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Planet Pillar

#4

DPR is ranked #4 on ENR’s top green contractors list, up from #18 three years ago.

Introduction

Building a Culture of Sustainability

DPR doesn’t just build green, we live it. We are on a journey to create a more sustainable work and built environment, revolutionizing how DPR operates, builds, travels, and influences the industry.

In support of this effort, we have built an integrated comprehensive program that continues to grow, setting the bar higher as we surpass each goal. This effort expands throughout every aspect of our business to ensure sustainability is a mindset that is truly embedded in our culture.

Ryan Poole headshot

“At DPR, we believe sustainability goes beyond just taking care of the environment. It's about building spaces that are healthy for both people and the planet, and it takes collaborative planning to not only achieve this goal but to do so most affordably.”

Ryan Poole, DPR’s Global Sustainability Leader

Revolutionizing

How We Operate

DPR’s commitment to creating a healthier future for people and the planet means taking a multi-pronged approach. Each of the following vehicles help to carry us closer to our goals.

With our Path to Regeneration shared in 2023, we have developed performance metrics based on how we operate as a company, how we build on our jobsites, and the product that is delivered to our clients. This path focuses deeply on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and defines the characteristics that will make us "most admired" in the green construction industry by 2030.

The Contractor’s Commitment to Sustainable Building Practices Is an industry-aligned framework to benchmark and report sustainability. DPR supported the development of the guidelines and continues to be an active member of the Sustainable Construction Leaders team within Building Green.

DPR’s Sustainability Best Practices combined with our EHSP create a detailed guide into the tactical efforts needed to push towards a more positive impact in construction means and methods. These project-specific guides outline our approach for evolving practices to make a meaningful impact in how we manage waste, water, energy, air quality, wellness and material selection. We work with local partners to formalize a project specific approach that will help us achieve our goals.

PATH TO REGENERATION

Building a Healthier Future for People and Planet

The Path to Regeneration is a roadmap for DPR’s vision to reduce carbon emissions across our value chain. It focuses on a direct data-driven approach, with progress tracked using real-time transparent data coupled with in-house, hands-on carbon sequestering initiatives.

The following highlights the progress we are making in:

  • building a zero waste culture,
  • prioritizing hybrid, electric and clean fuel for our equipment and fleet,
  • developing more DPR zero energy offices and
  • creating carbon accounting services that not only help us understand the impact we are making but also support our customers and partners with reaching their carbon-reduction goals.

80%

Percentage of waste diverted from landfills for the Top 40% of DPR projects (more than $3 billion).


BUILDING A

Zero Waste Culture

DPR has developed in-house solutions to rethink the way we approach reducing, reusing and recycling waste across our operations. A few techniques we use are as follows:

  • use of virtual design and construction (VDC) to reduce rework.
  • Lean construction education and training to eliminate waste in our processes.
  • working to track and manage waste across all projects, including a waste management plan that helps our teams communicate our goals and how they will be achieved.

DPR's goal is to be a zero waste organization by 2030, and we continue to pilot innovative solutions to help improve our diversion rates from jobsite composting and community gardens to using mushrooms to breakdown drywall.

Hydration station icon

Hydration Station

To eliminate single-use plastics on jobsites, many of our project teams introduced hydration stations and reusable dishware. The tools are partnered with in-house education resources, including lunch and learns, toolbox talks, and signage.

DPR is working to expand this practice across all projects, ensuring healthy, cold drinking water is available for all and eliminating waste.

Plant growth icon

Compost for Gardens

Giving food another life, the UCSD Hillcrest project team combined waste reducing strategies with jobsite core values and inclusion strategies to build the Authenticity Garden.

Built from reused materials, the garden is fed by the team’s food waste, and has become a space where teammates can gather and meet. Located next to the craft lunch tables, anyone can contribute to the garden and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Recycling icon

Second Life for PPE

Building a zero-waste culture through reducing, reusing and recycling, DPR teams are working with TerraCycle to give used PPE a second life instead of ending up in landfills.

Teams request PPE recycling bins (zero waste boxes) from OES to collect used PPE. From gloves and glasses to vests and helmets, items are sent to TerraCycle, which processes them into raw materials that can be used by manufacturing companies.

Truck icon

Reducing Waste Water

DPR focuses on water conservation and reclamation, particularly on large-scale projects with onsite concrete batch plants. Many of these DPR sites now have reclamation centers that reuse water from concrete washout, wheel washing and more. We also build retention ponds to capture rainwater to be used for dust control. These efforts, combined with tactics to reduce our water consumption have saved millions of gallons of water.

