DBR 2020 Promotions & Achievements

We at DBR would like to congratulate and thank these team members for their exceptional performance! Together they demonstrate their unwavering commitment to excellence and service to our clients.

 

 

 

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Project Spotlight: Will Smith Zoo School

The Will Smith Zoo School is the largest nature-based preschool in the country, where children ages 3-5 will spend more than half the day outdoors and visit the neighboring San Antonio Zoo daily. DBR worked with Lake Flato Architects and Guido Construction to renovate an existing building to create a flexible indoor and outdoor learning environment for up to 220 students.

In June 2019 the Will Smith Zoo School was awarded the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, one of the first and only preschools in the United States to receive this certification. The platinum designation was earned by documenting the facility’s features designed to conserve water, reduce energy consumption, use recycled materials, and improve occupant comfort and health.

Some of the strategies implemented to improve the building’s performance include cool roof and hardscape materials to reduce urban heat island effect, low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water use, recycled construction materials used throughout the project, and bike racks and changing rooms to encourage alternative forms of transportation. Many of the products used in the construction and design were locally sourced. Each classroom is wrapped in regionally sourced wood taken from East Texas pines.  The school does not use any paper products at all and utilize their own dishes for snack and lunch times to reduce waste.

Most of the existing MEP systems in the 20,900 square foot facility were demolished and replaced and DBR’s sustainable design team provided LEED consulting and energy modeling services. The Zoo School also boasts a photovoltaic solar power system with solar panels installed on the roof of the new Conservation Pavilion, an outdoor gathering, and a teaching area.

At the new pre-school, named for a San Antonio Zoo board member’s late son who loved the outdoors, students are encouraged to use their imaginations and get messy daily. They are also able to visit the zoo regularly, grow food in Charlie’s Garden to feed the animals, climb the rocks and stumps at Challenge Hill, bird watch, and learn about conservation and sustainability.

 

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Q&A With Business Development Leader, Brittany Hendrickson

Brittany Hendrickson

Business Development Leader | Associate

Brittany Hendrickson, LEED Green Associate serves as the Business Development Leader for DBR and joined the firm in 2016. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Brittany holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. In her role as Business Development Leader, she supports the business development strategies for all DBR market sectors across Texas. Brittany serves as a Board Member and Education Director for SMPS Austin, At Large Emerging Professional Board Member for A4LE Central Texas, a UCREW Committee Member for CREW Austin, and a Membership Committee Member for ULI Austin.

Originally from Houston, Brittany started her career as a Buyer for Academy Sports + Outdoors before joining DBR’s Austin Office. When Brittany is not hard at work or playing golf with clients and friends, she enjoys exploring Austin with her husband Drew and her son Owen.

Brittany’s quick wit, endless energy, and commitment make her a valued leader at DBR.

 

Q&A with Brittany:

 

Q: Describe your approach to business development and how your strategy has adjusted with the current business climate.

A: We, as a firm, need to create meaningful, lasting relationships with our clients, and the work will follow. While our project experience is important and we bring 48 years of that experience to the table, our clients hire DBR because of our people. I try my best to be a resource not only to those people who make our firm great but to our clients and industry peers alike.

While the delivery may have changed a bit, the strategy has remained the same: stay visible, be eager to help, and keep moving forward. It helps that I am extremely competitive – a slowdown of pursuits has made my desire to win the pursuits that are out there, that much stronger.

Q: What have you found yourself focusing on most during the last few months given the current industry challenges?

A: My golf swing. No, in all honesty, I have enjoyed stepping back from running from meeting to meeting and have been able to focus more of my time identifying and researching future projects and strengthening our internal business development plan and processes. As a company, I think we have done a great job of using this time to ensure that training opportunities for our staff are top-notch and that our company culture remains stronger than ever.

Q: What do you see as key opportunities for DBR in the next 5 years?  

