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NYCEDC Announces Three Winners of Change the Course - The NYC Waterfront Construction Competition

Press Release


Dshape, Andrew Rella and John Sheridan of The Sheridan Corporation Awarded $90,000 for Their Waterfront Construction Ideas

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the winners of Change the Course – The NYC Waterfront Construction Competition - which is designed to provide innovative and cost-saving solutions for completing marine construction projects and maintaining waterfront infrastructure in New York City. The three winners will be awarded a total of $90,000 for their selected ideas, and will present to New York City agency representatives and maritime construction professionals, potentially leading to the ideas being incorporated into future NYCEDC waterfront projects.  The awards are a result of a two-phase competition launched by NYCEDC in the fall of 2012 which led to submissions from leading experts across the globe seeking to transform New York City’s waterfront and ensure its sustainability in the 21st century and beyond. The winners were officially announced this morning at the Change the Course Symposium, held at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan.

“Reclaiming and transforming New York City’s hundreds of miles of waterfront has long been a key piece of the Bloomberg Administration’s overall economic development strategy,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “Now, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, establishing a long-term vision for our waterfront has taken on even greater importance. The winning ideas selected as a result of this competition will allow us to address the needs of our City’s aging infrastructure in both an innovative and cost-effective manner, ensuring the sustainability of one of our City’s greatest assets.”

The selected winners for Change the Course are:

  • Dshape ($50,000 First Place Winner) – DShape’s ‘Digital Concrete’ resolves a number of issues regarding the restoration of piers, piles and seawalls that populate New York’s waterfront.  By 3D scanning, then 3D printing concrete, one combines the best of precast and cast-in-place methods.  The advantages of quality control in fabricating off-site yet being able to closely fit the encasements, blocks or extensions to the surface that they are nestled into has a number of advantages, including lower costs, better quality control (thus longer life), lower labor mobilization and quicker delivery and installations.  Furthermore, there is a potential opportunity to rejuvenate the waterfront by letting artists leverage the total freedom of design to add an aesthetic touch without a significant added cost. Dshape estimates the potential cost savings to NYC by utilizing its technology across all 565 miles of shoreline to be $2.9 billion.
  • Andrew Rella ($25,000 Second Place Winner) – Oysters are normally cultured near the surface because this is where the highest flow rates are, and therefore where there is the highest transfer rate of the phytoplankton and algae that the oysters feed on.  By down-welling highly oxygenated and nutrient enriched surface water through the means of a wave pump to oysters being grown at deeper depths, the quality of the water surrounding the oysters will be improved and will result in improved growth and decreased mortality rates.  Increasing the oyster population in a body of water could have dramatic positive effects, creating nesting grounds and improving the water quality.  Since it has been proven that oysters are capable of increasing the structural strength of the concrete which they grow upon, developing methods that encourage growth at greater depths will allow for more surface area to be covered, strengthening and protecting a higher percentage of the structure.
  • John Sheridan of The Sheridan Corporation ($15,000 Third Place Winner) – By using more durable construction materials such as stainless steel and special mixes of concrete at a cost premium of 20%, it is entirely possible to realize an increase in the expected service life span of a waterfront structure from the current 50 years to a goal of 120 years, or more than 100%. For more economical and sustainable marine waterfront structures, value is not equivalent to cost, rather value is a function of both cost and duration of service life.

Nearly half of NYC’s 565 miles of shoreline is owned by the City of New York and includes a wide range of structures, many of which are deteriorating and will require rehabilitation or replacement in the coming years and decades.  This work has increasingly become prohibitively expensive, driven by the cost of construction materials, labor, outdated construction methods and technologies, regulations and other factors.  Through the NYC Waterfront Construction Competition, NYCEDC and the Hudson River Park Trust have sought competitive proposals for innovative and cost-saving solutions for completing marine construction projects in New York City.

"Repairing piles and in-water construction are far and away the biggest expenses for Hudson River Park, including at Pier 40," said Hudson River Park Trust President and CEO, Madelyn Wils.  "HRPT applauds all the competitors who took up the challenge of proposing new and innovative ways of using habitat friendly materials and new technology to change the way these repairs are done.  We look forward to piloting these projects at Pier 40 as soon as they are ready."

"Dshape is excited to not only take part, but to win the Change the Course Waterfront Construction Competition," said JF Brandon, part of Dshape.  "We are thrilled to have our ideas recognized by the City, and we hope that our proposal will impact the waterfront for years to come."

The Change the Course NYC Waterfront Competition was comprised of two phases.  Phase I consisted of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) issued in the fall of 2012.  All RFEI responses were evaluated using the submission requirements and selection criteria outlined in the RFEI. A numbers of finalists were selected to participate in Phase II, which was launched in January 2013 and asked for responses to NYCEDC’s Request for Proposals (RFP).  Respondents to the RFP expanded on their initial proposals to address critical factors that drive the cost and duration of maritime construction in New York City and practical solutions to offset those factors.  The winners were selected by NYCEDC, which received guidance throughout the competition from an advisory committee comprised of industry experts and community stakeholders.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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