From City Limits:
This winter, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers went without heat or hot water at one point or another during the frigid winter months in NYCHA properties – totaling roughly 80 percent of NYCHA residents. This has prompted an intense discussion across the state about the best ways to make positive changes and repairs to the beleaguered system. One of those solutions is the proposed implementation of a design-build system for NYCHA.
On its own, this is a positive step forward that the state should not hesitate to enact. I have repeatedly advocated for such a system because it would streamline the process through which critical repairs are made at NYCHA. But there is a catch: it is likely to be accompanied with a project labor agreement (PLA) that would mitigate any gains.
A design-build makes sense for NYCHA because it allows for the initial conception of a project to be coupled under the same contract as the active construction, skipping a step in the traditional design-bid-build process. Streamlining the construction process is a desirable outcome in almost any context, but it is especially noteworthy when discussing NYCHA. This last winter has laid bare the negative consequences further delays could have on public housing residents – delays in routine boiler repairs is what left them out in the cold, after all. That makes the sense of urgency more than appropriate.
Read the entire article: City Limits