Redwood City, California, July 22, 2008

Design/Build Team Begins Site Preparation for $85 Million Facility

Some of the best minds in the construction industry—DPR Construction, Inc., SmithGroup and Forell/Elsesser Engineers—have joined forces to build a structure that will house some of the best minds in scientific research. DPR, SmithGroup and Forell/Elsesser have recently been awarded the $85 million, 75,000-sq.-ft. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Institute for Regeneration Medicine project located on the Parnassus campus. With site preparations beginning at the end of this month, the new facility, when complete in mid 2010, will support 25 UCSF scientists and their teams in their goal to understand the basic biology of stem cells and to translate those discoveries into medical therapies for presently incurable diseases and debilitating injuries.

DPR Project Executive George Hurley said that the core team of DPR, SmithGroup and Forell/Elsesser won the UCSF project—designed by New York architect Rafael Viñoly—based on its combined expertise and experience in green construction, building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD), a progressive delivery approach that incorporates lean construction principles and has proven to reduce waste while maximizing efficiency and ensuring quality.

“We ultimately won this competitive project,” added SmithGroup Principal Marianne O’Brien, “because we proved to UCSF our commitment to protect and preserve the intentions of Rafael Viñoly’s design and still find a price-competitive way to deliver the project.”

SmithGroup Principal William Diefenbach went on to say, “This is a very challenging design concept, and the opportunity to bring it within budget for UCSF, one of SmithGroup’s best clients, is one of the main reasons we chose to engage in this endeavor.” Another reason, he added, “is the fact that this building will house truly world-class research in a rapidly growing field.”

-Project Challenges:
The Institute for Regeneration Medicine—which will be comprised of wet laboratories, laboratory support and offices—will be perched on a steeply sloping hillside on the campus, complicating the construction of the foundation system and general access to the site. “The building will also be base isolated, which means it will be seismically designed to move laterally a maximum of 26 inches during a significant earthquake with little or no damage,” said Simin Naaseh, president and CEO of Forell/Elsesser.

Team Approach:
“Much like all good laboratory design, which cultivates collaboration and interaction among the building’s occupants,” said Hurley, “the core team is taking an integrated approach for this momentous project, drawing upon the principles of lean construction and using the latest building information modeling technologies to meet the schedule and budget and deliver a world-class facility for breakthrough scientific research.” Added Diefenbach: “The proposed team is a great partnership between firms and individuals based on shared values and a foundation of trust.”

The UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine is also targeting LEED® Silver certification and includes a green roof that canvasses the laboratory spaces. DPR and SmithGroup, who have worked on a combined $6.1 billion worth of green projects, will be using energy modeling, a computer-based tool to simulate the energy use of the building, to help design/build sustainability into the UCSF project and reduce the building’s energy load by a targeted 20 percent below California Title 24 requirements.

DPR, SmithGroup and Forell/Elsesser were awarded the project days after the UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine received a $34.9 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was founded in 2005 following the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The UCSF project is one of 12 planned facilities that were awarded a total of $271 million in funds by CIRM’s governing board. That figure, combined with an additional $560 million from those institutions’ charitable donations and internal reserves, brings the total statewide investment in new stem cell research space to $831 million, according to CIRM.

About DPR Construction, Inc.

DPR Construction, Inc. ( is a forward-thinking national general contractor and construction manager specializing in technically complex and sustainable projects for the advanced technology, biopharmaceutical, healthcare and corporate office markets. Founded in 1990, DPR has grown to more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the largest general contractors in the nation and a “great” story of entrepreneurial success. The privately held, employee-owned company serves customers nationwide and has built projects for such world-class companies as Apple, Bayer, Digital Realty Trust, Genentech, HCA, Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Pixar, Rockwell International, Sun Microsystems and Sutter Health.

About SmithGroup

SmithGroup ( is one of the nation's leading architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firms. The firm employs a staff of 800 throughout 10 U.S. offices located in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; Detroit; Madison, Wis.; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Washington, D.C. SmithGroup is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the science & technology, university, healthcare and workplace markets. Recent work includes UCSF Mission Bay Cardiovascular Research Building and Genentech Hall, as well as Helios Energy Research Facility and the Molecular Foundry, both located in Berkeley, Calif. Established in 1853, SmithGroup is the longest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the U.S.

About Forell/Elsesser

Forell/Elsesser Engineers ( is an award-winning structural and earthquake engineering firm with experience in all aspects of structural engineering and seismic design, providing cost-effective and innovative design solutions for more than 47 years. The firm is a known leader in the application of new research findings and innovations, including seismic base isolation systems, buckling restrained braced frames and passive damped systems. Recent and similar projects include the UCSF Mission Bay “Rock Hall” biotechnology building; UC Berkeley’s nanotechnology building “CITRIS”, the base isolation of Genentech’s CCP2 Manufacturing facility in Vacaville, and the original LBNL Human Genome Laboratory. Forell/ Elsesser Engineers are proud members of the U.S. Green Building Council and have been at the forefront of structural engineering in providing services that promote the design, construction, and operation of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.