A: 20 years ago, DBR was extremely focused on K-12 Education & Commercial Office projects. While those markets remain a large portion of our business, we are also looking towards market sectors where we see significant opportunities to expand our current reach – markets such as Industrial and Multifamily. In addition to market sector expansion, DBR is fortunate to be in a growth stage as far as geographic area as well. Within the last decade, we have opened offices in Dallas, Austin, McAllen, and El Paso and continue to find success in one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. We hope to continue to push our reach further and further outside of our Gulf Coast roots.

 

Hero image at top of the page:
Eastside Village Office Building | Kirksey Architecture | Austin, Texas

 

Have questions? Give Brittany a call:

Brittany Hendrickson, LEED Green Associate
Business Development Leader | Associate
512.637.4393
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Project Spotlight: Conroe ISD – Flex 20 Elementary School

December 17, 2020 by Chase Collins, PE, LEED Green Associate, Assistant Project Manager, Associate

DBR is pleased to be working with Texas-IBI Group on the design for the Flex 20 Elementary School for Conroe ISD, a two-story, 125,000 SF facility designed to ultimately house 1,000 students. The organization, classroom layout, materials, systems, and program spaces of the Conroe ISD “flex school” prototype were reviewed and revised to meet the latest curriculum and technology standards.

The Flex 20 Elementary School is one of four schools in the latest evolution of the “flex school” prototype in Conroe ISD. This means the district can modify the plan to function as an elementary school, intermediate school, and with some additions, a middle school. Flex 20 is intended to be used as a K-4th grade elementary school in the Caney Creek feeder zone.

Safety and security requirements were a key priority for the new design, with visitors entering through a security vestibule that controls access to the building. With card readers and cameras throughout the common areas of the building, the front office has full visibility as people enter and exit the campus. Emergency radio distributed antenna systems and campus radio antenna systems ensure that both district staff and emergency responders have full communication and radio contact throughout the school and grounds.

This facility meets the very rigorous requirements of Conroe ISD Education Design Standards including all masonry walls, durable finish materials, and highly energy-efficient systems. The design team utilized the energy cost budget analysis outlined in ASHRAE 90.1 to design MEP systems that meet the operation and maintenance standards of Conroe ISD and exceed the minimum energy performance of the energy code.

The cooling plant consists of two 200-ton screw chillers, a two-cell crossflow cooling tower, primary/secondary chilled water pumping, and dedicated condenser water pumps. The hydronic hot water system consists of an equal-sized hybrid boiler plant with a 2,000 MBH condensing and non-condensing boiler along with a primary/secondary pumping system. The building is served by dual duct VAV AHU’s and single-zone VAV AHU’s for the gym, cafeteria, kitchen, and library. Taking advantage of technological advances to manage the project cost, the energy management system was designed with a wireless communication system. The use of wireless sensors and controls reduces the time and materials required to install the controls system, and also allows for easier coordination of sensor locations within the finished spaces.

Energy sub-metering at the main electrical switchboard was provided to allow for the monitoring of total building energy consumption as well as specific loads. Plug load controls, daylight harvesting, multi-zone switching, and digital lighting controls were provided to reduce receptacle and lighting load electrical power use. An emergency generator was provided to serve the corridor lights, IDF/MDF equipment, and life safety, and security systems throughout the building to ensure even during power outages and emergencies the students, teachers, and staff can egress the building safely and securely.

 

Have questions? Give Chase a call:
Chase Collins, PE, LEED Green Associate
Assistant Project Manager | Associate
713.914.0888
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Designing for Health: Community – The WELL v2 Standard

December 16, 2020 by Jon Young, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Sustainability EIT II

“Within every built space there exists a unique community of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives and engage in joint action and experiences in shared settings or locations. The global, national and local conditions that impact the health of each individual in a community are known as the social determinants of health, which include physical determinants, or the physical and built conditions that impact health.”

WELLv2 Standard –  Community

Medina Community Library Meeting Hall, Designed by Lake|Flato Architects (San Antonio, Texas)

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”

– Winston Churchill

The environments we construct are not only places in which we spend our time, but they also act as a hub for our local communities. When you see development taking place, whether it be new construction or a renovation project, it signifies a growing and changing community.

