Department of Design and Construction Appoints Associate Commissioner Alison Landry to Develop Alternatives to Lowest Bid Contracting

Department of Design and Construction Logo Image Credit: DDC

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has announced that Alison Landry, a licensed architect and expert in design-build procurement, will be promoted to a new role: Associate Commissioner of Alternative Delivery.

Alison Landry

Alison Landry joined DCC in early 2020; previously, she has worked as Vice President at the NYC Economic Development Corporation and as an associate at Handel Architects, where she led the team that designed NYC Parks’ Idlewild Nature Center. The design-build pilot program she has helped establish already encompasses eleven projects, with eight more planned. As DDC’s first Associate Commission of Alternative Delivery, she will continue to help DDC expand its design-build work and push New York State legislature to allow even more alternative delivery methods, and on more than a temporary basis.

“This new senior management position represents DDC’s commitment to quality-based contracting that provides taxpayers the best value for their money, not just the lowest bid. This is the future of City construction and it’s a critical part of our Blueprint for improvement,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley.

Said Associate Commissioner Landry, “It is an honor to lead DDC’s alternative delivery team, collaborating with our agency’s talented staff, our sponsor agencies, and world-class design and construction partners to adapt our approach to quality-based procurement and integrated project delivery.”

Alternative Delivery

“Design-build” is a method of procurement that allows the City to contract with a single firm for both design and construction of a project, and allows the selection to be predicated on factors other than cost – factors like quality, timeliness, performance, or ownership by minorities or women. It is distinguished from New York City’s traditional “lowest-bidder” approach, which requires that separate contracts be awarded for design and for construction and requires selection on the basis of cost.

In 2019, passage of the New York City Public Works Investment Act (PWIA) authorized DDC, along with other city departments, to use “design-build” contracting for a limited span of three years. In that time, DDC claims that is has been able to “accelerate project schedules while still delivering projects within budget, with fewer delays and an exceptional rate of participation from minority- and women-owned businesses.”

Future Plans

With PWIA set to expire this year, it remains to be seen how long DDC’s alternative delivery approaches are allowed to continue. DDC is confident, however, that design-build will remain available. According to DDC Press Office Executive Director Ian Michaels, they look forward to “develop[ing] a robust design-build program that will include both public buildings and infrastructure.”

By: Kyle Hunt (Kyle is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)


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