Architecture & Engineering

Architecture & Engineering (A&E) is organized into four Studios: Design Consultant Management Studio, In-House Design Studio, Operations Studio, and the Technical Standards and Support Studio, each guided by a Studio Director working together under the leadership of the Departmental Vice President. A&E is responsible for the development of scope, design and construction documents for capital improvement projects at existing schools, and for programming, design and construction documents for new school buildings, additions and lease conversions. A&E also provides ongoing professional services for construction administration during the projects' construction phase.

The SCA Department of Architecture & Engineering will deliver designs for safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for the children of the City of New York by consistently eliciting the highest standards of quality and performance from all Architecture & Engineering staff and consultants. We are committed to the SCA's goal of building and modernizing public schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity.

The SCA is committed to delivering designs for safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools by consistently eliciting the highest standards of quality and performance from staff and consultants alike.

Design services for capital projects funded by the Department of Education's Five-Year Capital Plan are provided by both In-House Architects and Engineers, and by consultant design firms. These professional services are provided during scope, design and construction. Design services are managed by the SCA's Architecture & Engineering Department.

All capital projects must adhere to available technical standards developed by the SCA to ensure quality, cost effectiveness, constructibility and sustainability. These standards include: Design Requirements, Standard Specifications, Standard Details and Room Planning Standards. Compliance with the NYC Green Schools Guide ensures that the stringent sustainability goals of NYC Local Law 32/16 are met. A&E Procedural Guidelines lay out procedures and protocols for the execution of capital projects. Standards Bulletins advise designers of new and revised technical standards.

Capital projects generally fall into three categories:

  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
  • Capacity (or Line)
  • Resolution A and CTF (Capital Task Force)
In-House Design Studio

In-House Design Studio

The In-House Design Studio is comprised of architects and engineers of all the major disciplines. The In-House technical staff scopes, designs and provides construction services in architectural, structural, electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), and plumbing and drainage components of their assigned Capital Improvement and new Capacity projects. They also review the work prepared by the consultants managed by the Design Consultant Management Studio, and provide technical assistance to A&E Studios and to SCA's Construction Management Department. In-house expediters reside in the Studio for the projects designed in-house. The Elevator/Escalator, Acoustical and MEP (mechanical/electrical/plumbing) Testing and Emergency contracts are managed in the In-House Design Studio for the projects designed in-house and for the review of consultant's work. Responsibilities:

  • Design Review: Management and implementation of Design Review for all projects designed in the Design Consultant Management Studio
  • Design Services: Design Services during scope, design and construction for all projects assigned to In-House Design Studio to turn over projects to meet the Fiscal Year (FY) commitment plan and to ensure quality of construction, and adherence to project contract documents and SCA standards.
  • Design Management: Management of all of the projects designed by the In-House Design Studio.
  • Project Notifications: Meetings and Project Notifications for all projects.
  • Standards Compliance: Implement Standards Bulletin Compliance procedures when new standards are issued to ensure current requirements are implemented.
  • Special Assignments: Special design assignments in the SCA and Inspector General (IG) buildings.
  • Technical Support: Professional support as needed on Department of Education (DOE) and SCA projects (Roof Top Unit [RTU] design evaluation exercise, SCA emergency response, pre-scoping for PlaNYC Boiler program, professional representation with other NYC agencies, special requests from Tweed, support for Technical Standards Studio, etc.).
  • Quality Control: With TSS, develop Design Review checklists to ensure quality control at design milestones.
Design Consultant Management Studio

Design Consultant Management Studio

The Design Consultant Management Studio is responsible for the design of architectural, structural, electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), plumbing and drainage components of Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Capacity projects. These functions are accomplished by utilizing the professional services of design consultants under contract to the SCA. The management of the scope and design for Capital Task Force (CTF) projects resides within this Studio. Within the Studio, the design managers (DM) supervise the design project managers (DPM), also known as senior construction assessment specialists (SCAS), who manage the consultants directly.

Technical Standards & Support Studio

Technical Standards & Support Studio

Technical Standards & Support Studio (TSS) is a multifunctional unit that maintains the technical standards of the SCA and supports the other studios through its three units: the CADD Unit, the Estimating Unit, and the Technical Standards Group.

The CADD Unit is a multi-function A&E unit that manages several areas of support. These areas include AutoCAD/Revit user assistance, CAD/BIM standards, AutoCAD/Revit user training, plotters and printers, manages the Plans Desk, manages the Alchemy database of school drawings, and performs review of A&E related electronic documents. The CADD Unit also publishes departmental bulletins and documents on the A&E Homepage. The CADD Unit maintains the AutoCAD system and plans desk for the In House Design Studio as well as the SCA's drawing archive system.