Although there are many different ways that a space can be designed and operated, the Community section of the WELL Building Standard outlines a precedent for planning, building, and development by providing a thorough understanding of the design, policy, and operational strategies that can help us create a more equitable, diverse, and healthy community.

The Holocaust Museum Houston, Designed by PGAL, G. Lyon Photography (Houston, Texas)

Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment, Concept 10: Community

Issue: Within every built space there exists a unique community, one where people live, age, work, socialize, play, and learn. Over time, these communities develop social networks, cultural norms, and organizational structures. Together, the global, national, and local conditions surrounding an individual combine to form their social determinants of health.

Health Implications: Successful building health promotion programs can lower health risks, healthcare costs, and absenteeism, as well as improve productivity, recruitment, retention, culture, sense of well-being, employee morale, and overall health status.

Successful workplace health promotion programs can improve job satisfaction, sense of well-being, self-esteem, and overall health status, while also reducing health risks. Organizational benefits include lower healthcare costs and absenteeism and improved productivity, recruitment, retention, culture, and employee morale.

Solution: Utilizing community-oriented built spaces and occupant program design strategies can be incorporated to support a healthy and inclusive culture for building occupants.

WELL v2 Standard’s Recommended Strategies:

  • Providing a guide to building occupants that includes a description of all WELL features pursued by the project and highlights the relationship between occupant health and the building design
  • Facilitating collaborative design and development from project inception to completion
  • Requiring projects to collet feedback from building occupants on their health and well-being on WELL featured topics
  • Providing health services, screenings, and assessments for building occupants and offering on-demand health services
  • Cultivating a culture that prioritizes health and well-being through various health promotion strategies such as communication, stakeholder involvement, and health risk assessments
  • Administering annual influenza (flu) immunizations, flu prevention campaigns and support in accessing other necessary vaccines
  • Supporting new parents through programs of paid parental leave, supportive service for parents returning to work, and resources to ensure workplace support and inclusion
  • Designating lactation rooms with supportive design and amenities, as well as initiatives and educational opportunities that encourage and support breastfeeding for new mothers
  • Offering childcare, eldercare, and bereavement support as well as family caretaking needs
  • Promoting civic engagement with a focus on charitable activities, contributions, and voting support
  • Participating in equitable and inclusive social and business practices
  • Ensuring the building is designed for accessibility and universal design that will allow comfortable usage by people of all backgrounds and abilities. This can include physical access, developmental and intellectual health strategies, wayfinding support, inclusion in programs, offering technology that incorporates the needs of individuals with disabilities and supporting easy and safe access to all built features and spaces
  • Requiring bathroom design to include accommodations that support the needs of all individuals. This can include infant changing tables, children’s toilet facilities and sinks, motion sensor lights, skid-resistant floors, and safety grab bars
  • Developing emergency preparedness plans, in addition, to support resources for responding to emergency situations
  • Providing public spaces, amenities, and programming for community members to gather, socialize, and collaborate. This includes designing at least one community space that is at least 2,000 ft2, open at all times during the day, has entry points that are easily accessible from at least one public street, signage at the entrance indicating hours of operation, and the space’s designation for public use, quality seating areas, sufficient lighting, and adhering to a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule. Allowing space to local community groups, student clubs, or non-profit organizations for meetings and events is also encouraged
  • Promoting housing equity for residential projects through the allocation of affordable housing units for low-income tenants

Star of Hope Cornerstone Community Campus, Designed by Kirksey Architecture (Houston, Texas)

Summary

Having a sense of community is central to our health and human experience. The buildings we design and operate not only have the potential to support the health and well-being of occupants, but our community at large as well.

New construction and renovation projects have the potential to impact our community in a positive way by creating a more equitable, diverse, and healthy foundation in which we can thrive. By incorporating community-oriented built spaces and occupant program design strategies, our built environment can support a more healthy and inclusive culture for ourselves, our families, and our society.

