VOLUME 3   ISSUE 3   JANUARY 17, 2014


By Bruce Jervis


The drafters of construction contracts sometimes try to have it both ways with arbitration clauses. They would like to lock the other party into binding arbitration of disputes, but they don’t want to similarly commit themselves. It is widely understood that unilateral arbitration clauses (binding arbitration only at the option of Party A) are unenforceable. So drafters are coy.


A recent example is found in a construction contract prepared for a public project owner. The contract mandated nonbinding mediation of claims or disputes in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The contract went on to say, “If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, the parties may submit the controversy or claim to arbitration.” ... Read more.


Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Prior Litigation Opponents Heard on Bidder Recertification
  • Permissive Language Did Not Bind Parties to Arbitration
  • Non-Bidder Could Not Challenge Project Labor Agreement


By Steve Rizer


When preparing for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate (LEED GA) exam, what are the “final steps” that should be taken? Beth Shuck of Green Building Services Inc. (GBS) will provide a list of such steps in a four-part exam prep course beginning next Tuesday, including, among other things, a suggestion to identify all of the wrong answers from their practice exams and figure out why they got those answers wrong.


Another advisable step is to select a date for taking the exam and “hold yourself to that [date] so that you stay on track with your studying,” according to Shuck, who serves as a LEED consultant and project manager at Portland, Ore.-based GBS.... Read more.


By Steve Rizer


When a building fails to perform the way it should, how much of a financial blow should be expected from the resulting loss of occupant productivity? Whatever the true cost impact is, Commissioning Concepts President Jim Bochat is concerned about the problem and painted an eerie portrait of it for ConstructionPro Week (CPW) after delivering a presentation entitled “Commissioning for New Construction” at last week’s Building Innovation 2014 Conference in Washington, D.C. Here is one unsettling scenario he broached during the interview:


“Since the costs of people per square foot of floor space is estimated to be around $3,500 per square foot for the life of the building (20 years), if you degrade productivity by 10 percent because your building is not performing well, the cost impact can be $350 per square foot. Building professionals and owners need to realize building performance is critical to their business success, and they should be paying much more attention to this subject than they have been doing in the past.” ... Read more.


By Steve Rizer


“I think it’s time for a time out.” No, this remark from last week was not made on the football field; rather, it came from Chris Moor, chairperson of the National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) Project Committee, during an address to professionals attending the Building Innovation 2014 Conference in Washington, D.C. “It’s time to take a break to consider the future of the National BIM Standard, to look at the rules of governance, to look at the content, to look at the mission, to look at what goes into the [standard], and to look at the cycle times.”


In proposing the break, Moor emphasized, both during his address and in a subsequent interview with ConstructionPro Week (CPW), that much progress has been made in the NBIMS movement thus far and that such a break should be viewed as a positive step for enabling the crusade to “come back stronger.” To read more of what the committee chairperson recommended, click here





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