The Path to Zero
DPR’s New Phoenix and San Diego Office Buildings Serve as Living Labs for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
On October 4, 30 DPR volunteers traveled south of the U.S. border to the countryside near Tecate to help build homes for families in need. For nearly 10 years, DPR has participated in the daylong Baja Challenge event, which joins the San Diego-based real estate and construction industry with Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency that promotes education, healthcare, and other holistic community development projects. To build one house (DPR built two this year in partnership with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.) requires $3,900 in materials and the time of a dozen construction team members. In the 12th Annual Baja Challenge, 14 families received new homes.
Construction is underway on the 300,000-sq.-ft. Facebook data center in Lulea, Sweden. The project is Facebook’s first data center outside of the U.S. and the first of three data centers planned for the area. DPR, along with joint venture partners NCC Construction Sweden and Fortis Construction in Portland, announced the $121 million contract award and construction start in October of last year.
The project is scheduled for completion in December 2012. Facebook has also imposed stringent energy-classification requirements, and the data center will be certified in accordance with LEED Gold certification.
“As one of the nation’s leading data center builders, we’re excited to be a part of the team to deliver Facebook’s first data center outside of the U.S.,” said Eric Lamb, executive vice president for DPR Construction, which has completed and fully commissioned more than $1.8 billion worth of data center projects since 2006. DPR, along with joint venture partner Fortis, are also currently building two data centers for Facebook in Forest City, NC, and Prineville, OR (part of the Open Compute Project). The Prineville project was recently named Best Green Building in the nation by ENR magazine and received the ENR Editor’s Choice Award.
DPR’s Bay Area regional offices participated in the 28th annual Leap Sandcastle Competition on October 20 at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. In addition to DPR’s two teams, the “Sandblast”-themed event drew approximately 20 other teams of contractors paired with architects and schools.
After a long day of shoveling sand and helping to raise money for the organization, it was announced that DPR’s teams won the “Best Integration of Theme” award and the “Best Participation of Leap Kids” award. Proceeds from the event benefit Leap’s Residency Programs in the arts, which serve more than 8,000 Bay Area students annually.
DPR will continue to support Leap’s efforts to stimulate imagination and creativity in Bay Area children by bringing visual and performing artists and architects into the classroom for extended residencies, interweaving all aspects of learning with the creative process.
DPR signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GS Engineering & Construction (GS), a top-tier Korean builder, to provide ongoing collaboration. Lee Young-nam, chief technology officer of GS, and Eric Lamb, executive vice president for DPR, represented their respective companies at the signing ceremony at the GS headquarters in Seoul.
As part of the next phase of collaboration, DPR will learn more about technologies used by GS, including advanced radio frequency identification (RFID), rebar manufacturing, and automation and desalination technologies, while GS leverages DPR’s expertise in sustainability and BIM to incorporate these principles and techniques in Korean construction.
After building a relationship on the jobsite, DPR was given the opportunity to partner with SmithGroupJJR on its first—DPR’s fourth—Habitat for Humanity initiative. The two companies joined forces to sponsor a Camp Habitat through which both funds and labor were donated to help support Habitat for Humanity in its mission to provide affordable housing to low-income families throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, country and around the globe. The build took place in late January and was attended by members from both companies. The 40 volunteers completed tasks, including completing drywall lids throughout the townhomes and beginning work on the interior walls.
DPR ranked #13 on FORTUNE magazine‘s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list this year. Recognized for its open culture, DPR jumped 44 slots from its 2010 ranking at No. 57, the first time DPR made the list.
Webelos Scouts from Pack 71 of the Boy Scouts of America’s Grand Canyon Council visited DPR’s new Phoenix office, while it was still under construction. The project served as a learning lab to help satisfy three of the Scout’s engineering merit badge requirements. DPR staff instructed the fourth- and fifth-grade Scouts in:
The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building project received a 2011 National Design-Build Award in the category of Industrial/Process/Research from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). The project also won top honors in a brand-new category for Excellence in Design. The awards are just the latest for the LEED-NC Gold-certified facility, which was honored with a 2011 Architecture Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)/New York, a 2010 Honor Award for Integrated Practice from the AIA/San Francisco, and 2010 and 2011 awards from the DBIA Western Pacific Region.
In December, DPR’s Justin Schmidt, Dan Gonzales and Camilo Garcia conducted a two-day intensive workshop for Constructora Conconcreto, a Colombian construction company. Sharing knowledge of DPR’s experience in BIM, integrated project delivery (IPD) and lean, the presenters led sessions for key personnel of Conconcreto. The workshop laid the foundation building a relationship with Conconcreto with potential for further implementation via pilot projects.
DPR recently hit four major milestones–simultaneously–in the renovation of Old Jordan Hall, a seven-story, 260,000-sq.-ft. medical research building on the campus of the University of Virginia. This facility, which is remaining completely operational throughout the two-and-a-half-year project, will ultimately be upgraded with an entirely new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system (with 100 percent outside air and exhaust) and a completely new emergency electrical system. These milestones, which were completed over the school’s summer break, included the installation and commissioning of a 2,000 kilovolt-amps (KVA) emergency generator, the renovation of two lecture halls that included asbestos abatement and an entirely new 12,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) air handling unit (AHU) with associated ductwork, demolition and replacement of the first two of eight 35,000 CFM 100 percent outside-air AHUs and associated ductwork, and the replacement of the building’s entire steam system.
Utilizing 4-D BIM, the schedule was incorporated into the model to map out the complexities of this multi-phase project. The team had to carefully plan all replacements so that work being done in the current phase did not interfere with existing work that was yet to be replaced, as well as work being installed in future phases. With an anticipated completion date of December 2012, this project remains on-schedule despite surprises uncovered in the 45-year-old building.
Nearly one year after breaking ground on the $1.5 billion, 878,000-gross-sq.-ft. project, the team on the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay celebrated a key milestone with a traditional topping out ceremony.
“By using the latest technology through a collaborative and integrated process to design and build our new hospital complex, we’re developing the medical center of the future,” said Stuart Eckblad, director of Design and Construction for the UCSF Mission Bay Hospitals Project. “The combination of children’s, women’s and cancer services at Mission Bay means patients will have high-quality, seamless care at a state-of-the-art facility.”
In addition, the detailed BIM approach allowed the team to extract material quantities early on in the project with a higher level of certainty, which is no small feat when you consider the project is on track to use:
DPR’s Chris Hoffman was appointed dean of the School of Sustainability for The U at ABC-VA, an academic initiative of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC-VA). Hoffman assumed the role in January, after participating on the ABC-VA Green Building Committee for several years. As dean, his primary responsibilities encompass the development of the chapter’s curriculum and classes. The U at ABC-VA is composed of 11 schools of instruction developed for the industry by the industry. Its mission is to deliver continuing education, designed by subject matter experts, with an emphasis on leading the industry through market, process and technological changes.
Tilt wall panels are up, giving this new 19,000-sq.-ft. medical office building a presence on what was previously a two-and-a-half-acre greenfield site in Prince William Country, VA. The tilt-wall approach was selected due to its cost-effectiveness, as well as the client’s request to get its emergency and radiology departments up and running as soon as possible. To meet this milestone, all underground work for the finished space had to be completed before the slab was poured so it could serve as the casting surface for all the panels. In addition, due to the small footprint of the building and lack of slab space on which to pour all the exterior panels, several panels had to be stacked on top of a casting slab set on the first set of panels.