Final Thoughts on the ‘Designing for Health’ Series

“Health and well-being are emerging as a global leadership and market differentiation opportunity for property companies and funds around the world.”

– Green Health Partnership & GRESB – Health & Well-being in Real Estate

Design strategies in our built environment are a powerful tool for health and wellness promotion on an individual and collective level. By following guidelines, such as those outlined in the WELL v2 Standard, in our building design process, we can develop Green Buildings that act as preventative healthcare by creating environments that promote our overall health, happiness, and well-being.

Healthy design techniques don’t only benefit occupants. Building owners also see improvements in profitability, attraction, retention, and reduced leasing risk. As a new class of building stock, Green Buildings are a market differentiator that can help meet a tenant’s goals for sustainability or health and wellness initiatives, thus reducing leasing risk by creating “sticky tenants” who are less inclined to leave the space. Tenants also see benefits from these buildings by creating more productive employees as well as improving employee attraction and retention.

Professionals that are responsible for the design, planning, engineering, construction, and managing of buildings, all have the potential to have a positive impact on public health through our work. By embracing strategies that place an emphasis on health promotion, we can make a contribution to society that will outlast ourselves and the life of our buildings.

 

Hero image at top of the page:
Will Smith Zoo School | Lake|Flato Architects | San Antonio, Texas | LEED Platinum

 

Have questions? Give Jon a call:
Jon Young, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
Sustainability Engineer in Training II
713.914.0888
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Read about our Sustainability services 

Q&A With Senior Project Manager, Brent Moe

Brent Moe, PE

Senior Project Manager | Senior Associate

Brent Moe, PE serves as a Senior Project Manager at DBR, with expertise in the K-12 education, government, and liturgical markets. A K-State grad and licensed engineer, Brent’s design expertise includes lighting, power distribution, emergency generating systems, medium voltage systems, as well as fire alarm and security systems. As a project manager, he coordinates the design of all MEP systems with other building trades.

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Brent spent much of his life playing hockey. After moving to Houston, he has had to make do with the limited number of hockey rinks in town. When he’s not on the ice rink, you can find Brent cooking, playing golf, and spending time with his wife Becky and one-year-old daughter Quinn Lee.

Brent enjoys interacting with clients and has fun in the process, but he also knows when it’s time to get down to business. His responsiveness and attention to detail make him a valuable team member at DBR.

 

Q&A with Brent:

 

Q: As an engineer how do you serve as an advocate for your clients and guide them to a successful project?

A: I pride myself on being responsive. When a client calls, they can expect me to answer or respond in a prompt manner.

Q: In your role of Senior Project Manager what are ways that you ensure you and your team deliver or exceed customer expectations?

A: I am a very quality and detail-oriented individual and I expect the same level of quality and detail from my design team. Our clients deserve nothing less.

Q: What is one of your proudest moments as an engineer?

A: My proudest moment as an engineer was when I passed my engineering PE exam. I studied Architectural Engineering in college. Architectural Engineering was the study of building system design. I took the Electrical PE exam instead of the Architectural PE Exam. To prepare for the exam, I spent 6 months studying in the evenings, took an online prep course and a 3-week prep course to learn Electrical Engineering-related topics that I was not taught in school. Passing the test was exciting and a relief. Today, I am most proud when our team and team members are successful.

 

Hero image at top of the page:
Houston ISD – Energy Institute High School | VLK Architects | Houston, Texas

 

Have questions? Give Brent a call:

Brent Moe, PE
Senior Project Manager | Senior Associate
713.914.0888
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Project Spotlight: The Arts Residences at the Thompson Riverwalk Hotel

November 30, 2020 by Kenneth Roland, PE, Partner

Working alongside Powers Brown Architecture, Jordan Foster Construction, and DC Partners developers, DBR has been providing MEP Engineering services for the design and construction of the new Thompson Riverwalk Hotel and Condos. The building is located on the Riverwalk in the middle of San Antonio’s performing arts district.

