DPR constructed the 180,000-sq.-ft. research building for Gemini Science and long-standing customer, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI). Located in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Science Research Park in La Jolla, CA, the ground-up, steel-framed facility, which includes a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) suite, research laboratories and office space, is the first of five planned developments built by a private entity on public UCSD property.
“The project was unique in that while unassociated with the university, it sits on UCSD land,” said Brian Gracz of DPR. “This meant that UCSD was responsible for issuing permits and inspections, but since it was a private project, we were held by the university to build to the city of San Diego's construction standards.”
Unique timing issues also resulted in a gap between the original estimate and the actual start of construction due to negotiations between the building's tenants and UCSD. The first estimate for the project was completed in 2003; however, when the project began to move forward in January 2005, the numbers had changed significantly due to price escalation. Rather than re-estimating the entire job, which would cause further delay, DPR developed a price escalation calculation based on historical inflation data, as well as information gathered from subcontractor opinion polls and other industry publications. According to Gracz, this calculation was used to create a percentage increase on a trade-by-trade basis that could be applied across the board, allowing the team to provide an accurate estimate accounting for the extended buy-out period without revisiting of the items in the original estimate.