“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.” – Michel de Montaigne
Veterans walk among us and work alongside us, and we’re often unaware of the contributions they made to protect our nation and ensure our safety. We might not know that the nurse taking our vital signs learned his trade as an Army combat medic; or that the project engineer on our jobsite was part of a Navy construction battalion.
These stories aren’t always shared, so we asked DPR employees to tell us a bit about the veterans in their lives. The response was overwhelming and inspiring. So, on this Veterans Day, we’d like to take a moment to honor the extraordinary men and women who answered the call to service.
Lean Construction continues to deliver benefits on a project-by-project basis, but how can these ever-advancing techniques stick on and off the construction site, changing the way business is done? DPR Construction and its partners gave three presentations at the 21st annual LCI Congress, the flagship event of the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), in Fort Worth, TX that aimed to push toward that goal.
This year’s LCI Congress featured discussion of “essential-ism.” Stemming from Greg McKeown, writer of “Essential-ism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less,” the concept asks: How can the construction industry narrow its focus to improve on key scopes? Among the essential things DPR is aiming to excel at – in order to support the goals of its employees in the field and the customers it builds for – is creating alignment on project norms and goals to maximize efficiency.
The commitment to integrating customers is changing. Creating a Lean company and project culture means educating people to better focus Lean systems on job sites, in customer meetings, and in preconstruction. Throughout the industry, a key priority is finding ways for contractors to better align with customer expectations and leverage up-and-coming technology in new ways.
Aligning expectations toward defined success
During the presentation, DPR project manager Julie Davis asked attendees to imagine building a swing with your friends. Each friend would probably bring a different design, technologies and mindset and that may not always equal the creation of one perfect swing.
Construction is no different than the swing analogy and the challenge is to create a realistic commitment to the customer while aligning with the intended vision and value.
Still, there is a tendency to wait until the end of the project to debrief and share everything that could have gone differently. DPR’s team suggested having this conversation at the outset. Setting expectations should be a priority for all members of the project teams. By setting priorities, every customer will come to the table with their own measurement for success. It is in the best interest of Lean project teams to implement steps to agree to and achieve this standard.
To create a unified assessment of success, DPR’s presenters shared the organization’s commitment to quality control known as Distinguished Features of Work (DFOW). DPR’s Leigh Heller noted how DFOW gives project teams the knowledge to better understand what the customer’s expectations are and, as a result, focus on them to reduce the chance of any rework.
“DFOW/Quality/Aligning Expectations IS Lean, and we need to do a better job of sharing the documentation of our planning and learning with the field and with other projects,” Davis said.
Lean Leaders Build Lean Cultures
Project teams also must establish a baseline of appropriate team behavior and workflow from the inception of a project to better align expectations on and off the jobsite. Successful Lean integration starts with an aligned and standardized workflow that enables the team to visualize and anticipate roadblocks.
“We must provide the highest quality service to our customers at the lowest possible cost while maintaining a respect for people. We all can influence that effort and help improve it,” said Leigh Heller, DPR superintendent.
For example, remodeling projects will always have unknowns that could affect budget and schedule. DPR’s recently-completed shopping center makeover sparked conversation at LCI Congress about the many different team conversations that build trust and respect across project teams that will translate to a more efficient project. Through candid conversations and planned actions, the outcomes should result in a clear work process structured to help maximize the value and minimize any waste at delivery level. It’s a win for the project team and a win for the customer.
In doing so, the project can serve as a replicable model for recruits, new hires, and team members to understand what a Lean project is and ways to duplicate positive operational behaviors.
Building a Lean Culture: Engaging the Value Stream
Presenters also shared were examples of different activities that different project teams performed to map value streams. In each case, this helped establish unique site cultures while also identifying all possibilities of unneeded waste.
DPR Lean manager Cory Hackler noted in his presentation that the company’s method of personnel alignment stems from the development and use of Lean Leadership training across the company.
“Having 600 people go through DPR’s Lean Leadership class, we are getting aligned on a common language to enforce Lean thoughts throughout projects,” said Cory Hackler.
The “Big Room” environment is one of many tactics sowing value to any team, enabling better collaboration.
DPR Construction broke ground on the brand new $350 million, state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (CHoR at VCU), kicking off a four-year project that will deliver a world-class facility dedicated exclusively to the care of kids.
