DPR Typifies Triple Bottom Line Approach
DPR projects are often keystone community buildings. The firm has won two national ENR Best of the Best awards, including in 2008 for the LEED-Gold Arizona State University Polytechnic Academic Complex on the Williams-Gateway Campus in Mesa, Ariz.
“DPR is a highly collaborative team member which exudes passion and commitment for sustainability,” says Joe Tyndall, AIA, principal of the Tempe office for RSP Architects, co-designer of the project. “The DPR team always has a win-win attitude.”
In downtown Phoenix, DPR has delivered every structure built to date on the 15.7-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus at Copper Square, including the first in 2004: the $40-million Translational Genomics Research Institute/International Genomics Consortium Headquarters, a six-story research facility for mapping the human genome.
“DPR takes true ownership and responsibility [in] forecasting issues and identifying responses [and in] creative thinking of approaches, ideas and solutions,” says Jason Harris, deputy director at the Community and Economic Development Department for the city of Phoenix, which has contracted with DPR for the genomics research and other buildings.
One block south, the $29.25-million ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation Phase II, completed in 2009, is an 84,000-sq-ft, LEED-Gold urban-infill project with sustainable features such as solar water heating, demand-controlled ventilation and significant construction-waste diversion.
On ASU's Tempe campus, DPR built The Biodesign Institute, comprising the 172,000-sq-ft Building A, completed in 2004 at $53 million, and the 175,000-sq-ft Building B, completed in 2005 for $56 million. The second was the company's, and Arizona's, first LEED-NC Platinum building.
Crews are currently constructing the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center in Gilbert, Ariz., a partnership between the state's leading health-care provider and one of the nation's foremost cancer centers on the campus of Banner Gateway Medical Center. Scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2011, the $107-million project includes a 120,000-sq-ft outpatient center.
DPR strives “to be integral and indispensable to the communities in which we work,” Sanders says. During the last two decades, the Phoenix office has contributed several million dollars and volunteered thousands of hours, both as a company and individually, to support a variety of organizations, such as Sunshine Acres Children's Home in Mesa, Ariz.
In 2008, the company established the DPR Foundation to help socio-economically disadvantaged children. For the 2010 and 2011 school years, the Phoenix office awarded $30,000 and donated hundreds of volunteer employee hours to Teach for America, one of the foundation's programs.
“We have established certain organizations that we contribute to, but we also encourage our employees to bring others to the table— groups that are deserving but underserved by community efforts,” Elrod says. “Our mission at DPR is not just contributing to the community but connecting with it.”