VOLUME 3   ISSUE 19   MAY 09, 2014


By Bruce Jervis


Two of the cases featured in this week's Construction Claims Advisor involved two scourges of the competitive bidding system: unbalanced bidding and alternate item bidding. Both practices distort the system. Unbalanced bidding enables bidders to misallocate cost and profit among bid items, possibly front-loading contract payments or exploiting suspected errors in quantity estimates. The use of alternate bid items, additive or deductive, enables project owners to craft a scope of work, after bid opening, which will result in award of the contract to one bidder or another.


In the first case, it was ruled that a public project owner should not have rejected a mathematically unbalanced bid without first making a written finding that the bid was also materially unbalanced. In other words, an unbalanced bid should be accepted unless there is reasonable belief the owner will ultimately pay a higher price for the work as a result of the unbalancing. ... Read more.


Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Changed Work Claim Could Not Morph into Site Condition Claim
  • Failure to Price Alternate Item Did Not Spoil Bid
  • Unbalanced Bid Should Have Been Evaluated for Price Impact


By Steve Rizer


What are the keys for avoiding problems that may bring into play the legal doctrines of impossibility, impracticability, and frustration of purpose -- an area of law that, as Dorsey & Whitney Partner Jocelyn Knoll recently put it, “those in the construction industry should hope to never encounter?” Click here to read some of the advice she gave for eluding difficulties in this area.


By Steve Rizer


It will be interesting to see whether a new information resource that USGBC has unveiled will live up to its hype for advancing the market for sustainable structures. In trumpeting the new offering, billed by the organization as a “real-time green building data resource for U.S. states,” USGBC Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Ramanujam declared that “providing the green building market with this detailed level of information is critical to the success of our mission of market transformation.” ... Read more.





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