The 20-story high-rise development includes a 162-room hotel on the first 11 floors with more than 5,000 square feet of riverfront meeting space. The upper floors are comprised of The Arts Residences which include 58 condominiums and 5 penthouses. The condos feature 10-foot ceilings with 10-foot glass windows, Italian kitchen and bathroom cabinetry by PEDINI, and integrated low-voltage lighting inside the kitchen cabinets. The penthouses have large terraces, and 12-foot ceilings and windows. Building amenities include a spa, restaurant, pool deck, fitness center, and private meeting and event space.

Power for the new facility is fed from electrical utility service to an electrical below-grade vault that contains primary overcurrent protection. Meter modules are provided to meter power for each condo and each unit has a residential load center to power electrical circuits. The electrical design also includes LED lighting throughout the building and an emergency generator to serve life safety loads, including lighting, elevators, stair and elevator pressurization fans, fire pump, security, and fire alarm, as well as standby power for the domestic water booster pump.

The building’s mechanical systems consist of a combination of water source heat pumps and water-cooled air handling systems installed both on the roof and throughout the interior of the building. All the outdoor ventilation air for the building is provided by two 100% outdoor air-water source heat pump units located on the roof of the building, with capacities of 60 tons serving the condos, and 120 tons serving the hotel guest rooms, common spaces, and amenity areas.

The condenser water system consists of two closed-circuit fluid coolers and three condenser water pumps, designed to reject heat from all water source heat pumps and the two 100% outside air-water source heat pumps. Three condensing boilers are provided as the heat source for the condenser water loop. The boilers and a hot water circulation pump are installed in a mechanical room located on Level 20 of the building. A plate and frame heat exchanger was provided as part of the condenser water system to recover heat from the air conditioning system to preheat the building’s domestic water prior to entering the water heaters.

For the building’s plumbing system, a water softener conditions the water supply, and a booster pump system delivers water to pressure reducing stations placed on multiple levels. There are two systems that heat domestic hot water, with one dedicated to the hotel and common spaces and the other dedicated to the condos. Specialty spaces have individual water heaters with circulation pumps. The building also includes a Sovent system which is a single-stack drainage system that improves the performance of soil and waste drainage systems and allows the drain, waste, and venting to be accomplished through a single stack. The system is particularly effective in buildings that are more than five stories high, creating considerable cost savings as well as enhanced drainage performance.

Construction began in January 2018. While the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the tourism industry across the country, construction of the Thompson project was able to stay on schedule without delays, and a grand opening is planned for January 2021.

 

Kenneth Roland

PE | Partner
214.217.9500
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Designing for Health: Mind – The WELL v2 Standard

November 24, 2020 by Jon Young, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Sustainability EIT II

“Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

CDC – Mental Health

Mental health is an essential component of our overall wellbeing. Although statistics show that mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and many other developed countries, it is often overlooked and not adequately addressed in our communities or society. However, we all intuitively understand that the mind is a powerful thing. When functioning at its best, the mind can help us achieve extraordinary human accomplishments, while at its worst, can result in debilitating conditions such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.

Remembering that we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, it comes as no surprise that the built environment can play a positive and powerful role in promoting our mental health and well-being. By utilizing appropriate design, programmatic, and policy strategies as outlined in the WELL v2 Standard, we can positively influence not only the lives of employees in the workplace but also the greater community as well.

Montrose Collective, Designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (Houston, Texas)

Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment, Concept 9: Mind

Issue: Mental health is determined by a range of socioeconomic, biological, and environmental factors. The built environment serves as a powerful tool for encouraging both our mental health and productivity. The impact of mental health in the workplace is profound, with depression and anxiety alone costing the global economy an estimated USD $1 trillion due to lost productivity.

Health Implications: The built environment impacts our mental health by incentivizing positive or negative behaviors that are related to risks for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance use. These conditions also put us at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Solution: Broad strategies in Green Buildings include designing spaces to be restorative, promote mindfulness, encourage regular sleep patterns, incorporate access to indoor nature, support productivity and focus, and enhance overall perceived health status.

