Construction for a Livable City

Construction Shed Design Competition
Call for Ideas

Construction sheds protect pedestrians from falling objects and dangerous activity on construction sites.  At the same time, sheds cover nearly 200 miles of New York City sidewalks and remain erect almost one full year.  While practical, construction shed design has remained unchanged for decades and sheds are, at best, unsightly, while taking up valuable public space and degrading the pedestrian experience.  This Call for Ideas is seeking proposals for a new construction shed design that tackles these problems.

The New York Building Foundation and the New York Building Congress Task Force on Innovation and Best Practices are inviting building industry members to participate in a design initiative to develop an innovative, aesthetically improved construction shed design concept that could be used on New York City construction sites.

Design Challenge
The goal of this competition is to leverage the expertise and ingenuity of the building Industry to develop preliminary shed design concepts that could meet New York City Department of Buildings requirements while thoughtfully addressing a major quality of life issue for New Yorkers, whose primary interface with the industry is the imposing sheds and other temporary structures which border construction sites. 

The Foundation is seeking shed design concepts suitable for:

  • New commercial construction in central business districts.
  • New small- to midsize residential and commercial projects.
  • Local Law 11 masonry repair work, particularly on older multi-story residential buildings with more limited budgets and more design constraints.

Competition Format
Entrants are asked to submit one conceptual or schematic design representing a buildable construction shed.  A competition committee of industry experts will evaluate entries based on aesthetics and constructability.

Winning designs will be promoted by the Building Congress.  The Building Congress will further work to develop and implement the design among its members and throughout the industry.  Up to four winners will share a $10,000 prize.

All sectors of the industry are encouraged to participate.  Collaboration between architecture, engineering, and other specialties is further encouraged. 

Design/Evaluation Criteria
The following criteria will be used to evaluate submissions.  Shed designs should:

  • Elevate the standard of design quality for construction sheds.
  • Be able to meet Department of Buildings engineering standards once fully designed.
  • Ensure constructability.  Specifically, designs should:
    • Be easy to install;
    • Incorporate existing and/or widely available materials, if possible;
    • Employ materials that are reusable for multiple installations; and
    • Minimize added costs to owners or scaffolding companies.
  • Consider the functionality of the design, namely:
    • Applicability in a variety of neighborhood contexts;
    • A design which encourages adoption by diverse users; and
    • Improve tenant and owner spaces.

Submission Criteria
Firms or individual employees of firms are eligible to compete.  Submissions should provide a single drawing or conceptual sketch along with a brief narrative explaining overall design objectives, materials used, and how the design would meet DOB engineering standards. 

The competition is not seeking construction drawings.  Rather, winning designs must be creative and demonstrate buildability.

Submissions should be in PDF format, no greater than 10MB.  Images should clearly demonstrate the functionality of the design.  Section 3307 of the New York City Building Code has strict load requirements that will significantly impact designs, so consideration of these standards is imperative.

Winning submissions will be announced in a press release and on the Building Congress website.  Winners will also receive recognition at an upcoming Building Congress event.  

Winners agree to allow concepts to be used by the New York Building Foundation and firms desiring to implement them on New York City construction sites.

Submissions should be made to Please contact Andrew Hollweck at (212) 481-9230 or at for further details.


  • July 15, Call for Ideas release date
  • July 28, Presentation and Q&A session for participants
    Sciame Construction, 14 Wall St., 8:30 a.m.
  • August 19, Submissions due
  • September 25, announcement of winners

Design Review Committee
The Committee reviewing submissions is composed of a broad representation of building industry leaders with deep familiarity with the New York City construction market.

  • Frank Sciame, Jr., Chairman/CEO, Sciame Construction
  • John M. Dionisio, Chairman Emeritus, AECOM
  • Raymond P. Daddazio, President/CEO, Weidlinger Associates
  • George Leventis, Managing Principal/President, Langan Engineering
  • James W. Feuerborn, Jr., Principal, Thornton Tomasetti
  • Jill N. Lerner, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Richard Dattner, Principal, Dattner Architects
  • Alexander Lamis, Partner, Robert A.M. Stern Architects
  • Kevin O'Callaghan, President, Universal Builders Supply
  • Philip Pitruzzello, Vice President, Columbia University/Manhattanville Capital Projects
  • Jonathan Drescher, Senior Vice President of Project Development, The Durst Organization
  • Howard Roland, President, EW Howell
  • Sean Szatkowski, Vice President – Operations, Skanska USA Building
  • Rick Bell, Executive Director, Design and Construction Excellence, New York City Department of Design and Construction