Volume: 4, Issue: 7 - 02/20/2015
By Bruce Jervis
Expert opinion is almost always required to prove professional malpractice on the part of an architect or engineer. It is impossible to show that a defendant failed to meet the standards of care of the profession without establishing those standards and the defendant’s deviation from the standards. A recent case from New Jersey, while not addressing the admissibility of expert opinion at trial, considered the related issue of establishing the merit of a malpractice claim against an architect. Read more...
It is important to be “very, very careful” when choosing a forensic scheduling methodology because once the choice is made, there may be no going back. The choice that the forensic scheduling analyst makes at the outset may be an irrevocable choice, especially if you’re working on a contract that’s covered by the federal government or one of the state false claims acts. That is because changing the method during the claims analysis, or during the process of a dispute, rather, may lead to different conclusions, and it may cause the owner, if they’re a government agency on the other side, to file a false-claim allegation against your client. Read more...
This past Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued proposed new rules for drones that will loosen up current restrictions on commercial use. Currently, companies that want to take aerial photos of a project are required to get an exemption. Read more...
Volume: 4, Issue: 6 - 02/13/2015
By Bruce Jervis
Construction contracts usually allow the project owner to retain a portion of each progress payment, typically 10%, until completion of the work. The purpose is to protect the owner against incomplete or deficient work. This retainage, which can accumulate to a substantial sum, provides the owner with more than just protection. It also gives the owner significant leverage in a dispute with the contractor.
A public project owner in California delivered a written notice of default to its contractor. The contractor strongly contested the allegation of default. The owner ignored these protests and accessed the retained funds for the purpose of bringing in a replacement contractor ... Read more.
Most often, a disputed change order request or claim for extra costs on a construction project will require one or more negotiation sessions between the contractor and owner to arrive at the final cost and time impact. Negotiation offers the last and best opportunity to settle a dispute without resorting to arbitration or litigation.
Before going into a negotiation meeting, it is important to establish a strategy -- the framework from which the topics to be negotiated will be approached. Read more...
In a recent Client Alert, construction law firm Smith Currie & Hancock LLP reminds us of President Obama's Executive Order (EO) protecting employees of federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the regulations issued to implement the EO, employers that enter into or modify a federal contract or subcontract on or after April 8, 2015 will need to ensure that they are in compliance with the new requirements. Employers need to take the following steps: ... Read more.
Have you encountered or used building information modeling (BIM) on any of your projects? Have you considered its use but backed off? Are you interested in BIM but don't know where to begin?
BIM seems to be highly regarded by those who have made the transition. Owners cite facility management benefits in addition to lower costs. Contractors are finding benefits in improved coordination and scheduling with less claims and change orders. Architects and engineers find BIM allows projects to be completed faster while making it easier to make design changes. But BIM may not be suited for all projects, or all construction professionals. We here at ConstructionPro Network
are interested in your feedback, no matter where you are on the BIM scale. Please take a few minutes to complete our BIM Experience survey
. Respondents will also receive a 20% discount preference for the BIM Roadmap 2015 webinar series starting in March.
Volume: 4, Issue: 5 - 02/06/2015
By Bruce Jervis
It is understandable, and laudable, that public entities at all levels of government are experimenting with alternative methods of procuring construction services. Some of the methods may offer greater value and speed than the traditional design, bid and construct technique. Frequently, however, these methods clash with longstanding public procurement practices and procedures.
The new VA medical center in suburban Denver is a glaring example. The Department of Veterans Affairs used, for the first time, an “integrated design and construct” contract, which is similar to a “construction manager at risk” contract in the private sector. Internal agency communication warned this was risky because it ran counter to VA procurement culture ... Read more.
More than 200 responses were received from last month's estimating survey, which closed on February 3. The goal of the survey was three fold:
- Learn about the use of spreadsheet software and estimating application
- Become familiar with best practices in estimating, and
- Understand the role of risk management practices in pricing projects.
In this first article, we summarize the results of our survey. Read more...
Last week’s White House crash episode was the latest event to cast a bad light on drones, but this editor is very bullish on their use in construction. No further editorial here, but let’s look at four media reports on drones in construction from the past week.
Contractor Puts Drone to Work on Latest Residential Development Projects – Portand Business Journal (www.bizjournals.com/portland). This article and short video follows a local contractor... Read more.