  • The A&E Plans Desk provides a single point of contact within the SCA for A/E PCM (CM13) requests and A/E related PCM (CM13) issues. It also manages the PCM (CM13) accounts for the in-house staff as well as A&E consultants. The Plans Desk is responsible for and acts as a clearing house for all in-house project shop drawing submittals.

The Estimating Unit is responsible for performing estimates on SCA in-house projects and review of consultant estimates. The Estimating Unit prepares cost estimates for projects designed in-house at all prescribed stages of the project, reviews and approves similar estimates prepared by consultants, performs cost analysis, tracks construction costs and maintains historical cost data.

The Technical Standards Group develops and maintains the SCA Design Standards for architectural, structural, electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), and plumbing and drainage trades, which govern school design and construction quality. They are also responsible for value engineering, site/facility assessment and feasibility studies, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) submissions tracking, management of the Facilities Management Systems Integrator (FMSI) group, and, in collaboration with the other studios, development of design review and technical staff training. The following are a listing of the various responsibilities:

  • Standards: Establish, uphold, and update all SCA technical standards, including Design Requirements, Room Planning Standards, Standard Specifications, Standard Details, and Green Schools Guide, and provide associated training for A&E and CM staff.
  • New Code: Revise SCA Standards to conform to the new Building Code to ensure appropriate implementation of New NYC Construction Codes throughout the SCA by providing training and revising Standards accordingly.
  • A&E Procedural Guidelines: Coordinate the development of, and issue, A&E Procedural Guidelines (Internal/External and Internal Only, depending on topic) to SCA and consultants.
  • Interdepartmental Collaboration: Coordinate and lead meetings with Construction Management (CM), Building Code Compliance (BCC) and Construction Inspection Division (CID) regarding standards and contract requirements. Meet with various departments at DOE regarding needs and preferences (Operations & Maintenance, Accessibility, Curriculum Leaders, United Federation of Teachers [UFT], Office of School Food and Nutrition Services [OSFNS], Division of Instructional and Information Technology [DIIT], Pupil Transportation, etc.).
  • Green Design: Develop and maintain the NYC Green Schools Guide and Rating System, implement submission reviews and approve certification for NYC Green Schools, and provide support for all Green Schools requirements and activities. Reports to City Hall on all Local Law 86 applicable projects.
  • R&D: Perform Product Review & Research new materials/vendors/manufacturers to be included in specs.
  • Program of Requirements for New Schools: Maintain Standard Programs of Requirements (POR), issue and update POR's for all Capacity (CAP) projects, and provide programming support to Capital Planning and Real Estate.
  • Design Review Standards and Checklists: Along with In-House Design Studio, maintain and update design review standards to ensure quality and consistency in Design Review.
  • Liaison to DOE on design-related issues: Act as A&E liaison to DOE instructional and administrative groups at Tweed on new programs and requirements that might affect SCA Standards; also to other DOE facilities infrastructure groups, i.e. DIIT, School Safety, OBS, OSFNS, CTF, etc. as requirements for new Standards are developed.
  • Feasibility Studies: All Field Reports and Feasibility Studies (with support from In-House Design Studio) for potential new school facilities.
  • SHPO Coordination: Manage and route SHPO submissions through the SCA's Legal Department to SHPO, as well as manage the correspondence with SHPO during the detailed submission review process. Submissions are reviewed/edited for acceptability, clarity, and historic compliance.
  • Technical Support: Provide technical support and advice as requested by the A&E Design Studios, Construction Management and other SCA departments
  • FMSI: Manage Facilities Management Systems Integrator (FMSI), who commission Building Management Systems, contract that provides technical support to A&E, CM, CID and Commissioning.
Capital Projects

Capital Projects

Capital projects generally fall into three categories:

Capital Improvement Program (CIP): CIP projects maintain and upgrade existing school facilities. They are generally smaller than line projects and involve work such as interior/exterior building upgrades, roof and boiler replacements, electrical work, security systems, room conversions and transportable classrooms. Their estimated construction value typically ranges from $1 million to $10 million.

To view a list of CIP projects the SCA anticipates bidding out in the next six months, click the following link: Capital Improvement Projects Anticipated Contract Awards

Capacity (or Line): Capacity Projects...

