by Adam Roberts
The past year has seen some significant changes in the administration of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), which oversees procurement for the design and construction of most city buildings and infrastructure, serving as a representative for various client agencies. Beset by issues with projects that are delayed, under budget, and not fully funded, the agency’s leadership has made a strong push for internal improvements.
The reforms began last July, when Lorraine Grillo was appointed to serve as Commissioner of DDC. At the time, she was President and CEO of the School Construction Authority (SCA), a role she still maintains. The SCA has been considered by many as among the most effective city agency at handling procurement, while also ensuring on-time and on-budget project delivery. Along with the appointment of Commissioner Grillo, other new executives were also brought in, including Jamie Torres-Springer, a partner at HR&A, as First Deputy Commissioner.
DDC’s new leadership has gone about instituting a new strategic plan, A Strategic Blueprint for Construction Excellence. The Construction Excellence effort aims to improve DDC in four main ways:
- Standardizing project initiation
- Improving project management by DDC staff
- Restructuring contracts to promote on-time and on-budget performance
- Bettering DDC’s internal organization
With so many changes underway, AIA New York is partnering with DDC to improve the architecture community’s understanding of how to work for the agency. On Monday, July 22, from 6-8pm, AIANY will be hosting “Doing Business with DDC”, a session with DDC leadership on procurement. We invite you to learn more about the changes occurring at DDC and ask questions about the agency’s numerous projects and work opportunities.
- From July 17-19, AIA staff and members involved in advocacy work will be convening for the annual State and Local Government Network Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Each year, AIA chapters from throughout the country come together to share their experiences in advocating for good design and the betterment of the architecture profession.
- The Annual North American Passive House Conference was held in New York City from June 27-28. AIANY members had a particularly strong presence and policy issues focal to architecture and other design professions received significant discussion. Most notable was the recent passage of Local Law 97 of 2019, mandating retrofitting of large existing buildings in New York City, legislation AIANY strongly supported.