By: Yolanda Rivas
2 min read January 2020— DPR Construction is leading the charge in delivering large construction projects faster and with better quality by employing prefabrication solutions and utilizing their own self-perform crews to put the work in place. Central Florida Business Unit Leader Scott Lyons discusses the prospects for the construction industry in Central Florida.
What has been the impact of DPR moving into Downtown Orlando and what opportunities are you finding there that promoted the move?
We moved Downtown in October 2018, which helped us combine two existing DPR Orlando offices into one. There is a great vibe Downtown, and many of our business partners and clients are now our next-door neighbors. This has been a path to strengthening our connections to the local business community with close proximity for lunch meetings or spending time with people in-person. Our new space was designed to host large groups, with a large training room and 10 conference rooms.
Our Orlando office is one of the largest for DPR, in terms of square footage, which provides us with the unique ability to host meetings for our national and regional teammates. Providing our visitors with walking-distance access to some of the city’s best restaurants and venues means they get the very best of what Orlando has to offer and DPR gets to contribute to the economic success of our Downtown district. We just fell in love with the Downtown vibe, it is where the energy is.
What are the most relevant projects DPR is working on in the region?
We are finishing the KPMG Learning & Innovation facility, which will be completed by the end of 2019. It is the largest project being built by DPR in the Southeast this year. KPMG performed a lot of due diligence in choosing Orlando and the Lake Nona area and it has been one of the more rewarding, incredibly designed and fastest projects for us in a long time. Mega projects are historically tough to execute on time and on budget in the Central Florida area since finding enough skilled craftsmen to build these projects can be a challenge. However, our collaborative approach with the client and the design team plus integrating a lot of prefabricated components into the design has allowed the project to be built at a very good pace. This was truly a collaborative effort and success on behalf of our entire team, including the designer and our owner. KPMG is a huge regional project and a huge win for the city.
What are the clearest trends in construction in the Orlando area in recent years?
At DPR, we are very passionate about driving forward the concept of prefabrication in our construction projects. There are multiple reasons for this. There is a shortage of skilled construction workers, so prefabrication decreases the demand for workers onsite and when you prefabricate components they are usually of a higher quality and safer generally, resulting in a better product for the client. For the KPMG project, we prefabricated 800-bathroom pods. We built them in a factory here in Orlando, called SurePods, and the quality was beyond anything we could get building them in place. It changed the dynamic of how the project was executed, resulting in a faster speed-to-market with fewer people needed on the project. Prefabrication is the way of the future for construction and DPR is well-positioned to lead this trend.
What other advanced technologies are you employing in your work?
We are believers in technology where we can find a great use for it, and where it adds immediate value. We beta test a lot of ideas and technology, apps and software, and generally settle quickly on things that help the client or our people. One is laser scanning. We use it before rebuilding a client’s existing space, like a corporate office, to create a digital model that captures the exact reality of the designed space.
We are also working in partnership with Reigl to utilize LiDAR technology and bring some of their technology into the vertical construction market. It is a drone-borne scanning technology that flies over an existing site, scans it and provides the contours of the land, so you can see elevation changes and other useful data. A civil engineer can take that data to minimize how much dirt is moved around, for example. This type of real-world use of technology on our projects keeps us nimble. We are innovating in ways that not only change the landscape for the construction industry, they are helping our client successfully expand their products into new markets.
What kinds of projects are in greatest demand in the Orlando area?
The attractions companies have very robust plans for the next few years and we also see healthcare companies continuing to invest in their existing and new facilities. We also believe that advanced manufacturing will play an increased role in the Orlando economy as well, so we’re also keeping close tabs on those upcoming projects.
To learn more about our interviewee, visit:
DPR Construction: https://www.dpr.com/