WELL v2 Standard’s Recommended Strategies:

  • Incorporating nature into a project’s interior and exterior design through design elements that encourage interaction with plants, water, light, views, and indirect access to nature by using natural materials, patterns, colors, or images
  • Promoting mental health by committing to mental health education, awareness, programming, and initiatives
  • Offering mental health support by offering paid time adjustments based on personal circumstances, accommodating individual preferences (e.x. moving a workstation to a busier or quieter area, providing a quiet space for breaks, or allowing the ability to work from home), and use of short or long-term leave for mental health needs
  • Identifying areas of workplace stress and providing programs to address these areas and support work-life balance and stress management
  • Providing restorative opportunities through programs that allow micro and macro-breaks from the workplace such as breaks throughout the workday and sufficient paid time off (PTO)
  • Designing restorative spaces indoors and outdoors that are designated exclusively for contemplation, relaxation, and restoration (not to be used for work). Some design strategies include accessible design, dimmable lights, noise masking (e.x. water feature or natural sounds), thermal comfort, visual privacy, calming colors, textures and forms, comfortable furniture, and nature incorporation
  • Offering programs to building occupants, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or tai chi to promote restoration and relaxation
  • Supporting occupant focus, satisfaction, and productivity by reducing distractions through workplace programs and design. This can be done by providing employees with designated quiet hours, zones, or rooms throughout the day, a stipend for noise-reducing headphones or earplugs, or a visual communication system to indicate do-not-disturb time
  • Supporting healthy sleep habits through lighting design as well as workplace policies, education, and resources to improve sleep hygiene as well as provide opportunities to take short naps during the day
  • Addressing adverse health impacts associated with business travel, especially as they pertain to stress, sleep, personal relationships, and overall health goals. For example, employers can provide the following for their employees when they travel: supporting employee workload while away, booking hotels with free fitness center access, and providing additional time off for employees who attend long business trips
  • Providing employee access to substance abuse, addiction, and tobacco cessation support programs such as counseling, prescription, over-the-counter medications, and nicotine replacement products. Additional strategies include banning the sale of tobacco products on project property and providing education on the health consequences of tobacco to all occupants

2805 Dallas Parkway – First United Bank Plano, Designed by VLK Architects (Plano, Texas)

Summary

Mental health plays an integral role in human health across all stages of life and is essential for our wellbeing. A mentally healthy workforce is not only good for business, but also strengthens and supports our ability to have healthy relationships, make positive life choices, maintain physical health, handle stress, and grow towards our full potential. By utilizing the design techniques, programmatic measures, and policy strategies as outlined in the WELL v2 Standard, we can positively influence the mental health of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our society.

 

Hero image at top of the page:
John Cooper School – Rock, Math & Science Center | Ziegler Cooper Architects | The Woodlands, Texas

 

Have questions? Give Jon a call:
Jon Young, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
Sustainability Engineer in Training II
713.914.0888
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Read about our Sustainability services 

Increasing Project Efficiencies and Real-Time Collaboration with Autodesk BIM 360 Design

November 17, 2020 by Wilfredo Ramirez, Director of BIM, Associate

DBR has transitioned to cloud-based collaboration for all BIM projects, which includes most of our projects. We are also using the Autodesk Revit Cloud Work-sharing and associated applications for observation reports.

DBR began using BIM 360 Teams in 2016 and since then, the firm has transitioned to BIM 360 Design allowing us to not only have one source of truth for our documents but also allowing us to collaborate live and in real-time with other consultants. BIM 360 Design removes our dependency on local servers and the stress of replicating documents from one server to the other with minimal or no IT assistance.

With the onset of COVID-19, DBR was able to quickly transition 90% of our design staff to work from home with almost no major hurdles while working in Revit or AutoCAD. Moving to BIM 360 Design has noticeably increased the open & sync wait time allowing our design staff to focus more on design rather than the dreaded lag times due to buffering. Sharing information internally and with our clients is easier and safer than ever. DBR and our clients can depend on AWS redundancy (Amazon Web Services) and always have real-time documentation.

