Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

Press Releases

March 9, 2016

The New York City Department of Design and Construction Enhances Design Excellence 2.0 Program and Releases Guiding Principles

New guidelines include framework to incorporate equity, sustainability, resiliency and healthy living in city’s public buildings and infrastructure

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

Long Island City—New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will unveil new guiding principles for its Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program at the AIA-NY headquarters on March 9th, for the purpose of providing fundamental building-aims to consultants when they partner with the department to construct the city’s public landscape.

The new guidelines will ensure that projects are built with a commitment to the highest standards of sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living for the millions of New Yorkers that use the public facilities. Additionally, they will provide framework for durable, aesthetically pleasing projects that may be enjoyed by future generations of New York City residents and their guests.

“The guiding principles are important because they are meant to encourage our building partners to unleash the creativity of their respective design teams while meeting the city’s needs” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “In keeping with Mayor de Blasio’s visions for a more equitable, sustainable, resilient and healthy city, we are proud to present the guiding principles as a foundation for innovation when it comes to building in the boroughs.”

The Guiding Principles provide a framework that encourages its architects, engineers, landscape architects and related professionals to use a performance-based approach to engage issues of equity, sustainability, resiliency and healthy living. These Principles apply to the design of projects for a variety of City agencies, ranging from police, fire, and other first-responder facilities to libraries and cultural projects, as well as facilities serving the aged, youth, families, and children. DDC’s infrastructure projects improve water and drainage systems, makes streets safer and builds plazas and other public spaces where people gather, relax, and socialize. DDC is in the process of engaging a new set of how many architects who will work with the Principles within the DCE 2.0 process.

The guiding principles ensure equity, which explicitly engages the need to make access to resources and services available to all New Yorkers, and especially to those most in need of them. Agency clients make choices about locations and program functions based on equity needs, and DDC designs and builds in a way that makes the strategies explicit and welcoming. They also make sure that DDC’s designs are sustainable because responding to key environmental challenges of our time is critical for the sake of the city and global posterity. In addition to these principles, resiliency is stressed in order to plan ahead and adapt buildings and infrastructure to limit damage induced by the changes and threats, such as another storm like Hurricane Sandy, already evident or highly likely to occur. Lastly, healthy living is included because buildings, streetscapes, parks, and other projects can powerfully aid active living and mental health.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $10 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit