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Lorman Construction Newsletter



Free monthly email newsletter providing updates on current issues in the construction industry. This Construction newsletter includes articles on recent laws, trends, and regulations in the accounting and tax industry written by leading experts from aroun



Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:30:03 GMT

 



Federal Bid Bond - Fatal Discrepancy

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Leonardo N. Ortiz
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

In the current economy many contractors seek new business opportunities and a primary target is federal government construction contracting. Upon closer inspection, contractors quickly learn that competing in the government contracting arena can prove difficult as many projects require a commitment of resources and surety bonding capacity that exceeds the capability of a single firm. As such, contractors have sought avenues such as teaming agreements or joint ventures to pool resources to increase their opportunities.



DOJ Outlines Environmental Enforcement Priorities

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Michael Dawkins
Organization: Baker Donelson

Last week, on the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day, the United States Department of Justice highlighted the accomplishments of its Environment & Natural Resources Division (ENRD or Division) during fiscal year 2009 by issuing the Division's Summary of Litigation Accomplishments (Summary). The Summary features enforcement cases won or resolved by the Division where civil penalties were imposed, corrective measures were required or criminal convictions were obtained.



Another State Joins Ranks on "Pay-to-Play" Law for Government Contractors - McDonnell Signs Legislation

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Chris Ashby and Lee Goodman
Organization: LeClair Ryan

April 15, 2010 – Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell today signed Senate Bill 506, a "pay-to-play" law which prohibits political contributions and gifts from government contractors in certain situations. With this new law, Virginia joins a growing national trend of state and local regulation of the political activities of government contractors, including not only their political contributions and gifts, but also their business-to-government sales programs and their compensation agreements.



How Green Roof Systems Save Your Business Money on Heating and Cooling

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Stefano Grossi
Organization: Roof Solutions LLC

There are many advancements in building materials that assist in saving money and energy. Though research on this topic was initially launched for energy preservation purposes, it also helps in saving money as well as preserving the environment.



New Rule Implements Executive Order Encouraging Project Labor Agreements for Federal Contractors

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Andrew Peterson, Phil Rosen, Thomas Walsh, and Harold Weinrich
Organization: Jackson Lewis LLP

Shortly after President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he signed an Executive Order authorizing federal government agencies to require every contractor or subcontractor on a large-scale construction project to negotiate or become a party to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with one or more labor organizations.  The Defense Department, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which together maintain the Federal Acquisition Regulation council, have published a final rule, amending the FAR, to implement the Executive Order. 



From Green to Seeing Red

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: John Livengood, ESQ, AIA and William Broz, P.E., LEED AP
Organization: ARCADIS U.S.

There seem to be four stages (so far) of the green building movement in the U.S. First there was Green for Green's sake: the altruistic goal of environmental improvement. Then there was Green for Greenbacks: when it became stylish to be green and there was a market premium in selling green.



Site Data Disclaimers

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark S. Wierman
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Owners commonly provide subsurface soil data and other site conditions reports as part of the bid documents provided to prospective bidders. Fearful of assuming liability for the accuracy of plans, borings, and other subsurface data provided to contractors, owners traditionally include exculpatory clauses that purport to shift the risk of inaccurate data away to the contractor.  These clauses typically state that the data is provided for information only, the owner makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the data, and the contractor expressly assumes all risk that the conditions encountered differ from the conditions described in the reports.



Major Title Insurance Companies Decline to Issue Creditors' Rights Endorsements

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jason A. Strain
Organization: Baker Donelson

Many major national title insurance companies have just announced they will no longer provide "creditors' rights" coverage in connection with new policies of title insurance. Therefore, commercial real estate lenders and purchasers will now bear certain insolvency risks that were often covered by title insurance endorsements in the past.



Architects and Engineers Should Actively Manage Risk in Tougher Times

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Professional Liability Practice
Organization: LeClair Ryan

BRAINTREE, Mass. (3/15/10)—Risk management is a topic of concern for many types of professionals, none more so than those involved in the building trades. "Unfortunately, the stakes are raised in tough economic times," said veteran attorney Jay S. Gregory, a shareholder in LeClairRyan's Boston office who focuses his practice on construction defect litigation and the defense of malpractice actions brought against design professionals and real estate brokers.



Substantial Admendment to Chapter 558 - Construction Defects: Amendment Affects All Contracts Executed After October 1, 2009

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Michael E. Milne & Monte S. Starr
Organization: Holland & Knight

When applicable, Chapter 558, Fla. Stat. requires owners to give contractors and professionals an opportunity to inspect and repair alleged construction defects prior to owners being able to file lawsuits. The intent of Chapter 558 is to foster amicable settlement agreements for construction defects and reduce unnecessary litigation.