Linking: 100% of DBR Revit projects are in BIM 360, and 30%-35% of those projects are hosted by our client’s HUB, with the hope to increase this percentage soon. With BIM 360 Design our clients have multiple options when linking (collaborating) Revit models all with their own advantages. 99% of DBR’s projects, when hosted to a client’s HUB, are done by Live Linking allowing our designers the advantage of having real-time information from all consultant models and vice versa.

Permissions: Having all consultants in one platform and accessing documents was a challenge in the old BIM 360 Teams platform. BIM 360 Design has made crucial improvements to permissions allowing the host to assign specific permissions to companies, individuals, and specific folders containing our data. With these improvements, clients can be confident their documents are safe, and they maintain full control of their data. With unlimited storage and multiple backup options, both the host and guests can reduce rework in the event someone makes a mistake.

Clash Detection: As DBR continues to make improvements and provide our clients with quality work our PMs and design staff will focus more on consistently executing early clash detections to reduce in-house and on-field rework while improving the QA/QC process. Navisworks will be used for traditional collaboration projects, and to further improve collaboration DBR will transition to Model Coordination (cloud clash detection) a BIM 360 service that performs live clash detections (more to come on this topic). Additionally, Bluebeam Studio will also be DBR’s workflow solution to coordinate PDF markups and assigning accountability to the process.

DBR is constantly looking at ways we can improve our client experience and we invite new ideas and technologies to enhance the collaboration process.

If you are interested in learning more about BIM 360, our approach to cloud-based collaboration, and/or assistance with setting up a BIM execution plan, please contact Wilfredo Ramirez, Director of BIM.

 

Wilfredo Ramirez

Director of BIM | Associate
713.914.0888
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Q&A With Director of Quality Control, Justin Vollmer

Justin Vollmer, PE

Director of Quality Control | Associate

Justin Vollmer serves as the Director of Quality Control for DBR. A graduate of Baylor University, he holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has over 10 years of experience in the A/E/C industry. Justin is responsible for leading a dedicated team that provides QA/QC reviews for the entire company firm-wide. The QA/QC team has a strong background in architecture and engineering and works with the project teams and sub-consultants in reviewing the project documents to ensure completeness. Justin and his team keep up with coordination items and design checklists to resolve issues before and during construction.

In his spare time, you can find Justin and his wife, Julia, traveling to the beach or anywhere there is a nice, relaxing pool. He is an avid baseball fan (Go ‘Stros) and enjoys spending time with his dog Bentley. He also likes to fish and play golf but does not take either too seriously.

 

Q&A with Justin:

 

Q: Describe how building owners can benefit from the in-house QA/QC team at DBR.

A: Building owners can benefit from DBR’s in-house QA/QC team by having the peace of mind that their MEPFT design was supervised by our great team of technical experts. As one of our primary core values, DBR prides itself on delivering a quality design and service to our clients. As a result, building owners can rest assured that their building systems will operate smoothly and be long-lasting.

Q: When does the QA/QC process begin and end?

A: There is a common misconception that quality control only happens near the end of a project. A thorough review of the plans and specifications does occur in the final stages of each job; however, the QA/QC process begins as soon as our design teams start working on a project. We are involved in the design development early to make sure the overall design scheme meets all necessary code requirements, project goals, etc. and we are also involved in design oversight along the way, ensuring that all the details are spelled out and the scope of work is clearly defined.

Q: What are some of the best practices your team uses to ensure a seamless QA/QC process?

A: Communication is essential to the QA/QC process. Staying on top of schedules and having frequent, constructive discourse with the design team are key to making the process effective. We also make sure to utilize the tools that best aid us in the collaborative design effort. Bluebeam Studio has been a very effective platform for our teams to work together to address any aspects of the design that may need a second look or further coordination.  

 

Hero image at top of the page:
Conroe ISD – Grand Oaks High School | PBK Architects | Conroe, Texas

 

Have questions? Give Justin a call:

Justin Vollmer, PE
Director of Quality Control | Associate
713.914.0888
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