Design-Build will allow DDC to complete public projects faster and more efficiently. Design-Build emphasizes collaboration, efficiency, and risk reduction, which means we can open libraries, fire stations, and maintenance facilities sooner. We also expect that it will accelerate road, water, and sewer projects. This improved approach will benefit our partners in the design and construction process, our City, our sponsor agencies, and the New Yorkers who rely on our projects.
The vendor selection process will prioritize design, qualifications, and experience–along with the proposed cost–to emphasize best value. Our objective is high-quality design delivered by an experienced team that will collaborate at all stages of the design and construction process. DDC seeks proposers that are dedicated, responsive, and collaborative, exemplifying the principles that guide the agency’s Design and Construction Excellence program. With clear project performance requirements established early in the process, our design-build teams can deliver public assets that are inspiring, enduring, practical, constructible, and cost-sensitive.
The program is very different than the City’s traditional method of awarding separate design and construction contracts. A single entity, which may include one or more firms, will be responsible to the City for both design and construction. Because the designer and builder are on the same team and work together from the beginning, there is emphasis on collaboration, quality, and commitment to project excellence. This improved coordination can ensure development of more reliable project costs and durations. With a clearly defined project scope, schedule, and contract value at an early point in project delivery, construction risk is reduced for both the City and the design-builder.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is the first part of the vendor selection process. The intent of the RFQ is to create a short list of the most highly qualified proposers. In response to the RFQ, proposers provide a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to demonstrate the team’s ability to undertake the complete design and construction work for each project. DDC will rank SOQs that it receives to identify a short list of the most highly qualified proposers based on general capability, capacity, qualifications, experience and past performance. Only short-listed firms will be eligible to participate in the second phase of the procurement, the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase. At the RFP phase, DDC will release scoping documents, including detailed information on project requirements, and the draft Design-Build agreement. Once the short list is published, other firms that had not been involved in the RFQ process will have an opportunity to partner with the design-build teams on the list.
There is no role requirement for the leadership of the design-build team (for example, teams may be designer-led). It is desirable that the team has collective experience in Design-Build and related project delivery methods and other alternative project delivery methods. If key members of the team do not have this experience, the proposer may indicate familiarity with the objectives of this alternative delivery approach and demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship between design and construction under the Design-Build project delivery approach.
DDC intends to use in its Design-Build program qualified firms that have a demonstrated history of hiring, training, developing, promoting, and retaining minority and women staff and to encourage participation by City- and State-certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) firms. Each project will be subject to carefully developed M/WBE participation goals for both design/consulting and construction activities. DDC has a dedicated office to support M/WBE’s with one-on-one assistance, access to resources and workshops, information about funding and bonding, mentorship programs, and much more.
DDC continues to advocate for and receive extensions from the State for the use of Design-Build. The New York City Public Works Investment Act (PWIA) authorized DDC and other City agencies to use design-build project delivery on certain projects. Since publication of the 2021 Design-Build Progress Report, the City successfully advocated for and received a five-year extension of the PWIA from the State. In addition, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) was authorized to use design-build. The City of New York Design-Build Program 2022 Progress Report to the New York State Legislature summarizes recent progress. The report details expected cost and time savings, expands on other benefits of design-build, outlines participation goals by Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, and lists the projects in the program. It also details the City’s recent recommendations, including further modifying the PWIA to allow more flexibility in structuring design-build procurements to shrink procurement schedules, maximize collaboration between the City and proposing teams, and control costs.
The City recommends that legislation permit a single-step RFP process (as opposed to a two-step process) referred to as Progressive Design Build (PDB). This allows an accelerated procurement, reduces the resource-intensive RFP phase of procurements, and shifts project investigations and associated risk management to the post-award phase. Once a design-builder is selected, PDB allows for an iterative, collaborative process between the selected design-builder and the project owner that leads to a specific scope that meets projects goals and requirements. With this due diligence work in place, the design-builder can develop a more accurate delivery plan, schedule, and pricing, ensuring a high-quality project, further reducing risk, and accelerating the overall project delivery process.
The New York City Public Works Investment Act (PWIA) legislation that enables the City to award Design Build contracts requires the use of a project labor agreement (PLA). The Design-Builder’s subcontractors performing construction work must comply with the PLA.
The City of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) of Greater New York have been parties to various PLAs since 2009. These PLAs have been an important component of the City's completion and delivery of public works by establishing consistent works rules across construction projects, reducing the administrative burden and costs on construction agencies, and providing opportunities for City residents and businesses. The recent PLAs also increase opportunities and adds flexibility for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), allowing their workforce to gain valuable experience on City projects and build their companies and provide good paying career opportunities for low-income communities.
Currently, there are two PLAs that are currently applicable to DDC’s Design-Build Projects. There is one Citywide Design-Build PLA for vertical work, which is used by DDC, as well as other City agencies permitted. The second Design-Build PLA applies only to three specific DDC horizontal infrastructure projects.
For more information on PLAs, as well as all PLAs entered into by the City, please visit the Project Labor Agreements page on the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services website.