The Top 4 Causes of Construction Safety Accidents

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Martin Sejas
Organization: Ensafe Planning Solutions

Anyone involved in the construction industry would know that construction safety accidents are part and parcel of the industry. However, this only means that you should be doing all you can to make sure that they don't occur.  The next best thing to completely eliminating accidents is reducing them, or at least reducing the risk of them occurring.



Differing Site Condition Elements Applied

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Garrett E. Miller
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Differing Site Conditions clause at FAR § 52.236-2 is a mandatory clause in most fixed-price federal government contracts. This provision operates to shift the risk of certain unforeseen physical conditions to the government.  As discussed in Chapter 7 of Smith Currie's Federal Government Construction Contracts (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), the basic tests to establish entitlement to relief under that clause are well established.



Workouts Take Center State Amid Historic Real Estate Collapse

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeffrey Marley Zalkin
Organization: LeClair Ryan

NEW YORK, N.Y. (2/8/10) – The collapse of the U.S. housing and mortgage-backed securities markets has raised the stakes in real estate workouts and loan negotiations as never before—and both investors and legal professionals must retool their strategies to reflect these new realities, advised veteran bankruptcy and construction attorney Jeffrey M. Zalkin, a partner in LeClairRyan, based in the firm's New York office.



Navigating the Confines of the Economic Loss Rule and Other Property Damage

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Sean Hanlon
Organization: Holland & Hart LLP

The economic loss rule is a rule frequently invoked in construction disputes that operates to limit the types of damages that can be recovered. Understanding the limits of the economic loss rule requires a party to examine (1) the source of the duty at issue and (2) the nature of the property damage claimed.



New RESPA Rules for Consumer Protection in Real Estate Settlements and Loans

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeffrey R. Margolis and Barry D. Lapides
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued new rules that modify the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). RESPA is a consumer-protection statute that was enacted to (1) help consumers become better shoppers for settlement services and (2) eliminate kickbacks and referral fees that unnecessarily increase the costs of certain settlement services. Loans secured with a mortgage placed on a one-to-four-family residential property are governed by RESPA. These loans include most purchase loans, assumptions, refinances, property improvement loans, and equity lines of credit. HUD's Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales is responsible for enforcing RESPA.



The Value of an "Additionally Insured" Status

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Y. Lisa Colon Heron
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

An Owner typically seeks to be protected from liability arising out of the work of its contractor. Contractors also seek protection from the subcontractors they hire. "Additional Insured" status provides extra coverage to the owner or contractor in the event an insurance claim is made. To receive this extra coverage, an owner (contractor) often requires its contractor (subcontractors) to provide "additional insured" status under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. "Additional insured" status provides a defense and indemnity to the additional insured.



How Accounting Can Provide More Value to Your Construction Business

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: John Vogelpohl
Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

Is your accounting department helping your construction business run like a well-oiled machine? If you said no, perhaps your accounting gear needs a little maintenance.  The four key functions in your office are accounting, estimating/sales, production and administration/sales. (You can put sales in either place.) All four functions are interdependent, like gears, and each one meshes with the others. If one gear becomes stripped or broken, the other gears cannot function and they all lose all their value.



Following the New Leed: Version 3

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Melissa A. Orien
Organization: Holland & Hart LLP

With the roll-out of Version 3, the new LEED certification and professional accreditation systems are in effect.Vocabulary. "LEED Version 3" is the umbrella of changes to the certification and professional accreditation systems. "LEED 2009" is the new version of the rating system, for example, the successor to LEED v.2.2.



Obama Administration Proposes New EPA Enforcement Priorities

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Michael Dawkins
Organization: Baker Donelson

On January 4, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally solicited comments on what should be EPA's enforcement priorities for fiscal years 2011 through 2013. The EPA's draft list of priorities indicates a new emphasis on certain sectors of the economy, including manufacturers that cause disproportionate environmental impact to minority neighborhoods, manufacturers and users of pesticides, developers with projects impacting wetlands, and owners, operators and industrial users of municipal wastewater treatment facilities. EPA's request for public comments is published at 75 Federal Register 146-148.



No License - No Recovery

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Ian C. Clarke
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Many states, including Georgia, require those desiring to engage in construction-related activities to obtain a license or to associate with a licensed individual. Failing to comply with the state's licensing requirements can negatively affect a contractor's ability to enforce a contract or recover costs for any work performed. For example, in JR Construction/Electric, LLC v. Ordner Construction Co., 669 S.E.2d 224 (Ga. App.  2008), the court held that the subcontract for electrical work between a contractor and a subcontractor was void as against public policy and unenforceable because the subcontractor was unable to show that it had conformed to the state's licensing requirements.



Federal Court Upholds OSHA Multi-Employer Policy

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: David Zimmerman and Melissa Orien
Organization: Holland & Hart LLP

OSHA may issue citations to general contractors who have the ability to prevent or abate hazardous conditions at jobsites created by a subcontractor through the reasonable exercise of supervisory authority, regardless of whether the general contractor created the hazard or whether the general contractor's own employees were exposed to the hazard.