Resolution A and CTF (Capital Task Force): Resolution "A" (Reso "A") projects are school specific capital improvement or enhancement projects that are funded through individual grants which are allocated by the Borough Presidents or members of the New York City Council. These projects are very important to the school community because they provide enhancements and upgrades to existing facilities. The most common Reso "A" projects are upgrades to a school's technology, auditorium, playground, science Lab and other specialty classrooms. The SCA has also been able to utilize Reso "A" funding to complete some unique and innovative projects such as a Challenger Space Center, an Edible Schoolyard (farm), planetarium upgrade and Green roofs. The SCA is grateful to our elected officials for entrusting us with this capital funding that has led to numerous enhancements in schools throughout the City.

Capital Task Force (CTF) projects are, as a rule, small capital projects typically built by Division of School Facilities (DSF) Skilled Trades or Job Order Contract (JOC) contractors.

Requirements for Design Consultants

To be eligible for a design assignment, a consultant firm must have a Requirements Contract with the SCA. To secure a contract, the firm must respond to an RFP for design services that are appropriate for the firm. If selected through the SCA's RFP selection process, a firm must be pre-qualified prior to being awarded a contract.

To begin the prequalification process, please go to the Vendor Access System and fill out the online application. To propose for a contract, a firm must have the requisite professional qualifications and experience to support the specific type of design work needed.

Firms that are interested in receiving an RFP for design work should email an expression of their interest, along with information about their work, to the Architecture & Engineering Department at AE Info or to any of the A&E senior staff.

Requirements for Design Sub-consultants

Sub-consultants do not hold contracts with the SCA, but rather with the "prime" contracted consultants. Sub-consultants, unless their services will be a one-time specialty service to the prime, must also be pre-qualified with the SCA. Acting as a sub-consultant on SCA projects is a good way for the firm to get to know the SCA, and vice-versa, and so may facilitate winning a prime contract in the future.

Types of Design Requirements Contracts

Design Requirements Contract types include:

  • Capacity Project services
  • CIP A/E services
  • CIP MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) services
  • Landscape Design services

There are also a variety of specialty and testing services. Smaller projects such as Resolution A and CTF are typically assigned to firms with CIP or Landscape Contracts.

The Operations Studio

The Operations Studio

The "Ops" Studio provides support services to A&E through its three specialized groups: CCFU, MSU, and TDU.

The Consultant Contract Funding Unit (CCFU) oversees and coordinates consultant payments. The Operations Studio's Consultant Contract Funding Unit (CCFU) is responsible for the management and interpretation of the compensation and payment aspects of A&E Design Consultant contracts for:

  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
  • Capacity Program
  • Testing and Specialty Services Program
  • Public Art for Public Schools (PAPS) Program
  • Local Law

The management of these contracts requires the timely payment for work performed by the assigned design consultants. Payment review has two parts, financial and technical. CCFU is responsible for performing the financial review and the assigned A&E Design Studio is responsible for the technical review

Although the basic contract agreement between A&E and the design consultant has not changed much over the years, the Appendices of these contracts evolve as business practices change and with each SCA solicitation for design services. CCFU is responsible managing all of these contractual nuances to ensure the SCA is never at risk from an audit standpoint and that the design consultants are compensated fairly.

For projects initiated under an A&E requirements contracts, a Request for Payment (RFP) is made through the Oracle Requirements Contract Management System (ORCMS). Payment cannot be processed for work performed unless an Authorization to Proceed (ATP) has been issued and obligated. The ATPs represent the official authorization from the SCA to proceed with the work specified, and also provide the mechanism by which funds for this work are obligated in the Oracle Financial System. The Consultant Contract Funding Unit (CCFU) oversees and coordinates consultant payments.

The Management Support Unit (MSU) provides assistance to the Design Studios through a variety of periodic and ad hoc planning and tracking reports related to the assignment and delivery of Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Capacity projects. MSU provide A&E management support to assist in the deliverance of project workload to meet the SCA's Commitment Plan goals. We provide business management of A&E requirements contracts, pipeline reporting and processing of consultant contract requests, project assignment and authorization management, general operations support tasks including A&E moves, and Motor Pool management, and the management of A&E Extension of Staff (EOS)/Recruitment Contracts. MSU also provides management and reporting on the overall tracking of fiscal year goals.

The Training and Development Unit (TDU) develops process and implementation improvement strategies, and coordinates related training for the A&E technical and management staff. TDU is also responsible for creating training manuals for the A&E staff, and CIP and Capacity consultant manuals to be used by the A&E design consultants. TDU also manages A&E's special projects such as developing A&E forms, SCAN, Master Contact Form, RFI and Bulletin Tracking System, etc.