More than 250 people from the local community as well as hospital employees, donors and state and local lawmakers turned out for the groundbreaking event, marking start of construction on a facility designed to provide the highest level of care for children throughout Virginia.
Located adjacent to the award-winning outpatient Children’s Pavilion on the VCU Medical Center Campus and rounding out a full city block dedicated to children’s services, the new hospital will replace existing pediatric inpatient unit beds and will consolidate inpatient and emergency care in one place. The 20-story, 500,000-sq.-ft. facility will provide trauma and emergency care services. It includes 86 private rooms, plus 10 observation rooms for acute and intensive care as well as new operating rooms, imaging capacity, emergency department space, a rooftop helipad and various amenities for patient families. There are four levels of below-ground parking.
DPR’s scope of work includes ground-up construction of the new hospital tower as well as some renovation work on the existing facility to support acute care services. Safety is a major priority during construction, which is taking place on a project site located in the heart of downtown Richmond and surrounded by medical facilities on the VCU campus that remain in full operation.
Designed by HKS Inc., the new Children’s Hospital is part of CHoR at VCU’s comprehensive, long-term plan for serving pediatric patients while also supporting research and educational opportunities. The new facility represents far more than just a building for young patients and their families – it offers hope and comprehensive health care services, regardless of their ability to pay. Numerous amenities are designed with those families in mind, including playrooms, performance spaces, Ronald McDonald House Charities rooms and outdoor gardens and spaces for collaboration and education.
The Children’s Hospital Foundation is conducting a $100 million capital campaign to support construction of the new hospital. At the groundbreaking, the Foundation announced it will match the first $25 million in donations.
“Our vision is to be a top children’s hospital by 2022,” said Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., CEO of VCU Health System and senior vice president for health sciences. “All children of all communities deserve world-class care in a warm and welcoming environment. This beautiful new facility designed in partnership with our community puts children and their families at the center. It is the first important step in our pathway to becoming a top children’s hospital.”
The project is slated for completion by late 2022.
Are you looking for a suitable concrete slab repair professional in Oklahoma City and also its surrounding areas? If the answer is yes, you are also a part of the many hundreds who might be doing the same thing. But choosing the right concrete repair professionals is not easy because of a number of reasons. There are many of them and choosing the best out of them is not a simple job to say the least. You will most certainly be able to come across tons of options and separating the grain from the chaff requires knowledge and experience. Not many of us have any big knowledge about concrete slab repairing and other related tasks. In such situations, it would be a good idea to look for some information that is already available on the internet. Such information are generally posted by those who have experience in dealing with such professionals and they also something more about the types of works that come under this umbrella. We are happy to list down a few of them for the benefit of our readers and believe that it will help customers to make the right choice.
Never Forget To As For Recommendations
It is possible that your family members or friends or even neighbors would have done some concrete works at their houses in the past. You should not hesitate in asking recommendations from them. You should get details about the name, location and contact details of such contractors. You should get this information from a few friends and relatives so that you have more than a few names available with you. You should ask about the experiences they had and also ask them if it makes sense to hire them again. It is quite obvious that good friends and relatives will be upfront and will not lead you to a bad contractor. It would be a good idea to listen to their advice and this should save quite a bit of problem when it comes to identifying the right concrete contractors in OKC.
In case you do not have any family member or friend who has done such concrete slab work, it would not be a bad idea to go online. You can visit some networking sites that share experiences from various concrete slab contractors. That could be quite informative and useful. You also could browse some websites of concrete slab contractors and look up the customer feedback in them. It will help you to get a broader perspective and help customers to make the right choice.
Be Sure To Get Multiple Quotes
If you have been able to identify a good contractor having good reviews, it certainly is great news. However, instead of finalizing contract with the first contractor, it would be better to go in for multiple estimates. This will help you to get a better idea about the market rates without compromising too much on quality. While price is an important point, it would not be a good idea to choose price over other qualities like quality, workmanship, material and so on.
