Is Guaranteed Building Performance Possible?
Hopeful future for buildings to deliver on performance promises by leading industry expert
On July 3, roughly 330 construction workers, developers, architects and engineers watched from the 20th floor as the final 30-foot steel beam was hoisted to the top of the new 30-story Colorado Tower office building in downtown Austin. In keeping with the topping out tradition, an evergreen tree, an American flag, and a Texas state flag were perched on top of the beam, which was decorated with colorful autographs of employees and construction crew.
This 775,000-sq.-ft. Class-A office building and parking garage will include 10,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail, 372,000 sq. ft. of rentable office space and a 12-level, 880-space parking structure. The building is designed to an Austin Energy Green Building two-star rating and is on target for completion in early December 2014.
DPR Hardin completed a nearly 10,000-sq.-ft. addition to an outpatient facility for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta while the facility remained fully occupied and operational. Hailed as the nation’s largest pediatric radiology program upon its opening in November 2013, the new facility includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and digital imaging services. One of the biggest project challenges was the replacement of the existing skylight structure, which was accomplished through precise team coordination, as well as the creation of a scaffold system and temporary ceiling.
Deemed “DPR Construction Day in the City of Orlando” by Mayor Buddy Dyer, March 12 was the open house for the company’s newly renovated Orlando office. In addition to the mayor, who read the city proclamation for the day, 150 clients, friends and industry partners celebrated with DPR’s expanding Florida operations team.
DPR won the Associated Subcontractors Alliance of Sacramento’s “Large General Contractor of the Year” award recently. The award is judged by subcontractors and other construction-related companies on criteria that includes strength of staff, fair contracts, safety, ethical behavior, and overall project management. Additionally, DPR won the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange “General Member of the Year” award.
While building on a hill with access on only one side presents many unique challenges, the Computational Research and Theory Facility project team celebrated late last year with a traditional topping-out ceremony. The new 140,000-sq.-ft. facility, located on the University of California, Berkeley, campus near the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is slated for completion in early 2015 and is anticipated to set a new standard in energy efficiency for high-performance computing
Engineering News-Record (ENR) California recently recognized DPR’s Joe Yau as one of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry’s Top 20 “Best-of-the-Best” professionals under the age of 40. Described as a “collaborator, leader and industry changer” in the publication’s February issue, Yau’s experience includes healthcare, advanced technology and corporate office projects. In addition, he volunteers for Peninsula Bridge, which promotes academic and personal success for middle school students.
Facebook won the accolade for “Innovation in the Mega Data Center” at the Datacenter Dynamics EMEA Awards. The Sweden campus won for radical design in building a super-efficient data center, according to the press release issued by Datacenter Dynamics in December 2013. Facebook’s data center design allows for an energy-efficient operation based on using 100 percent fresh-air cooling. Facebook designed each of the components within the facility, including software, servers, equipment cabinets, electrical systems and cooling fans, to drive maximum efficiency.
The JW Marriott team reached a major milestone in February with the topping out of the 34-story, 1,000-plus room hotel located in the heart of downtown Austin. With more than 112,000 sq. ft. of event space, the hotel will be the largest JW Marriott in the nation and the second largest in the world. According to White Lodging, the fully integrated developer that will manage the JW Marriott Austin, more than 340,000 room nights have already been contracted, with first groups arriving the day the hotel is scheduled to open (March 1, 2015). To help ensure an on-time completion, the project team developed several value-added benefits, including unitizing the entire skin and prefabricating all exterior features on a curtain-wall system.
DPR has enjoyed a long partnership with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), beginning in Texas and expanding throughout the Southeast. Now for the first time in Southern California, two project teams recently completed an $18 million, 1,000-stall parking garage and a $13 million, 60,000-sq.-ft. medical office building. Both projects used DPR self-perform work (SPW) for drywall, and the medical office building project used DPR SPW for concrete. Saving the owner time and close to $1 million, DPR influenced the use of a soil stabilization system that enabled each structure to use a different foundation system.
Training magazine ranked DPR No. 10 on its 2014 list of the top 125 companies to excel at employee development. Climbing from previous rankings of 85th in 2012 and 17th in 2013, DPR ties its learning and development to strategic company goals: “Hire, inspire, develop and grow the best people” and “define and execute truly great leadership transitions.”
DPR’s Falls Church office continued a long DPR tradition of working with Rebuilding Together, a nationwide nonprofit organization that provides low-income homeowners with critical home repairs. DPR pulled together a team of employees, subcontractors and family members to plan, estimate and build renovations to make a veteran’s home accessible for his power wheelchair. Approximately 300 volunteer hours were donated to ensure the house was ready for occupancy when he returned from a year-long hospital stay.
There’s no such thing as a simple project. With an emphasis on small- to mid-sized projects, DPR’s Special Services Group brings the right talent to tenant improvement projects like the one delivered in Austin for Visa Inc. The most recent phase included a 45,000-sq.-ft. demolition and renovation. Aiming for a paperless project, the team had three digital plan tables at the jobsite and used BIM for coordination. The team also used PlanGrid, a PDF collaboration and annotation tool, for in-wall condition documentation.
The convergence of information technology (IT) and healthcare, leading the way with lean, and the successes of an integrated project delivery (IPD) process without an IPD contract were the topics of three different DPR presentations during the 2014 American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction in Orlando. In addition, DPR celebrated another great year of healthcare at Howl at the Moon with more than 250 healthcare customers and designers.
The awards are “pouring in” in the desert. Three of DPR’s projects in Arizona have received top honors recently:
DPR’s San Francisco office made a big move this summer from its long-time home on Sansome Street to a new, net-zero-energy-designed space at 945 Front St. The San Francisco office is one of three regional offices in the Bay Area. The staff was interested in expanding to meet the needs of a consistently growing client base and workforce in the region, as well as moving to a space that would allow them to renovate and incorporate cost-saving and environmentally-friendly features. Envisioned as a “living lab,” the new 24,000-sq.-ft. office will showcase and test the newest and most intelligent energy-efficient products on the market, along with being a creative space that honors the DPR culture and brand.
For the fifth consecutive year, DPR earned a spot on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, ranking No. 10 in 2014.
Recognized as a “living laboratory” for green building, the Winn Center for Construction and Architecture at Cosumnes River College, built by DPR, was featured in a special green edition of the Sacramento Business Journal. The article also noted that approximately 4.3 million people live and work in LEED-certified buildings.
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