Swift Engineering Links with DPR SSG

DPR Co-Founder Peter Nosler has been a fan of Swift Engineering since the ‘90s when he began racing Swift Formula Ford cars, winning three Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) championships. (Photo by Chuck Koehler)

What began as a casual connection on LinkedIn developed into a strong working relationship between DPR and Swift Engineering, resulting in a trio of projects.

Swift Engineering had a small wind tunnel demolition job at its San Clemente, CA, site and needed a company that could deliver it quickly, efficiently, within tight budget constraints and with top-quality results: a description tailor-made for DPR’s Special Services Group (SSG). Swift, best known for producing racing cars for a variety of open-wheel racing series including Champ Car World Series, Formula Atlantic and Formula Nippon, is a leading provider of lightweight aerodynamic structures and high-performance vehicles. Known for delivering value and competitive advantage to even the smallest of projects, DPR’s SSG visited Swift’s site and was chosen for the demolition project. In addition, DPR was awarded two more jobs: a 30-ft. autoclave project, which was completed in May, and a 4,000-sq.-ft. cleanroom project that was completed in November.

“That first meeting resulted in three projects,” said DPR Project Manager Brandon Risk. “Owners often think that we’re only interested in large projects because of our size, but we have a whole group of individuals focused on small to midsize projects, and our average project size is around $2 million. We do a wide range of projects.”

Both the autoclave and the cleanroom were turnkey projects delivered via design-build with DKY Architects. The autoclave project—essentially a large oven used to cure the company’s products—involved constructing an 18X18 ft. opening in the building and then excavating down so that the autoclave is recessed in a pit. It includes two equipment yards, a nitrogen tank, vaporizer and associated utilities.

The Class 100,000 cleanroom project was subject to tight budget constraints, requiring a highly collaborative approach to achieve the best value for the budget. “We conducted several pricing revisions and looked at a number of different options to get him the best product for the most reasonable price,” said Risk of Swift Engineering owner Casper Van der Schoot, an engineer himself whom Risk says has made the relationship side of this series of construction projects together rewarding. “The owner has been very involved personally with all these projects from the very beginning and has really been great to work with.” Said Swift Engineering’s Van der Schoot, “It has been a great pleasure working with DPR’s Special Services Group over the past year and a half. Critically important, DPR’s outstanding management of the project has allowed us to stay focused on running our business.”