HUD is Promoting Innovative Resilient Design Solutions in Wake of Sandy in its Rebuild By Design Competition

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received on Friday, July 19, 2013 responses to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Rebuild By Design, a multi-phase regional design competition seeking to promote development of resilience concepts for the Superstorm Sandy affected regions. The RFQ seeks proposals from world class teams with expertise in infrastructure engineering, landscape design, urban design, architecture, land use planning, industrial design, communication and other fields. HUD is itself partnering on the program with The Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Goals of the program are to promote innovative solutions that increase resilience that are regionally-scalable but locally-contextual in the various regions, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding. Example solutions range from small scale residential retrofits to large scale green infrastructure improvements. The focus of the design solutions will be in four areas: coastal communities, high-density urban areas, ecological networks and a fourth including other innovative questions and proposals.

HUD plans to set aside CDBG Disaster Recover (DR) funding specifically to incentivize implementation of the winning proposals. However, the amount of funds to be made available for the implementation program will not be available until Fall 2014. (See Rebuild By Design Program FAQ #1, here)

The program is divided into four stages:

Stage 1 – RFQ phase and short-listing down to 5-10 teams. The short listing will be done by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force consisting of 14 Federal departments and agencies and 9 White House offices. (July 2013)

Stage 2 – Analysis of the region through the collaborative process with a wide-range of stakeholders to develop comprehensive understanding of the region. (August 2013 – October 2013)

Stage 3 – Development of design solutions and selection of key projects with design teams submitting their designs before proceeding to implementation phase. (November 2013 – February 2014). The Rebuild By Design Jury will chose those teams that will proceed to Stage 4, currently an undetermined number.

Stage 4 – Implementation of winning designs and projects after having been developed in close collaboration with governmental and other stakeholders. (Commencing March 2014)

It is important to note that HUD contemplates (a) Design Teams partnering with potential CDBG grantees during Stage 3 who will be introduced throughout the process to design site-specific projects, and (b) Design Teams securing their partnership with one or more potential CDBG grantees as part of their implementation strategy. The jury will make its selection in part based on the proposer’s ability to implement. (FAQ 2)

Teams succeeding to Stage 2 will be compensated $100,000 to participate in Stage 2, and another $100,000 to advance their design through Stage 3.

A full description of the program appears in the “Design Brief” located at here, as supplemented by the FAQs.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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