ENR FutureTech Conference in SF

On July 10th, there is an ENR FutureTech Conference in San Francisco. The topic is "Leveraging Technology to Build Your Business." Tuesday's full-day conference includes a long list of industry leaders who will speak on how technology is improving business and project outcomes. Also up for discussion will be how technological expertise can help win work, improve workflow, recruit talent and save on costs.

DPR's Moawia Abdelkarim and Justin Schmidt will be speaking at the event. Justin Schmidt is DPR's East Coast BIM Manager where he has direct responsibility for the Building Information Modeling process from preconstruction to close-out. He will be a panelist for the "Digital Visualization & Augmented Reality" presentation in the morning. DPR's Moawia Abdelkarim--who is a member of DPR’s Construction Technology and Innovation Teams, and leads technology implementations with a focus on construction operations and field mobility--will be a panelist for the "FutureTech in Record Time" talk on BIM in the afternoon. 

Looking forward to hearing what the industry has to say on this ever-changing and evolving topic! Click here for more information. On Twitter, the hashtag is #ENRTECH.

July 5, 2012

DPR Employees Satisfied, Says Washington Post

DPR employees are satisfied, says this Washington Post article that highlights DPR's offices and the company's social nature. Thanks for noticing!

The article focuses on DPR internal get togethers. While DPR's office wine bars are a great spot for monthly gatherings to celebrate things like employee birthdays, zero defects, project milestones and awards, they serve a much more important purpose than the name implies. It's a natural spot for employees to meet throughout the workday and share information, a central place to stop by after a meeting and decompress with a soda, and hold town hall meetings. DPR's Dianna Petitt says, "Half the time we might be in there putting together proposals or having a meeting.” 

This integral part of DPR's culture is just part of what makes DPR unique.

July 2, 2012

More from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation HQ Ribbon Cutting

As reported in the previous blog post, last Friday, DPR team members attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new David and Lucile Packard Foundation Corporate Headquarters.

Established in 1964 by Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard and his wife, Lucile, the foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the country. The foundation promotes environmental restoration and protection, along with population and reproductive health, children, and the local community. 

Attendees of the ribbon cutting enjoyed this delicious cake replica of the new foundation headquarters.

Guests were also treated to a tour of the facility with EHDD architects. A building designed for net-zero and LEED Platinum, the intention is to generate as much energy as it uses.

 

Here's the DPR team, cutting the ribbon (from left: Clement Balser, Mike Messick, Kaitlin Murchison and Mike Humphrey). Mike Humphrey called the project, “anything but traditional,” and said that it includes “some of the most advanced and sufficient systems available today.” He also praised the Packard Foundation for its commitment to stick to its vision.

Check out more of the news coverage from outlets such as Silicon Valley Mercury News and the Belmont Patch (which includes a comprehensive image slideshow of the event) here.

June 29, 2012

DPR Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for New Building Designed for Net-Zero

Today, DPR celebrates the completion of the new David and Lucile Packard Foundation Corporate Headquarters with a ribbon cutting event in Los Altos. Designed by architect EHDD, the understated elegance of the 50,000-square-foot, two-story wood and steel structure belies the project's complex design and construction processes. Taking sustainability to the next level, not only is it designed to use less energy, the intention is to generate its own power on-site. The building is designed for net-zero, which means it will produce as much or more energy as it annually consumes. The new headquarters is targeting LEED® Platinum certification, which makes it the first of its size and type in the U.S., and serves as a sustainability model.

DPR Regional Manager Mike Humphrey (second from the left in the picture below) participated in a roundtable at the event. He said, “Today marks the celebration of a traditional milestone for what has been anything but a traditional project. A lot of people think and act green, but we commend the Packard Foundation for its leadership in taking sustainability to the next level. The project is not only targeting 95 LEED points—well above the minimum 80 required for Platinum level certification—but also includes some of the most advanced and efficient systems and materials available today.” 

Learn more here.

Congratulations to all involved!

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 22, 2012

Location, Location, Location: Selecting Your Next Data Center Location

Location is everything. It's especially important for healthcare owners when finding locations for data centers to store electronic medical records (EMR). Mark Thompson--who leads DPR's National Advanced Technology/Mission Critical Group--explores healthcare owners' data center location considerations in a Healthcare Design blog post called Selecting Your Next Data Center Location.

Issues such as geographic conditions, utility power cost and sales/property tax all come into play. Savvy healthcare owners will weigh these factors--and more--before making such crucial decisions.

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.