December 14, 2012

DPR Breaking Ground in January to Double Size of Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center plans to break ground in January on a $62.6 million project that will nearly double the size of its existing outpatient center in Gilbert, Arizona. HKS Inc. has designed a 110,000-sq.-ft. structure that DPR will build as an expansion of the existing 130,000-sq.-ft. building. DPR also worked on the existing building that opened in 2011, which was phase one of the extensive master plan for the campus. Utilizing the multi-disciplinary care approach pioneered at MD Anderson, services of the existing facility include: medical, radiation and surgical oncology; pathology; laboratory; diagnostic imaging as well as supportive clinical services. Read more about the original facility here.

The additional space will offering a new service and additional equipment and treatment areas to meet the needs of its rapidly growing patient population. It will open by spring 2014 and will add the following features:

  • three linear accelerators for radiation treatments;
  • 30 clinic exam rooms;
  • 13 infusion bays; 
  • an expansion of the laboratory intake center and welcome center;
  • The Cox Center for Integrative Oncology and Cancer Prevention, which will incorporate traditional cancer treatments with evidence-based integrative therapies, such as relaxation techniques;
  • space for the Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy program;
  • and additional shell space for future expansion needs.

As a leading provider of healthcare, Banner Health is deeply committed to the mission: “To make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care.” The Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center on the Banner Gateway Campus delivers an unprecedented level of cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution.

December 14, 2012

2,600 Bikes Produced at TurningWheels for Kids Annual Bike Build

Kids don't choose their parents, or where they live, or how food gets on the table. Most of us rarely actually see, much less interact with kids who have had a very disadvantageous life thrust upon them. But when you do, the realization that something needs to be done is often overpowering. Sue Runsvold, a nurse, was compelled some eight years ago to take action. Her idea was that poor kids in Santa Clara County would be helped in a big way if only they had a bike of their own. Now, 20,000 new bikes later, that brave idea--TurningWheels for Kids (TWFK)--is truly helping to change lives. And DPR's San Jose office is now in their fourth year of providing significant financial help through DPR Foundation financial grants as well as an impressive number of hours volunteered for both building new bikes and working directly with the kids, teaching them how to keep this simple yet empowering machine in good running order.

Last weekend, I visited the annual Bike Build effort next to the San Jose Convention Center and was truly blow away. The DPR team of a dozen folks was one of many teams totaling 1,000 dedicated folks assembling 2,600 bicycles of all sizes. And a bunch of the kids who were representative of those who will receive the bikes were there as well. 

As I left the Build, Mike Humphrey was completing his seventh bike assembly and it was only 11:30am! In addition to the Bike Build and the clinics, our Scott Greubel and Phil Bartkowski serve on the TWFK board and play a much needed role in helping the effort grow while maintaining the focus of impact on kids' lives (not just the bike gift alone).

DPR is justly very proud.


December 12, 2012

DPR Raleigh-Durham Recognized for Support at Youth Gala

At the John Avery Boys & Girls Club of Durham (JABGC) Olympic Gala in Honor of Dr. LeRoy Walker on Nov. 18, DPR's Raleigh-Durham office was recognized for its outstanding contributions and dedication to the organization. The 2012 JABGC Outstanding Corporate Sponsor Award was presented to DPR at the gala, which consisted of a dinner, silent auction and award ceremony. 

JABGC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and protecting children while preserving the beauty of childhood. It serves approximately 500 children through after-school and summer camps and aims to make a fundamental difference in the lives of all youth, especially those who need guidance the most by providing a safe alternative.

JABGC is one of the DPR Foundation's supported organizations. Formed in 2008 to help disadvantaged kids, the DPR Foundation is a company-wide, focused outreach to help children who fall short of their potential due to socio-economic challenges. The collective goal of the DPR Foundation is to help kids become happy, productive members of society. Along with financial contributions, DPR employees become deeply involved with their chosen organizations, volunteering their time and efforts.

November 27, 2012

$20,000 Raised for Seven Teepees in One Night

The first annual Seven Tepees bowling fundraising extravaganza was a huge success. Everyone had a fabulous time and to top it off, we raised over $20,000 for the organization in one night! Founded in 1995, Seven Tepees Youth Program works with underserved young people from San Francisco to foster the skills they need to make life-long positive choices. It is one of the organizations supported by the DPR Foundation, which exists to help disadvantaged kids. Thank you to all those who attended! I have the privilege of serving as the DPR Foundation liaison between DPR's San Francisco office and Seven Tepees and I also serve on the board as well as the Scholarship committee, so I know how much this will help participants in the program. 

The bowling FUNd-raiser started at the Seven Tepees headquarters with mingling, munchies and refreshments. DPR attendees included: Peter Nosler (the "P" of DPR), Mike Humphrey, Kevin Shea, Jim Washburn and Rocky Moss.

The festivities then moved across the street to Mission Bowling Club for a night of great food, drinks and bowling at the unique, city bowling alley/hip, delicious restaurant. 


Special thanks to all of the staff at Seven Tepees who worked so hard to create and support this event (including the incredible, saintly Deb Glazer and Dave McMonigle, a board member who provided the lion’s share of support for this event)! We hope to continue this event next year with even more teams competing and supporting Seven Tepees. It is an event that is not to be missed!

November 15, 2012

Greenbuild Hospitality Event at the SFMOMA

Along with attending sessions and enjoying the expo area at Greenbuild 2012, I had a chance to celebrate the language of green with hundreds of colleagues and friends at DPR's hospitality event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Guests mingled and explored the museum's modern and contemporary art.

The world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, Greenbuild features three days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunities, industry showcases, LEED workshops and tours of the host city's green buildings. (This year's tours included DPR's Sacred Heart SchoolsPackard Foundation Headquarters and Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business.)

I also had a chance to compete against a fellow "greenie" and friend in an energy-producing bike race during Greenbuild:

The race was for Project Haiti, the USGBC's current philanthropy project. Environmental Building Strategies (EBS) and Integral Group shared booth space and donated $10,000 to Project Haiti as a result of some donations. Learn more about it here

Would love to hear about your Greenbuild experiences or what you thought of the DPR event.

November 14, 2012

7x24 Exchange

It's been a busy week for events in the A/E/C world with the ISPE Annual Meeting, Greenbuild 2012 and 7x24 Exchange Fall Conference all taking place. Held in Phoenix, AZ at the Arizona Biltmore, 7x24 Exchange is the leading knowledge exchange for those who design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures. The theme of the conference, which was held from November 11th to 14th, was "Vision: From Idea To Impact."

DPR kicked-off the conference by hosting a golf tournament, appropriately named Kilowatt Klassic, on Sunday, November 11th. After the golf tournament, DPR hosted a hospitality event, which included approximately 75 customers, architects, and subcontractors, with live music, cocktails and light fare. 

The bi-annual conference is targeted towards those concerned with uninterrupted access to critical information. With nine attendees from across the country, DPR was a silver sponsor.

Presentations included DPR customers, Digital Realty Trust and Facebook. Facebook presented the Open Compute Project and their revolutionary greenfield data centers in Prineville, ORForest City, NC and Lulea, Sweden, all currently under phased construction by DPR.

With 762 attendees, the conference had the second highest attendance in the event's 20-year history. Live coverage was provided on Twitter via DPR's Advanced Technology core market group @DPRAdvancedTech.

November 13, 2012

250 Guests Attend DPR’s ISPE Hospitality Event

Around 250 guests enjoyed an evening filled with more than just peanuts and crackerjacks at DPR's ISPE hospitality event at San Francisco's AT&T Park on Monday, November 12th. With many guests traveling from out of town for ISPE's (The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering) Annual Meeting, which takes place from November 11th to 14th, the hospitality event was a great chance to meet up with colleagues from all over the country.

The fun and intimate event included live music, refreshments and a delicious buffet in the ballpark's club level.

Guests at the event caught up with one other and had the ballpark, home of the World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, all to themselves.

Attendees of ISPE's Annual Meeting include executives from pharmaceutical companies and key government regulators. The meeting includes education sessions on the latest information in technology innovation, application and best practices in the pharmaceutical world. Additionally, there are sessions that engage regulatory agencies in discussions with the industry, building consensus around guidance, quality issues and technology application. This year's theme is "Global GMP Solutions through Innovation and Transformation."

Come visit DPR's booth (table #241) at ISPE in the exhibit hall. If tweeting about ISPE, use #ISPEAM12.

October 25, 2012

DPR Participates in 29th LEAP Sandcastle Competition

On Saturday, October 20th, DPR Construction partnered with Gensler and Ulloa Elementary School to participate in the 29th Leap Sandcastle Competition. The Leap Sandcastle competition has a few purposes. It serves as the major fundraiser for Leap, an organization with a mission to provide “arts education programs that help students build skills to achieve their fullest potential." But more importantly, it teaches kids about design and construction. It inspires students by showing them that ideas can become things.

