Press Releases

DPR Construction Transforms More than 20-Year-Old “Cube Farm” Into Biotech Research Facility for Cumbre Inc.

DPR Construction, Inc., with Texas offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, is wrapping up construction on one of the newest additions to the Dallas biotech corridor, a 17,000-sq.-ft. research and development facility for Cumbre Inc. Located in the Stemmons Corridor, the more than 20-year-old "cube farm" (office building) has been transformed by DPR into 11,000 sq. ft. of research laboratory space and 6,000 sq. ft. of offices, with an additional 6,000 sq. ft. remaining for future expansion. Cumbre, a recent recipient of $26 million in second-round funding, plans to have the facility fully operational in early 2002.

Starting in August of this year, DPR built out the existing facility in 15 weeks to include laboratory space, upgraded HVAC, equipment pad to support a new vacuum system, as well as clean dry air, reverse osmosis/de-ionized water, and nitrogen bulk tank systems. The facility's office space and conference rooms have also been renovated to offer flexibility for any future company expansion.

According to John Elwood, Director of Operations for Cumbre, having an experienced national biotech contractor like DPR on board and in the local Dallas area helped a great deal in ensuring the successful delivery of the highly technical, state-of-the-art facility.

"With DPR, we had a local contractor that knows the ins and outs of building in the Dallas market, combined with the company's extensive expertise in constructing biotech facilities across the country," said Elwood. "DPR knew all the right questions to ask and just what they needed to do to get it done in a timely, cost effective manner. The team did an outstanding job."

By "asking the right questions," the project team was able to provide significant savings on the budget. Initial designs called for replacing all of the original air handlers with costly 100 percent outside air units. Through brainstorming alternatives, the project team determined that only three new units needed to be purchased and installed for certain laboratories that require a higher air exchange rate, using less expensive roof top units for office and remaining lab space.

"It's part of DPR's company culture to continuously look for ways to improve the process and bring new ideas and approaches to every project that will result in time and money saved for the customer," said Jill Allison, project engineer for DPR. "We often call each other at DPR for suggestions and even have a national database of current best practices that we draw upon so that we can learn from previous projects."

In addition to Cumbre, DPR has worked on more than 50 biotech projects throughout the nation this year and built out laboratory and office space in Texas for such biotech and biopharmaceutical companies as Alkek, Ambion, Guidant, and Valentis.

Along with serving as general contractor, DPR self-performed the concrete work and CMU block work. Other members of the project team include designer WHL Architects, consultant Cresa Partners and design-build mechanical, electric and plumbing contractor TD Industries.

About Cumbre Inc.
Cumbre is a Dallas-based biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery, development and commercialization of new classes of antibacterial and antifungal drugs.

About DPR Construction, Inc.
A local builder with global capabilities, DPR Construction, Inc., has been "building great things" in Texas since 1994, including projects statewide for such notable companies as Sun Microsystems, CarrAmerica Realty, Motorola, Texas A&M, Hillwood Properties and WorldCom. Specializing in technically demanding projects in healthcare, energy, digital media, biotechnology/pharmaceutical, corporate/speculative office, mission critical (data/telecom), entertainment and warehouse and distribution industries, DPR has been recognized for its unique collaborative approach in local, national and global markets and is a recipient of Arthur Andersen's 2001 Global Best Practices Award for creating customer value.

DPR's Texas offices are located at:
9606 N. MoPac Expressway, Suite 300
Austin, Texas
2400 Dallas Parkway, Suite 450
Plano, Texas
10003 Woodloch Forest Drive, Suite 200
The Woodlands, Texas
San Antonio
1777 NE Loop 410, Suite 703
San Antonio, Texas

In addition to Texas, DPR also has an offices in Phoenix, Ariz.; Newport Beach, Pleasanton, Redwood City, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego, Calif.; Denver; Atlanta; Portland, Ore; Fairfax County and Richmond, Va.; Seattle; and Singapore. All offices can be reached by email at [email protected] or on the Web at