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COVID-19: Managing Construction Delays Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Social distancing, quarantines, and remote work operations are all important measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. While these measures are necessary to our society, they do not translate to productivity in the construction industry. Now is the time for each project team to determine what it can do to keep its people safe and to start reviewing its contractual rights and obligations ... [Article] [Article PDF]

Retroactive Labor Productivity Evaluations

Several methodologies are available to quantify field labor productivity impacts that a contractor could experience during construction. Two of the most widely used methodologies in both construction and legal forums are the Measured Mile Methodology and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Factors Methodology. Besides the MCAA, other productivity resources include ... [Article] [Article PDF]

Hurricane Harvey and Force Majeure Claims

Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented flooding has resulted in increased force majeure (FM) claims for the construction industry. In general, FM claims free both parties to a construction contract from liability or obligation for failure to perform in the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as “acts of God” or occurrences outside the parties’ control. Depending on the contract language,
FM events... [Article] [Article PDF]

Assessing Labor Productivity

The analysis of the labor productivity of the workforce and the utilization of material and equipment are major factors in determining whether a construction project will be completed on time and within budget. Concerning the project budget, every construction project should have a budget established prior to the commencement of work... [Article] [Article PDF]

CDR-1256: Challenges of the Measured Mile Concept for Productivity Loss Claims

Delays and disruptions are common interferences in construction projects. For a contractor to develop a claim for productivity loss due to interference by an owner/architect/engineer or a third party, it has the burden to not only link the interference to its alleged effect, but establish that the increased time and/or costs are a reasonable approximation of those actually incurred...[Full Article]

Fire Rebuilds Stoke Flames of Claims if Not Handled Appropriately

Today’s refining, chemical, petrochemical, and heavy industrial facilities process and utilize hazardous chemicals, and despite the best laid plans and procedures, accidents do happen. Accidents could range from fires to explosions, resulting in chemical releases and damage to equipment and the facility, hopefully with minimal or no injury to personnel. Insurance is often called upon to reimburse the owner for property damage and business interruption expenses following the fire, ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

In Construction Claims, A Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an old proverb that suggests complex stories can be described by just a single picture. The same is true with respect to proving construction claims, where one visual or graphic can be more persuasive and influential than a thousand words. Construction is a complex and risky process requiring extensive planning, engineering, procurement, and construction management. When all of these activities operate in concert with each other, the ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

Staking your Claim: Effective Claim Resolution

I. Introduction Without question, construction disputes consume precious time, money, and resources for all parties involved. Regardless of the experience and capabilities of the construction professionals involved in a dispute or claim, the claim process can quickly become very complex. Before addressing the process in detail, this paper will provide a general discussion on the definition of a construction claim, the parties involved and the claims made by the parties, and how to deal ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

Construction Claims

Knowledge of the different construction claim types allows owners to recognize potential claims situations. This recognition can protect the owners from incurring losses and assist in recovering compensation. Many of the claim types discussed are interrelated, and frequently more than one of them may pertain to a particular situation. For the purpose of this article, we have divided claims into eight different types. Directed Changes - This type of claim involves a situation in...[Full Article]

Constructive Acceleration

Constructive acceleration occurs when a delay takes place beyond a contractor's control, and yet the owner expects the job to be completed by the original contract completion date. A contractor's claim for constructive acceleration should meet the following criteria:  The delay is a result of causes that would entitle the contractor to time extension under the contract  The contractor requests time extension for the delay in a timely manner, in accordance with the... [Full Article]

Constructive Change

Changes in the scope of work on a major project are a common occurrence in the construction industry. Contractors are accustomed to directed changes, that is, those changes ordered by the Owner or the Owner's agent under the change order clause of a contract. However, the nature or extent of construction work is often changed without the initiation of a change order. The question of compensation or time extension for this type of change is not as clearly addressed by the contract as are... [Full Article]

Contract Disputes 

The construction contract is the most critical document in a construction project, because it defines the contractor's scope of work and compensation. It also establishes the responsibilities, liabilities, and warranties of both the contractor and the owner. As such, a contractor must carefully consider the contract language when bidding a job. The construction contract establishes the rules for the entire project, but does not always predict the way the project will be managed.... [Full Article]

Design Documents and Design - Related Claims

I. Introduction As experts in construction claims, Interface Consulting evaluates and analyzes a wide array of engineering and construction related disputes. Many of these disputes center around increased costs, project delays, and productivity impacts. This paper discusses the most common problems and claims related to design documents based on our experience dealing with hundreds of projects and thousands of claim issues. Awareness of the most common engineering document-related... [Full Article]

No Harm - No Foul: An Equitable View on Liquidated Damages for Delay

Liquidated damages (hereafter LDs) for delay can be an emotional topic for owners and contractors, as LDs come into play when the project is delayed and not progressing according to the parties' expectations. LDs signal a troubled project, often leading to rising tensions which unfortunately divert attention and energy away from completing the project as expeditiously and economically as possible. What are LDs for Delay? LDs are commonly defined as when a contractor agrees to pay an... [Full Article]  [Article PDF] 

Risks of Differing Site Conditions

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... [Full Article]

The Rules of Engagement and Construction Claims: Towards a Smooth Construction Contract Execution and Responsible Claims Process

Chapter One: Introduction There are certain assumptions that both the contractor and the owner possess when entering into a construction contract. These assumptions do not necessarily coincide with one another. The contractor should assume that the scope of work is sufficiently defined, the plans and specifications are complete and accurate, and the owner has fulfilled any requirements necessary to proceed with construction. The Owner, on the other hand, assumes the contractor is... [Full Article]  [Article PDF Part 1]  [Article PDF Part 2]