Bill’s Custom Concrete & Yard Drainage
Address: 14609 Remington Way, Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 755-3975
Moving into a new house or apartment is a wonderful event in life. This is all the truer if the house is brand new. Whether it is a brand new home or one that is not so new, you certainly would have spent many thousands of dollars on it. You would like to be sure that the investment you have made is perfect in all respects. You need to examine the home and be sure that there are no defects whatsoever. While this might be possible as far as the external defects are concerned, it would be impossible for you to find out more about the structural and other defects that could be internal. Hence, it makes sense to hire the services of a good construction defect expert. They have the experience, expertise and the right tools and methods to offer the best possible findings. We are happy to share some of the most important reasons as to why it makes sense to hire these professionals
Experience In Handling Different Claims
A good construction defect expert witness can work on the dispute and raise claims that are logical, based on facts and can stand the test of legal scrutiny. They possess the right experience concerning project costs, cost escalation, unpaid changes in orders, delay damage related matters and much more. Even if it is a complicated matter, the experts will be able to handle it quite well and be able to do a good job of it.
Understanding Technical Jargon
Every construction company has much technical jargon loaded. These are written by a lawyer and it would simply not be possible for ordinary people to understand it. Many of these are written by lawyers in such a language that can be understood only by another lawyer. Ordinary people would most certainly not be able to make head or tail about it. A wrong understanding of the terms and claims could cost you dearly. Hence under the above situations, it would be better to go in for these professionals who can do a much better job of unraveling the mystery that is hidden behind the jargon.
Can Take The Right Course Of Action
There are many different types of construction claims and hence the right course of action has to be taken. To make the right decisions, there is a need to hire a good consultant who can perform a detailed analysis of the case. Based on such analysis, it will be possible to make the right recommendations that could save money, time and resources.
Experience In Negotiating
There is no doubt that negotiations are an important aspect of any construction dispute. There is a need to hire the best negotiators and only then will it be possible to get the right resolution that satisfies all the stakeholders. They help the parties to reach an amicable settlement instead of going in for litigation. The facts and figures and the findings that they place could be quite good in more ways than one.
Given the above reasons it makes a lot of sense to hire these professionals and ensure that you buy a home that is perfect in all respects and free from legal, construction and other such defects.
Address: 401 NE 139th St Suite 17, Edmond, OK
Phone: (405) 474-2828
Roofing problems are best fixed by professionals. But with so many choices out there, many of us are confused when it comes to making the right decision. Lack of knowledge and lack of the right information often makes us choose the wrong roofing contractor. While it certainly means loss of money and time, the entire home could be at risk if the roofing problems are not solved properly, efficiently and within a short period. We are listing down a few of the vital points that we must bear in mind if you are planning to choose a good roofing contractor in Oklahoma City. We are quite sure that it will help both our readers and also those prospective customers who are seeking the right information and knowledge about roofing contractors and the attributes that should be kept in mind when choosing them.
Important Local Referrals
The chances of scams and problems in quality and timely work will be much lower when you choose a proven and reliable roofing contractor in OKC. But this is not easy because every roofing contractor that you are in touch with will have something special to offer. In such situations, it would be better to take local referrals and then decide as to which option you must choose. Local Edmond roofers are always a much better choice because they know how best to cater to your customized and special needs. They also take into account the weather conditions, the age of the building, the soil conditions and also are fully aware of the local rules and regulations.
Are They Certified By Manufacturers
Roofing requires quite a bit of material and therefore you must choose the right ones taking into account the exact needs. The quality of the materials must be good and further, they must be used properly by qualified, experienced and skilled roofers. Many roofing material manufacturers are careful about the roofers who use their materials and therefore they grade them based on their skill sets, and their capabilities to make the best use of the materials. Therefore getting designations from manufacturers is a good way to be sure that you are getting the roofing work done by specialists who know the job very well.
Importance Of Ratings from Reputed Agencies
Many roofers appear after a storm only to vanish once the weather gets clear. These are fly-by-storm operators and you should stay away from them. It would be better to look for professionals who carry with them the right stamp of quality from good rating agencies like BBB and a few more. This will be a good practice because ratings from BBB are not easy to come by.
Look At The Warranty Terms & Conditions
Not all manufacturers will be in a position to offer extensive warranties. The warranty is given only by those contractors who can combine quality products with the best installation practices and methods. Poor installation may not show up immediately and it might take years before it gets noticed. Therefore, it makes sense to look for roofers who offer at least 15 to 20 years of contract because any change to roofing including repairs and renewals is expensive.
Salazar Roofing & Construction
Address:209 E Main St, Yukon, OK
A shift to data-driven technology is changing almost every aspect of our economy.
