Three years ago, New York – a state rarely thought of as a bastion of economic efficiency – instituted a program employed in the vast majority of states across the nation that has allowed expensive government construction projects to be completed faster and cheaper. This process, called Design-Build, is a method of project construction in which a single entity works under one contract with the project owner to deliver design, construction, engineering and sub-contracting services. Design-Build controls the project from conception to completion, eliminating inefficient and costly redundancies.
The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) estimates that on average, design-build projects are completed 33 percent faster and can save up to six (6) percent on cost.
When one considers the importance and magnitude of public construction projects – highways, bridges, dams, mass transit infrastructure, schools, etc. – it’s not hard to understand why Design-build’s ability to deliver projects on-time and under budget is widely regarded as the new standard in America and across the world.
Just last month, New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald credited New York’s design-build applications as responsible for thousands of new jobs in the Empire State while avoiding cost overruns and project delays, and increasing quality control and assurance for important public projects.
However New York’s notorious labor unions have little use for efficiency or cost savings.
As New York’s 2014-15 budget negotiations continue, Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Sheldon Silver-led Assembly and a Senate coalition comprised of 29 Republicans and 5 Independent Democrats are considering mandating Project Labor Agreements (PLA) for all design-build projects over $10 million.
Requiring the use of PLAs on design-build projects will negate all of the program’s potential benefits, rendering the application of design-build useless and making New York the first state in the nation to implement design-build and then essentially negotiate its benefits away to powerful labor interests.
Unshackle and its partners have cried foul and publicly opposed any efforts to limit potential applications of design-build in New York.
Please join us. Contact your Senator and Assemblymember today and tell them to keep New York growing, keep Design-Build.