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University of California, Riverside | Plant Growth Environments Facility

University of California, Riverside | Plant Growth Environments Facility | Riverside, CA

First New Greenhouse Facility in Decades Underway at UC Riverside

DPR is leveraging its self-perform capabilities to help deliver the 38,000-sq.-ft., two-story Plant Growth Environments Facility on the UC Riverside campus – the first new greenhouse facility built on the UC Riverside campus in nearly 40 years.

Underway by the design-build team of DPR and Perkins+Will along with design-build subcontractor Stuppy Greenhouse, the $22 million project is slated for completion in late November 2020. The facility replaces an older greenhouse and will offer high-tech, climate-controlled greenhouse space where researchers from different disciplines can work together.

The Challenges

The specialized nature of a greenhouse project brought with it unique challenges. As the first elevated greenhouse on campus and the first DPR had constructed, the entire team needed to work together to come up with solutions along the way.

The project team faced a significant challenge when a sub-tier contractor that was slated to assist Kansas City-based design-build subcontractor Stuppy Greenhouse with the specialized greenhouse erection process went out of business. The team had to devise a plan to get the project back on track and ensure it was completed as planned and to the complete satisfaction of the owner.

In progress construction site
Greenhouse in progress
The Solutions

Facing the need for labor and crews to help erect the specialized greenhouse structure after the original sub-tier subcontractor went out of business, DPR came up with a solution to bring its own self-perform carpenters on board to supplement Stuppy’s workforce, ultimately delivering about 10% of that subcontract volume. Self-perform concrete crews from DPR were responsible for delivering approximately 15% of the total project contract volume.

DPR superintendents were fully integrated into the subcontractor’s crews; likewise, DPR integrated Stuppy’s management team into the onsite project management team, according to project manager Paul Brown. “We took a ‘lean in’ approach to figure out a different way to get this done,” he said. “We brought everyone together to figure out a solution that would best serve the project.”Overall DPR self-perform crews “definitely added value” by helping push the schedule and quality on this project, Brown added.

Aerial view of greenhouse
Craft crews pushing walls up
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