The availability and affordability of cloud computing is driving the ability to consume, analyze and package data into shareable blocks of information. Sensors can communicate with computing systems in real-time. Artificial intelligence (AI) reasoning based on the availability of data allows computers to assist, intervene and control an increasing number of functions.
In the AEC industry, virtual design and construction (VDC) and the creation of a building information model (BIM) have improved collaboration, the ability to simulate building performance, and the use of robotics to automate job and manufacturing plant functions. The age of paper drawings and pdf files during design and construction is growing obsolete. The same could be applied to the operation and maintenance of facilities.
Think about the opportunity. What if the data collected during design and construction could be easily accessed to efficiently and effectively operate and maintain facilities? For this level of data integration, there are three stages that need to be considered:
Data standards development. Before a project starts, owners must survey the systems used on their other facilities to allow them to develop the data standards (e.g., what assets need to be managed, what data is required, etc.) that will be collected and used for the future.
Start with the end in mind. For a new project, the data and FM specifications need to be determined during design so that FM requirements are reflected in the final design and the proper data captured during construction. A BIM Execution Plan as part of the construction contract will help ensure that the right data is inputted as it becomes available, and it is properly named and classified with the necessary attributes associated with each asset. The data from the BIM becomes the starting point for owner-managed systems such as maintenance management, space management and building automation.
Data maintenance. After project turnover, the data model that describes the building and its assets and spaces needs to be maintained. If this is not done properly, the model will quickly degrade as the building is modified and its assets are replaced, repaired, etc.
The proper use and visualization of data can lead to significant FM advantages for building owners. Imagine faster and more accurate identification of building problems and their resolution, faster responses to regulatory agencies, longer equipment lives, lower energy use and better building performance for users. It’s time to turn building data into building intelligence to produce smart and sustainable facilities.
Authored by Aaron Peterson (left) and Andrew Arnold of VueOps, a data integration platform that helps owners access information to better operate and maintain their facilities. VueOps connects project documents, asset data, models and spaces and integrates with lifecycle management tools to help ensure facilities are run optimally.
This October, NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, CA began admitting patients to its new 80,000-sq.-ft. north wing, unveiling a state-of-the-art facility that was delivered on time and under budget by a highly collaborative, DPR Construction-led project team that included design partner LBL (now Perkins Eastman). Achieving those benchmarks was the product of leveraging an integrated delivery approach along with strategic use of virtual design & construction and prefabrication.
The new three-story wing, which connects to the existing 1992 building on each floor, encompasses 22 patient rooms, eight high-tech surgical suites, a 16-bed Pre-Op/PACU, diagnostic imaging, kitchen and dining area, as well as a new central sterile department. The project also included a 20,000-sq.-ft. remodel of the Emergency Department – all completed while the hospital remained in full operation.
Co-locating in the Big Room
Delivered using elements of Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD, DPR worked alongside the owner, designer Ratcliff Architects, LBL (now Perkins Eastman), structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti and other key team members to complete the highly challenging project on schedule and under budget. The team co-located onsite in an open, big room environment that fostered collaboration, innovative problem-solving, and quick decision making.
“NorthBay’s belief in the integrated team, having us all there on site every day and being able to make timely and well-informed decisions were all keys to our success,” said DPR Project Manager Stephanie Jones-Lee. “If there was an urgent item that came up that we needed a solution to, we could just walk over to the architect or engineer, get the subcontractor on the phone and hash it out right there.”
The high level of communication and shared problem-solving helped reduce the number of RFIs and submittals and moved them forward much more quickly than might be expected for a project of this size and complexity, according to DPR’s BIM project leader Jonathan Savosnick.
“Almost all of our RFI’s were confirming RFIs, meaning we had already talked through the issue with the design partners before we sent it in for documentation purposes,” he said. “I think that made a huge difference on this project and made the process a lot faster, easier to prioritize, and more successful.”
The project incorporated several innovative or first-of-its-kind features. It was the first OSHPD-regulated project to employ the prefabricated ConXtech structural steel system. Akin to a “Lincoln Log” type of assembly, major structural components of the ConXtech system are prefabricated offsite and then delivered to the jobsite for quick assembly in the field.
“Because everything gets fabricated in the shop, it is safer, faster, and there is a lot less welding and field work to put it in place,” Jones-Lee said.
