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Construction Experts and Claims Consultants Articles List

42 Articles Found

Contractor’s proposals are often the first step in a courtship between owners and contractors. Initially, everyone is optimistic for a successful outcome. The honeymoon period may last the entire project and culminate in a project that is delivered on-time and on-schedule. However, in today’s overheated construction environment, costs may rise, labor may become scarce, engineering may be late or defective, and equipment and material may arrive at site late or defective, all of which may strain relationships between owners and contractors and often can lead to litigation. A recent trend in construction litigation involves a rather novel approach of owners claiming a breach of contract against contractors for failing to fulfill the “promises” contained in their technical and commercial proposals that are often referenced in or attached to the contract as an exhibit. Contractor’s proposals often contain optimistic statements, sometimes ...

Introduction This year, exceptionally high price increases of construction materials have caused serious problems for the construction industry. A major factor is the current economic and construction boom occurring in China. China is experiencing rapid growth and, with it, tremendous construction activity which is creating shortages in the US and throughout the world. Background Basic economics tell us that, in an open marketplace, prices will rise when demand increases or when supply decreases. Demand is increasing exponentially in China due in part to a construction boom resulting from the country’s economic revolution, preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games, construction of the Three Gorges Dam, and the construction of thousands of highways throughout the country. Demand is also significantly higher in the US due to a rise in construction activity, related in part to new home construction. Some of the highest ...

Part one of this two-part series addressed change order management and claims from the contractor’s perspective. This article will focus on techniques from the owner’s perspective for planning for and managing project change and avoiding claims. Although this information is geared towards owners, the information can help all parties on a construction project. Construction is not a one-way street, and it is beneficial for each of the parties to have a more complete understanding of the other parties’ perspective. Time is money, and in today’s construction industry, almost all projects are on the fast track. The amount of time taken in the conceptual design, project development, and the detailed engineering phases has become increasingly compressed as cost and schedule concerns become more important. In recent years, innovative project delivery systems such as Design-Build have become more prevalent in an effort ...

Colleges around the nation prepare future construction managers for promising careers Construction management-bound college graduates today are finding that, more and more, universities are responding to the challenges of an ever advancing field. Higher education programs around the nation are collaborating with industry leaders and accreditation agencies to develop specialized curriculums to prepare students for successful careers. As engineers and architects try to keep up with global competition to design the most innovative structures, demand for skilled construction managers is surging, and employers are seizing students faster than they can graduate. While construction management as a profession has existed for many years, colleges have not always offered the specialized degrees they do now. Rather, construction/building science degrees have slowly evolved over the past approximately 70 years. They are a result of a combination of factors, including the homecoming of World ...

Every construction project, regardless of its size, inevitably encounters change. Changes can be minor, such as field rerouting of pipe to avoid an interference, or they can be major, such as a massive acceleration effort costing millions of dollars for additional personnel and overtime premiums. Managing change is an important aspect of construction project management and successful project completion. This article is the first in a two-part series that addresses issues relevant to managing cha

There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not it is advisable to use experts in mediation. In many cases that go to mediation, the issues in dispute are often relatively simple, strictly fact-based, and do not require damage calculations. In such cases, experts are often not required. This is generally not the case in the engineering and construction industry. Issues and disputes that occur during construction projects are typically not black and white issues. Using experts in these situations can prove beneficial for everyone involved in the mediation. The purpose of mediation is to find a mutually acceptable solution or compromise. Using construction experts with respect to these more difficult issues can help the client enter the mediation from a position of strength based on a thorough technical analysis. It is also important to remember that this may ...

In general terms, force majeure is considered to be “an act of God” or an occurrence outside the control of the parties which impacts or delays the project. Force majeure includes issues such as unusually severe weather, labor strikes, natural disasters, or governmental actions/changes in law that negatively impact the work. Typically, force majeure is not considered to be a compensable delay, meaning neither party is entitled to compensation as a result of the impact of the force majeure event. The recent Gulf Coast hurricanes have raised some interesting and complex issues associated with defining force majeure. Typically, force majeure contract clauses include language that defines the force majeure event, including notice requirements and the terms of the schedule extension. Events such as unusually severe weather or a labor strike have clear start and end dates. It gets more complicated ...

In the construction industry, the ability to manage change can determine the success or failure of a project’s objectives. The failure to recognize and promptly manage change frequently costs the parties involved money and time. Establishing a change order management process using either contractual change order requirements or a firm’s proprietary system increases the effectiveness of progress reporting, labor productivity evaluation, work scheduling, and other elements of project change. The following steps provide a streamlined approach to resolving project changes in a more cost and time efficient manner: Evaluate the contract Identify the change properly and in a timely manner Provide timely notification to internal and external parties Effectively document the change Prepare the change request Resolve the change request Implementing these steps at the first sign of a change can help the parties to spend less money and exert ...

Introduction This year, exceptionally high construction material price increases have caused problems for the construction industry. A major factor is the current economic and construction boom occurring in China. China’s rapid growth and tremendous construction activity are creating shortages in the US and throughout the world. Background Basic economics dictate that, in an open marketplace, prices will rise when demand increases or when supply decreases. Demand is increasing exponentially in China, which is affecting prices worldwide. The increased demand stems from a construction boom resulting from the country’s economic revolution. China is in the midst of the 10th phase of its 50 year plan, which specifies that the construction industry should be promoted, improved, and better managed. Other factors increasing China’s demand for materials include preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games, construction of the Three Gorges Dam, and the construction ...

Contractors frequently experience site conditions differing from those anticipated in their bids. An example would be existing facilities, which are to form part of the contract work, that differ in their location, makeup, or state of repair from information in the bid documents or from what would be apparent to a contractor making a responsible, prebid inspection. If the differing site conditions should have been discovered or anticipated by the contractor and the contractor failed to do so, the chances of receiving additional compensation through a change order are very low. However, if the condition differs from what was indicated in the plans and specifications or what was apparent from inspections, the likelihood of receiving additional compensation for changes in the work can be quite high. Differing site conditions (also known as changed conditions) are frequent sources of dispute between owners ...