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Project Excellence

The City of New York is committed to achieving excellence in design and construction across its portfolio of public works by delivering quality infrastructure and public buildings that contribute to a thriving, equitable, sustainable and resilient city for all New Yorkers.  As part of this commitment, the Department of Design and Construction’s Project Excellence program builds on a strong tradition of innovation in architecture and engineering through strategies and practices that balance aesthetics, functionality, cost, constructability, and durability to bring form and meaning to public space.

Project Excellence encompasses all aspects of project delivery, from capital project planning through design, construction, commissioning, and close-out, to ensure on time and on budget delivery of exemplary civic projects.  Integrated project delivery practices include enhanced project initiation and management tools, Quality-Based Selection (QBS) and best value procurements, performance evaluation and management, knowledge sharing, and continuing education.  Together, these strategies ensure that all capital projects delivered to the City are inspiring, enduring, practical, constructible, and economical.

Achieving Project Excellence requires all team members to engage collaboratively in the capital project delivery process, prioritizing strategies that make responsible use of public funds and offer the best value for the City.  DDC’s project managers, technical reviewers, and support staff work to guide projects through complex and demanding project delivery processes in partnership with the most creative and experienced design and construction professionals.  DDC and our partners share a commitment to Project Excellence in the public realm as characterized by the following overarching concepts: 

Project Excellence utilizes the power of design and construction to positively transform our public space, inspiring pride in the people and City of New York. The design of public buildings and infrastructure must be guided by a civic consciousness and social responsibility to provide spaces that promote discourse, exemplify accessible government, and inspire pride in our communities. The design and construction process must reflect a collaborative effort that is inclusive of all stakeholders, including sponsor, partner, and regulatory agencies, and the community. 

Project Excellence shapes the city we envision for today and the future by creating enduring and inclusive public spaces. With design and construction of public projects comes the responsibility of shaping the City for generations to come. Dignified, universally accessible, and community-oriented, public spaces must make all New Yorkers feel welcome and valued, comfortable and secure. By thoughtfully responding to surrounding context, including neighborhood character and natural systems, the design must create and reinforce a sense of place that is enhanced by strong connections to existing community resources and mobility networks. The design and construction process must engage relevant stakeholders and experts to consider cultural context and integrate artwork wherever possible in support of meaningful public spaces.

Project Excellence protects the legacy of our public space by carefully considering practical solutions that address the needs of our City. Public projects must be well suited for their intended use and adaptable to future needs. Our public buildings and infrastructure must meet the needs and aspirations of New York City’s public agencies as expressed in their individual missions, goals, standards, and requirements. The design must seek a creative balance between functional and programmatic requirements, operational and maintenance protocols, construction practices, and performance and innovation. Sustainable, resilient, durable, and easily maintained, the project must be guided by a holistic view of the capital asset over its expected lifespan. The design must consider solutions to long-term and emergent risks and opportunities, such as changing climate and public safety conditions, as well as new technologies and ways of living and working.

Project Excellence strengthens the character of our public space by delivering constructible capital projects with safety and integrity. Building New York City requires the ability to execute projects in a safe, effective, and timely manner while maintaining the integrity of the design throughout construction. The design of our public buildings and infrastructure must be represented by complete, comprehensive, and accurate contract documents that are clearly detailed and coordinated across disciplines, and that meet or exceed requirements of code, zoning, accessibility, and local laws. Specifications must be carefully coordinated with drawings and material schedules and be tailored to the requirements of each project. Materials and systems must be proven, readily available, and achievable with local construction practices to minimize lead times, eliminate cost overruns, and prevent construction delays.

Project Excellence supports the value of our public space by employing an economical approach that leverages City resources to build lasting community assets. Design and construction by and for the City requires conscientious attention to schedule, budget, and operational costs to ensure that public funds are well spent, and communities well served. The project must incorporate a life-cycle cost analysis approach and prioritize selection of long-lasting systems and assemblies that are achievable within the allocated budget. Systems must perform to the highest standards of human health, comfort and efficiency, meet or exceed energy requirements, and operate as designed. The project must be calibrated to reduce construction and operating costs and complexity, positively impact the health of the environment, and use natural resources wisely. Using City-wide and agency standards and best practices, innovative methodologies, and appropriate technologies, the design must add value and do more with less.

To support Project Excellence, DDC seeks architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, engineers, construction managers, contractors, and design-build teams who are dedicated, responsive, and collaborative, and who possess the management skills necessary to complete work on time and on budget.  DDC’s partners must have a proven track record of delivering quality projects while resolving complex requirements and navigating unforeseen circumstances.  Team-oriented and adept at balancing competing demands, these professionals must go beyond the creation of contract documents to serve as facilitator, mediator, and interpreter, building trust among the many stakeholders throughout the life of a project.