Raving Fans in Lightning Speed

A customer-focused approach to a schedule-driven project turns “can we?” into “we can.”

A recent relocation and full renovation project for a prominent financial services company’s new regional office in the Dallas suburbs achieved success through the partnership between DPR and EIG Electrical Systems™, who turned challenges into triumphs and customer feedback into innovative solutions.

An office lounge area with colorful light fixture shades.
Designed by HOK, the unique placement of different light fixtures required extensive collaboration with all the trade partners on the project. Courtesy of DPR Construction

EIG is a member of DPR’s family of companies developed to help streamline projects for more predictability, efficiency, and higher quality. EIG is comprised of highly technical specialists that provide a variety of services including direct procurement and supply chain management, installation, low voltage systems, and power storage solutions. Their precise insights and actions on the DFW office relocation project were instrumental to completing and turning over a high-quality renovation weeks ahead of schedule.

DPR originally engaged EIG during the project’s design when, in working through the requested scope, the team identified the need to procure generators and related emergency power equipment. EIG’s knowledge and responsiveness resulted in not only a reliable direct procurement resource but also showed the expertise that would affect other aspects of the project.

“Given the fast-paced schedule and anticipated quick start, procurement of the generators was a challenge as they are items with significant lead times,” said EIG Dallas-Fort Worth general manager Luis Hernandez. “We aligned our solutions with customer goals, and as a result, we were able to extend our other services to the full project approach.”

Dual commercial-grade generators being placed on the project site.
Generator procurement and placement at the beginning of the project lifecycle played a key role in achieving schedule success. Courtesy of DPR Construction

After securing the full scope, EIG dove in right away with DPR and the HOK design team to address the first phase’s five-month construction window, a challenge in and of itself as the scope would traditionally have taken up to 12 months.

Preconstruction on this project was unique,” said DPR estimator Lexie Hood. “After we submitted our first budget, the customer decided to split the job into two phases in order to hit the target schedule, which meant twice the number of deliverables in the same amount of time.”

Open communication with DPR’s self-perform team that was being utilized on the project was also a key to alignment early. This pattern allowed for teamwork from the start and eliminated confusion that could arise between the trade partners, and kept crews working through the scope efficiently.

Another non-negotiable challenge: quality. To address this, the project team committed to a disciplined approach. the team created shared goals: to HAVE FUN & fill all seats at the table every time; quickly share all news, good & bad; and ensure all finishes & installations would do nothing less than impress. Using these team-supported goals, their drive to quality assurance was referenced daily in site walks and tracked in progress reports.

Mainframe electrical room
The MDF (main distribution frame) additions to the renovation were possible using VDC & BIM modeling coordination. Courtesy of DPR Construction

Quality was no small task on a project that covered the second floor of an existing building. Phase one included 89,000-sq.-ft. and phase two 64,000-sq.-ft., phased in order to allow for occupancy. As a complete fit-out of open office space, private offices, conference rooms, huddle rooms, reception, kitchen/lounge areas, amenity space, six IDF rooms, one MDF room, eight electrical rooms, two AV closets, and 640 poke-throughs,

Despite the scale, early interactions with the customer and design teams left EIG feeling prepared for potential obstacles by determining the right solutions from the start.

“We asked for preferences upfront when it came to electrical and low-voltage work,” said national EIG low-voltage leader Robert Ramirez. “We asked, ‘on your previous project, what mistakes or common issues did your other contractors have’ so we could address them upfront and make sure we didn’t run into the same things."

One challenge for everyone was the supply chain and getting what was needed in time to keep the project moving. Key items like electrical panels had a last-minute delay in delivery, which meant an opportunity for out-of-the-box thinking.

Conference room with overhead light fixtures
Light fixtures were strategically placed in occupied areas, like this conference room, to ensure it aligned with seating positions. Courtesy of DPR Construction

“I had a contact with a salvage vendor that buys and sells used panels on standby, to get what we needed from him in order to meet the installation dates in case the panels did not arrive on time and continue progress on the project,” said Hernandez.

EIG installed a manual bypass switch in place of the ATS switch since it did not arrive on time and was later changed out upon its arrival.

“Even with installing temporary light fixtures just to achieve inspections, there were a lot of creative approaches to this project to keep it on track,” said Hernandez.

Lobby area with circular desk
Cloud panels were created and installed by DPR self-perform teams using collaboration with EIG to precisely position lighting. Courtesy of DPR Construction

“This was the first project that we really started to see the impacts of supply chain pressures,” said DPR project executive Eric Barnes. “We had to develop and communicate strategies to procure the custom products for this project. The owners quickly took to the term “direct procurement” and that allowed us to help show all the benefits of using as many of our internal teams as possible and gain their confidence.”

The effort not only turned into project delivery ahead of schedule but also positively impacted a customer that had past electrical/low-voltage contractor woes, and as a result, created a raving fan of EIG and DPR.

“We asked ourselves many, many times – is this even possible?” said Ramirez. “How are we going to pull this off? And we did it, and to me, that’s the biggest takeaway of all.”

Circular light fixtures hang from ceiling
Immense planning went into allowing these high-end light fixtures to appear to "float" in the open ceiling. Courtesy of DPR Construction
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