Design and Construction Excellence 2.0

DDC picks 26 firms to design New York’s new public buildings

Architecture East News Newsletter
Dattner and WXY's Spring Street Salt Shed, one of hundreds of civic projects built through the DDC's Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program. (Image via Field Condition)
Dattner and WXY's Spring Street Salt Shed, one of hundreds of civic projects built through the DDC's Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program. (Image via Field Condition)

Today the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced the latest round of local firms pre-qualified to design public projects in the five boroughs.

Through the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program, the 26 firms will have exclusive access to respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) through 2019 for projects with an estimated cost of $50 million or less. The program, founded in 2005, is designed to reduce the time it takes for the agency to procure design services: Once selected, firms can submit “mini-proposals” for public buildings, additions and renovations, parks, and plazas that are then evaluated and selected by committee for construction. 

The program’s recent projects include Snøhetta’s Times Square pedestrian plaza, Dattner and WXY’s Spring Street Salt Shed, Studio Gang’s Brooklyn firehouse and training facility, and BIG’s police station in the Bronx. Firms from the last round of the program (2013-2016) worked on 53 DDC projects and billed more than $26 million in design fees.

“By promoting quality design, we can improve our city’s long-term resilience and sustainability, enhance access, mobility and public services, and contribute to the unique character and rich culture that make New York special,” said Public Design Commission executive director Justin Garrett Moore, in a statement. “For over a decade, the DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Program has been one of the City’s best tools to deliver quality public projects. This new round of DCE 2.0 firms builds on that legacy and reflects the diversity, creativity, and expertise that we need to help build our City and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout our five boroughs.”

Nine of the firms selected for this round are owned by women or people of color. In fiscal year 2015, the DDC gave one-third of its contracts—valued at $242 million—to Minority- or Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), part of the mayor’s goal to award 30 percent of all city contracts (in dollars) to MWBEs.

This year’s list, below, is divided into four categories based on company size, and includes 12 prior participating firms:

Micro firms (1 to 5 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost up to $5 million)

Small firms (6 to 20 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $2 to $15 million)

Medium firms (21 to 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $10 to $35 million)

Large firms (Over 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $25 to $50 million)

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