VOLUME 1   ISSUE 29   NOVEMBER 19, 2012


By Bruce Jervis


In some ways a change order is a snapshot of a project at one point in time. It reflects where the project stands and the modifications that are being made during an ongoing process. But a change order usually states it constitutes the entire agreement regarding the modification; the parties waive the right to additional time or money. The change order purports to be comprehensive and final.


Subsequent occurrences sometimes call this language into question. The most common example would be numerous change orders which have a disruptive cumulative impact on the contractor’s ability to perform the work. The project owner says any claim for cumulative impact damages was waived and released under the terms of the individual change orders. The contractor says the change orders applied only to the changed work itself, not subsequent developments such as cumulative delay and disruption. ... Read more.


Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Owner Waived Damages for Late Completion and Was Bound by Change Orders
  • Proposed Price Should Not Have Been Compared to Median Price
  • Alleged Misrepresentations Were Not California False Claims


By Steve Rizer


“Don’t wait to give time extensions; give them when they’re due.” That was a key piece of advice -- “a basic rule for contract administration” -- an expert in construction claims avoidance and resolution offered last week during a WPL Publishing webinar. “[I]f you don’t make a practice of resolving issues [such as those involving time extensions] as they arise on a project, they [accumulate], and at the end of the project you have a pile of unresolved issues, and those unresolved issues become the foundation for a claim document.”


Waiting to grant a time extension is one of six “problematic,” claim-prone practices/contract provisions that Trauner Consulting Services Inc. Principal Scott Lowe discussed during the 90-minute program, whose target audience consisted of contractors, subcontractors, public and private owners, construction managers, owners’ representatives, architects, other design professionals writing contracts or providing project-oversight services, and construction attorneys representing these parties in disputes. ... Read more.


By Steve Rizer


Will the 179D tax deduction ever become a meaningful incentive for making existing buildings more energy efficient? Will the deduction even be extended past its scheduled expiration date of Dec. 31, 2013? Answers to these questions apparently will have to wait until next year, at the earliest, despite recently introduced legislation to deal with the matter before the 112th Congress adjourns in early January.


The Commercial Building Modernization bill (S. 3591) would extend and enhance the tax deduction in Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code for energy-efficient commercial and multi-family buildings. Introduced by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the legislation would extend the tax deduction through the end of 2016 while modifying it to encourage efficiency retrofits in existing buildings. ... Read more.





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