Andrea Walker and I worked with a few designers at Gensler to teach a 5th grade class at Ulloa Elementary School about what it takes to build an idea. We spent three Fridays in the classroom explaining how the big day would work and helping the students brainstorm ideas, then model them with clay. This year’s theme was “Leap Year 2012: Things That Jump” and we created a sand castle of Jaws-like proportions. We had a shark jumping out of the water, breaking a boat in half, with people swimming away to save their lives.

Here’s a model of what we wanted to achieve:

And here’s the final product:

Pretty similar, right?

Despite a very cold and foggy start, the competition was a huge success. The kids did the majority of the building and had a lot of fun, even when they had to recreate the shark after it partially collapsed.

At the award ceremony, we won “Best Teamwork,” which was a huge accomplishment based on how well the group worked leading up to the competition and at the day of the event.

We look forward to seeing what terrifyingly amazing sandcastle we build next year.

October 9, 2012

One Year Later: DPR Phoenix’s “Living Lab” Office

The most difficult owner I've ever worked with was us...DPR. That's no typo, you read that correctly. We--DPR--acted as our own customer and builder when we decided to renovate an existing building in the redeveloping Discovery Triangle neighborhood and turn it into our cutting-edge Phoenix regional office. It was a challenge, to say the least, but the end results exceeded our expectations and created something that has never been done in the state before.

As builders, we're used to coming in and asking the owner questions. This time, we were the ones pushing the direction, which we was a new, eye-opening experience. We had the outlandish goal of creating a Net Zero building in one of the most severe climates in the country and learned that an engaged owner is really what makes the difference. It's almost been a year since we moved into our renovated office and it's been a great learning experience. Among other things, we learned that being an owner is no easy task.

Targeting Net Zero energy consumption, last year, we created an open-office environment that we call a living lab. While Net Zero was the focus, we knew that as a result of this effort, we would achieve LEED certification; we actually achieved LEED Platinum in July. A key part of making this happen was staying engaged. Our key players were engaged from the beginning and stayed engaged. Lessons learned included identifying adequate resources and staying focus all the way through. While the design stage is fun and creative, following through with the execution of the project is necessary. 

We learned to:

  • Stay engaged
  • Have a full resource plan
  • Follow through

10 months later since we began this process, we moved in to our new space last October 10th. Our Phoenix office has been called The Workplace of the Future. We definitely think it is. Our office is a living building. When it's cold out, the office heats itself. When it's hot out, it cools itself. You can hear it. Before we moved, we had a company meeting to let employees know things would be different in this type of environment. Move-in was smooth, easy and seamless. People got settled in and had fun acclimating to the new space. Then, we had to work out the bugs. We adjusted and tweaked some things to find a middle ground of comfort. Everyone's different--some people run hot, some run cold, byt people adjusted their expectations and the space works. There was some trial and error, for example, in winter time, when everyone was in hats and gloves in the offices, we realized that the window was too broad so we tightened that up and adjusted accordingly. We've worked out most of the major issues by now.

A year after move-in, we have made substantial progress and are adjusting the minor details as opposed to the major details that we adjusted during the first year. This space really inspires collaboration, creativity and enjoyment, which we are just thrilled about.

October 8, 2012

Latest Version of DPR Model Slicer Released

DPR has released the latest version of its free DPR Model Slicer plug-in for Autodesk Revit, which is available to download. DPR Model Slicer facilitates the sometimes tedious process of splitting and sectioning a 3D model. During the modeling process, items are often drawn in a way that doesn’t match the way that things will be built in the field. The Model Slicer allows you to set parameters and values that can quickly and repeatedly create 3D sections that correspond to the built environment, facilitating processes such as 3D coordination or 4D scheduling.

Our Model Slicer plug-in was created after our employees found themselves spending too much time slicing BIM models received from design partners into models that would accurately reflect construction needs. On a high-profile hospital project in the Bay Area, Chidambaram Somu, a DPR BIM Engineer, used the Model Slicer to help him quickly divide the single slab object into 16 separate components, reflecting the precise control joints required by the construction team. “I was able to create all 16 slab sections in the time that it used to take me to produce one.” The plug-in also allows fast exporting of precisely the views and content users want, so the model becomes compatible with a variety of software platforms. According to Chidambaram, “The process becomes really simple, breaking redundancy and automating the process.”

The new version 3 release of the Model Slicer brings with it some powerful improvements. Along with the previously available ability to section according to gridlines and levels, users can now also use a selection box to specify the boundaries. Another improvement, suggested by the large contingent of users, was the ability to quickly strip a Revit file of all existing Views and Sheets. On some projects, this has led to a file size savings of up to 50%. Our Model Slicer supports all flavors of Revit, from versions 2011-2013, along with Revit Suite, Architecture, MEP, and Structure.