Every young student comes across those four words, either from being assigned John Steinbeck’s novel or – for the diehard English student – from reading Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse,” in which he reflects on the dire consequence of his having turned up a field mouse’s nest with his plough. “The best laid plans of mice and men,” often go awry.
Enter the construction contract (I know you were wondering where this was going). Everyone on the planet knows that construction projects are not static and that even modest projects undergo changes throughout the building phase. The consequences of changes can be dramatic, and most construction contracts lay out plans for the administration of changes and the negotiation and documentation of the terms of change orders with respect to the three important attributes of construction: time, money, and the details of work itself. A sufficiently robust change order clause represents the “best laid plans” for dealing with change orders. And as we have learned from Burns’ poor mouse, these plans often go awry. Read more.
Claimed to be the largest private development in the U.S. - $20 Billion - and creating 23,000 construction jobs, the Hudson Yards project in New York City is well under way. Check out this timelapse and other videos of the project. Read more.
General or prime contractors have always been enamored with indemnification clauses. Place one in every subcontract and if there is any injury on the project the subs will ultimately be liable. The prime contractor will be exonerated even if it shared responsibility for a safety hazard. Read more.
This article started out as a review of a schedule specification clause in a recently updated standard form document. In the process of getting comments on the form from the author’s local contacts, I received instead a range of comments on the use, or non-use, of schedules, and blaming specs for being either too detailed or non-existent. As a reader of ConstructionPro Week, you may have noticed we often advocate for active use of schedules on construction projects. Larger and more complex projects can benefit from the use of critical path method (CPM) scheduling software.
This past December, the ConsensusDocs coalition announced updates to more than a dozen of its standard form contracts, some released this past December and others in early 2017 (see ConstructionPro Week Vol. 5 – Issue 48, 12/16/2017). ConsensusDocs® 200, Standard Agreement and General Conditions Between Owner and Constructor received an important update to the project schedule clause. Article 6.2, Schedule of the Work, now requires the use of critical path method (CPM) scheduling concepts, including “… (a) a graphical representation of all activities and events, including float values that will affect the critical path of the Work, and (b) identifies dates that are critical to ensure the timely and orderly completion of the Work.” Read more.
It’s a common standoff when there is a final payment and close-out for construction work. It occurs between owner and contractor as well as contractor and subcontractor. The payer doesn’t want to pay until it has received a waiver and release. The payee doesn’t want to waive its rights until it has received payment. There must be ways to handle this situation without a face-to-face “closing.” In some states, the mechanic’s lien statutes expressly address the issue. Read more.