The project also was one of the first hospitals in California to incorporate brand new ARTIS pheno operating room (OR) equipment – a major change order introduced midway through construction when the equipment supplier discontinued its previous version of the OR equipment.
The team quickly adapted to the challenge.
“The new equipment added a lot of electrical conduit on the second floor, below the operating rooms,” said Savosnick. “We were in the middle of building out that second floor when we learned about the change.” They worked collaboratively to re-sequence the work and incorporate the new design solution.
Additionally, DPR employed laser scanning to verify existing conditions in the overhead ceiling space in the Emergency Department area, as well as in the Central Utility Plant. While BIM coordination was integral to the project’s success, accessing patient rooms in the still fully operational emergency department to laser scan for BIM coordination was a complicated endeavor.
“Doing BIM coordination for an existing facility that is in use was a big challenge,” Savosnick said. The team used HEPA carts and deployed field investigators to access above-the-ceiling areas in order to gather the information needed to update the model.
The VDC program had other extensions that delivered value. The team used virtual reality to review access issues and verify clearances on the roof with NorthBay facility engineers. Marking the first time that NorthBay had used VR on a project, the technology helped resolve potential conflicts before work was ever installed in the field.
In Delray Beach, FL, the City is working towards creating alignment of education with workforce needs, in an effort to retain talented workers and to prepare for future employment demands. With a desire to be a part of the strategic plan, DPR Construction teamed with the City and the Milagro Center to pilot the Girls Go Build program.
The seven-week program was developed to encourage girls to expand their math- and science-based learning, to increase their interest and enrollment in local technical high school programs and to shift attitudes about careers in technical trades. Through leading sessions and workshops, volunteers from the local DPR team worked with about 20 middle-school girls at the Milagro Center—hoping to inspire the next generation of Women Who Build to enter the construction industry.
“The Girls Go Build program would not have been possible without the support of the DPR staff,” said Janet Meeks, education coordinator with Delray Beach. “The fact that DPR already had some hands-on, age appropriate activities that helped the girls understand the construction industry was awesome.”
Lina Nageondelestang, who serves as project manager in DPR’s Fort Lauderdale office, headed up the community initiative.
“We were excited to jump on board to help (the City and the Milagro Center) put together a curriculum for the summer pilot program and then lead several of the sessions,” Nageondelestang commented.
DPR was directly in charge of four of the seven Girls Go Build sessions. They included:
an introduction and overview session that included a marshmallow building activity (which “helped them learn the importance of creating a ‘strong foundation,'” Meeks noted);
a toolbox build session focused on safety and tools;
a Chopper Tower session where the girls played a DPR-developed game introducing them to aspects of constructability;
a graduation/bench building session in which volunteers helped the girls build several picnic tables that are now in use at the Milagro Center.
Each DPR-led session kicked off with a conversation about the path each of the volunteers took to get into the construction industry.
“I think opening their eyes to the potential career opportunities that there are in the industry was the most rewarding part,” Nageondelestang said. “Letting them know that, as girls, they actually can do construction and not to be afraid of it just because they are female.”
Having DPR women facilitate much of the programming made a big impact, according to Meeks.
“The middle-school girls could relate and see themselves taking on similar roles,” Meeks said. “It’s powerful to see minority women in management positions, and these girls were fascinated by the career stories.”
For most of the Milagro Center girls who participated in the pilot program, Girls Go Build offered them their first up-close look at construction tools and methods, as well as an introduction to potential well-paying careers that many had never considered before.
Student Elavanise Louis-Juste said she was inspired by the innovative program.
“I originally wanted to become a nurse. I like taking care of people and my mom takes care of people in Haiti,” she said. “But now I like construction because I can build houses in Haiti for people, and I can learn the techniques of what to do.”
The City considered the program to be a success, achieving the goals it had laid out.
“The program accomplished our objectives by exposing girls to the many different career options in the construction trades,” Meeks concluded. “The biggest success was that one of the girls was going to go into the medical choice program at Atlantic High School and changed that track to the construction academy.”
DPR Construction’s projects don’t just build themselves. Our craft employees and subcontractors make amazing things happen on site every day, but the need to recruit a new generation of people to the trades is vital.
At Wake Tech, in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, DPR’s sponsorship of the university’s apprenticeship program is just one of the ways we aim to support a sustainable, skilled workforce. Watch the video to learn more.