VOLUME 2   ISSUE 22   MAY 31, 2013


By Bruce Jervis


The function of a “termination for the convenience of the owner” clause is straightforward. The project owner, at its discretion, may terminate the project at any time without breaching the contract. The contractor is entitled to the reasonable cost of work performed prior to termination, as well as the cost of closing out the project. The owner is not liable for the contractor’s anticipated profit on the unperformed work.


This sounds like a balanced bargain, yet contractors have long complained about the process. Owners, it is said, use convenience terminations to shield themselves from legitimate claims for bad planning, faulty design, or project mismanagement. Contractors also contend owners allow them to perform unprofitable portions of the work and then terminate profitable portions. These complaints usually come up empty. Abuse of discretion is difficult to prove. ... Read more.


Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Contractor Not Responsible for Corrective Work after Convenience Termination
  • Default Upheld Despite Government Mishandling of Delay Claim
  • Supplier Disclaimed Responsibility for Consequences of Defective Material


By Steve Rizer


When attempting to resolve an issue that has arisen involving a contract requirement for a construction project, it is a good idea to resist trying to recall from memory what that requirement actually says. This is a key piece of advice that Schiff Hardin LLP Partner Amanda Schermer offered to a group of professionals during “Change Order Management: Best Practices & Strategic Considerations,” a webinar that WPL Publishing held earlier this month.


For all parties, “especially for complex projects that have long contracts and … technical specifications that are hundreds -- if not thousands -- of pages long, it is a best practice to not, when an issue arises, … go from memory of what the contract requirements are” even though it may be “very tempting” to do so, Schermer said, addressing a target audience of architects, engineers, public and private owners, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, and consultants. “All parties [should] take the time to review what the actual contract says and then come back and have a discussion, and it’s important … to not go into your contract evaluation assuming you know the answer. It’s good to be open-minded in your analysis, and that will help you think clearer about the issue and reach a solution.” ... Read more.


By Steve Rizer


Owners of commercial buildings, their tenants, architects, and engineers all are expected to benefit from a recently expanded building energy labeling program that, among other things, can help facilitate compliance with local and state requirements compelling disclosure of energy use.
The voluntary Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program, developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), now has an As Designed label to complement its In Operation counterpart. The new As Designed label rates a building’s potential energy use under standardized conditions, independent of the building’s occupancy and usage, whereas the In Operation label rates actual measured energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy and usage. But how does the program benefit various professionals within the construction community? Click here to find out.


By Steve Rizer


May 2013 Download Library Addition
As new webinar recordings are made available to the ConstructionPro Network free member Download Library on a monthly basis, ConstructionPro Week will provide a brief summary of each event for the benefit of its readership. Here is the summary for the May 2013 addition:


It pays to obtain green certification for buildings, according to information that Triple Green Building Group LLC Principal Kelly Gearhart provided during “Green Standards -- LEED, BREEAM, DGNB and Others,” a WPL Publishing webinar for which a recording recently was added to the ConstructionPro Network (ConstructionProNet.com) Download Library -- free of charge for members. Going green through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. (DGNB) rating systems all have their reported benefits, she said.


“Operating costs drop by [approximately] 13.6 percent for [new commercial] buildings that have achieved LEED certification, [and] the value of [such a] building rises by 10.9 percent…. The return on investment improves by 9.9 percent,” Gearhart told a target audience of architects, engineers, public and private owners, developers, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, facility and property managers, and others, citing USGBC estimates. ... Read more.





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