EQUIPMENT & FLEET

Prioritizing Hybrid, Electric and Clean Fuel

In 2023, we increased the usage of hybrid and electric equipment on our jobsites and with fleet vehicles.

A solar light tower on site charges during the day

Equipment

In the Southwest, we carried out a clean fuel initiative to swap out all standard diesel for cleaner diesel options and electric equipment. On several mega projects, we successfully transitioned from traditional diesel-powered light towers for solar light towers. Several projects are also eliminating diesel generators in favor of battery packs to provide larger power sources when necessary.

An electric truck with the DPR logo charges at a station

Fleet

DPR incorporated hundreds of hybrid electric trucks into our fleet and began piloting the use of Electric Ford F150 Lightnings across the country in numerous climate zones and roles to understand diverse capabilities.

DPR’s plan is to accelerate the expansion and adoption of hybrid and electric equipment and fleet vehicles, as well as the infrastructure to support it. As new technologies emerge, we will continue exploring to ensure that we are incorporating the most sustainable solutions available.

DPR OFFICES

Developing and Maintaining Zero Energy Offices

As a national leader in sustainable construction, DPR walks the walk and tests out leading-edge design and construction methods through our own offices, which we call living labs. Each living lab offers us the opportunity to think about space differently and showcase:

  • High performance at competitive rates
  • New possibilities for renovations in every climate
  • Integrated delivery yields exceptional results
Illustrative example of net-zero elements for an article about net-zero energy building.

Learn more about our living labs:

Raleigh Durham office photo

DPR Raleigh-Durham

Fully online in 2022, the Raleigh-Durham office features an open workspace with daylighting from skylights and solar tubes, as well as side lighting for training and meeting rooms within a warehouse space where DPR conducts research and prefabrication of construction elements for projects. The new office is targeting LEED Silver CI, WELL Bronze and LEED Zero Energy.

Renderings of future Santa Clara office

DPR Santa Clara

Currently under construction, DPR’s new Santa Clara location is pursuing LEED Platinum, WELL Gold, Living Building Challenge (LBC) Zero Energy and Zero Carbon. The design incorporates mass timber, reducing the overall carbon footprint. Upon completion in 2025, the building will be fully electric and will not require the use of fossil fuels.

Creating Healthy Spaces

This past year, DPR worked to get several of DPR offices WELL certified and have consistently been making improvements to our jobsite environment for our teams in the field. DPR's Office and Jobsite Sustainability Best Practices offers ways to serve up proper nourishment and stretching opportunities to keep teams healthy. We also have programs in-place to help manage air quality and material selection. Whether on jobsites or in our offices, the health, safety and wellbeing of people remains a top priority, and we are working to provide solutions and benefits that drive impact.

Outdoor patio with people sitting and talking next to an open wall that lets fresh air into a hallway, people walk by inside.

Learn more on how healthy workspaces benefit employee health and the bottom line.

EXPANDING

Carbon Accounting Services

Nearly 11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from building materials and construction. When building operations are included, the construction industry as a whole is responsible for nearly 40% of the world’s CO2. DPR is investing in innovative solutions for a healthier future for our planet and people and has developed in-house embodied carbon Life Cycle Assessment services to help decarbonize projects.

With our early engagement on projects, we are able to calculate the embodied carbon for projects on behalf of our customers to get an understanding of the overall carbon impact of different materials. We are also able to perform cost and constructability analysis of low-carbon material options, working with the design team and the owner to help make the best decisions.

Photo of mass timber during construction

There are two main contributors to a building's environmental impact, embodied carbon and operational carbon. It's important to think about how to bring down both. Learn more on how to decarbonize.

Representative Green Projects

Green Water at Block 185

A LEED Platinum certified building, the team at Block 185 in Austin, TX used parametric solar analysis early on to optimize the building's form for sustainability. Along with being designed to reduce annual energy costs by 14%, the building features 85% rainwater management onsite  and 100% outdoor water from nonpotable sources--reducing potable water by 30%.

20 Mass

The 20 Mass project in Washington, DC, is an adaptive reuse project that includes 300,000 sq. ft. of mixed use space. Targeting LEED Gold and WELL certification, the team helped reduce waste by prefabricating all hotel bathrooms with SurePods and using virtual design and construction to plan around existing conditions.

Kaiser Permanente Clairemont Mesa Medical Offices

As a national leader in healthcare, Kaiser Permanente is actively addressing the environmental impacts of the healthcare sector, finding new ways to strengthen community health and protect the planet. One of the organization's next gen medical centers, the 90,000-sq.-ft. Clairemont Mesa Medical Offices in San Diego, CA, is LEED Platinum certified and offers wellness-oriented features like an indoor public square with a view garden, outdoor amphitheater and Thrive with exercise stations. The project was designed to achieve annual energy savings of 84% compared to typical medical buildings in the region. During construction, 80% of the construction and demolition waste generated was diverted from landfill through jobsite waste reduction and recycling practices.

NC State Plant Sciences Building

Winner of the Design+Construction and the People's Choice awards at the USGBC Carolina's Green Gala in 2023, the NC State Plant Sciences Building in Raleigh, NC achieved 87% construction waste diversion, 50% energy cost savings and a 10% reduction in potable water. In addition, materials selected on the LEED v4 BD + C: NC Gold project were chosen to reduce embodied carbon, and the building's design focused on team-based culture and flexibility for future needs.

CalSTRS Phase II Tower

CalSTRS’ West Tower in Sacramento, CA, is a 5-story, 200,000-sq.-ft. office expansion targeting Zero Net Energy, LEED Platinum, WELL, and LBC Petal certifications. The project team has demonstrated excellence in DPR’s Zero Waste Culture by achieving a 96% diversion rate with onsite source separation of 12 different material waste streams. DPR's sustainability efforts on this project complement the client's values and existing TRUE Zero Waste certification for the operations of their facility.

Green Water at Block 185

A LEED Platinum certified building, the team at Block 185 in Austin, TX used parametric solar analysis early on to optimize the building's form for sustainability. Along with being designed to reduce annual energy costs by 14%, the building features 85% rainwater management onsite  and 100% outdoor water from nonpotable sources--reducing potable water by 30%.

20 Mass

The 20 Mass project in Washington, DC, is an adaptive reuse project that includes 300,000 sq. ft. of mixed use space. Targeting LEED Gold and WELL certification, the team helped reduce waste by prefabricating all hotel bathrooms with SurePods and using virtual design and construction to plan around existing conditions.

Kaiser Permanente Clairemont Mesa Medical Offices

As a national leader in healthcare, Kaiser Permanente is actively addressing the environmental impacts of the healthcare sector, finding new ways to strengthen community health and protect the planet. One of the organization's next gen medical centers, the 90,000-sq.-ft. Clairemont Mesa Medical Offices in San Diego, CA, is LEED Platinum certified and offers wellness-oriented features like an indoor public square with a view garden, outdoor amphitheater and Thrive with exercise stations. The project was designed to achieve annual energy savings of 84% compared to typical medical buildings in the region. During construction, 80% of the construction and demolition waste generated was diverted from landfill through jobsite waste reduction and recycling practices.

NC State Plant Sciences Building

Winner of the Design+Construction and the People's Choice awards at the USGBC Carolina's Green Gala in 2023, the NC State Plant Sciences Building in Raleigh, NC achieved 87% construction waste diversion, 50% energy cost savings and a 10% reduction in potable water. In addition, materials selected on the LEED v4 BD + C: NC Gold project were chosen to reduce embodied carbon, and the building's design focused on team-based culture and flexibility for future needs.

CalSTRS Phase II Tower

CalSTRS’ West Tower in Sacramento, CA, is a 5-story, 200,000-sq.-ft. office expansion targeting Zero Net Energy, LEED Platinum, WELL, and LBC Petal certifications. The project team has demonstrated excellence in DPR’s Zero Waste Culture by achieving a 96% diversion rate with onsite source separation of 12 different material waste streams. DPR's sustainability efforts on this project complement the client's values and existing TRUE Zero Waste certification for the operations of their facility.

Collaboration

Drives Impact

DPR is committed to creating a healthier planet and to building healthy work environments. Maintaining close involvement with a variety of aligned organizations, we are founding members and co-leaders of numerous workgroups across the industry. In 2023, we participated in and spoke at more than 20 events to highlight our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. The collaboration, education and solutioning that takes place across these avenues has driven our industry to produce numerous collective initiatives and guides to support our transition to a more sustainable built environment. To make a difference, we know that we must come together to continue to drive change in the way we build for a greener and healthier tomorrow.

590

Green projects, which
represents 52% of
DPR’s revenue

606

Number of green-
accredited building
professionals at DPR

30

Number of sustainability events and AEC collaboration groups DPR is coleading/supporting

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