ARRA: Are You Ready to Receive Some Attention?

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: David Harvey
Organization: Baker Donelson

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009 and authorizes up to $787 billion in federal spending through September 30, 2010. Potential federal spending includes funding for construction projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, as well as the procurement of supplies and services.



Meeting Minutes - Will Yours Stand Up In Court?

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Steven G. Lauck, PMP
Organization: Lauck PM Consultants

Now that I have your attention, one of the communication tools that project teams use or should be using are Meeting Minutes. Meeting Minutes record information shared,commitments, documents distributed or presented, approvals, denials, completedactions and new actions.



Going Green! Understanding the Risks and Liabilities of Green Building

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Organization: Edward Gentilcore of Duane Morris and James L. Bly of Marsh

Outlined below, the presenters from Going Green! Understanding the Risks and Liabilities of Green Building offer the top considerations for leaders tasked with identifying the risks and opportunities inherent in green design, construction and ownership.



Releases: Anticipate the Consequences

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Thomas J. Kelleher
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Changes to construction projects are relatively common especially on public projects. Revised requirements and the availability of additional funds often prompt owners to modify a project while it is being constructed. Depending upon the scope, number, and timing of the modifications, the overall impact on a project can vary substantially. A single change, even a relatively significant one, may be evaluated, priced, and implemented without a major disruption to the overall project.



Construction Safety Management Plan

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Martin Sejas
Organization: Ensafe Planning Solutions

Construction Safety Management Plans (CSMP) must be specific to the organization and to the project, in other words you cannot have a generic CSMP; they will not be accepted by OSHA inspectors when they visit and audit your worksite.



Green Architecture - Both Beautiful and Smart

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Moti Wyner
Organization: Free Green

Does opting for green architecture mean sacrificing your picture perfect dream house? How can green architecture be both aesthetically pleasing and eco friendly? Read more to find out An interesting title appeared recently in a reputable newspaper. The title was 'Beautiful and Smart," an intriguing and confusing title choice considering the article appeared in the real estate section of the newspaper.



How to Handle Work in Progress (WIP) or Construction in Progress (CIP) in QuickBooks

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Ruth Perryman
Organization: QB Specialists

Builders and contractors who purchase land and then develop it have to comply with accounting requirements for revenue and expense recognition that are a little different and require a some modification of the standard QuickBooks set up. The accounting rule is that revenue and costs are not to be recognized on financial statements as income and expense until the job is complete, or in some cases as certain milestones are completed for the job.



Waterproofing Engineering Structures

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Steve A. Parker
Organization: RaiderPainting.com

Engineering structures that are built at least partly underground need to be waterproofed for protection from water infiltration due to close contact with the surrounding ground. One common method involves the application of waterproofing materials to the interior and exterior walls of the structure, including the floors, to completely create a watertight seal against ground contact. The waterproofing contractor installs the system either during building construction or later as a retrofit application for remedial waterproofing.



Balancing Risk and Reward in Construction Projects

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Steve Sellers

When determining what types of jobs you will take on, the first thing you must do is determine where you are making the most profit-and the results may surprise you. When I first started my construction company I targeted large remodels because I was drawn to the large dollar figure. After all, doing ONE $20,000 job is better than 10 $2,000 jobs, right?



Breath Easier With Construction Dust Control Measures

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Mark Sierra
Organization: Dust Stop Zone

With the problem of nuisance dust growing across the American, construction dust control has become a requirement by most states. It is because of this requirement that a construction dust control plan must be produced and implemented on practically every construction site that is 1/2 acre in size.



E-Verify Rule for Federal Contractors Will Take Effect September 8, 2009

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Denyse Sabagh
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

On August 27, 2009, Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland upheld the legality of a federal regulation that will require many federal government contractors to use the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of new hires as well as certain existing employees. The ruling in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Janet Napolitano, Civil Action No. AW-08-3444 (D. Md.), allows the regulation, published at 73 Fed. Reg. 67,651 (November 14, 2008), to take effect on September 8, 2009.



Closing Out Your Construction Project - Handling Claims and Disputes

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Rocco R. Vespe
Organization: Trauner Consulting Services, Inc.

Closing out construction projects often involves the handling of claims and disputes from the contractors.  Contractor claims that have been submitted during construction have not been resolved or contractor claims are just being submitted because the construction is complete and the contractors are just getting around to closing out the project and tabulating costs.  Regardless of the reason, contractor claims and disputes can be a challenge to resolve.



What You Need to Know About Construction Insurance

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: SFL Building Contractors, Corp.

Residential and commercial contractors all need construction contractor insurance. This is not a negotiable requirement. It will often spell the difference between getting and losing a contract.  Any party who contracts services to others needs contractor insurance. This is required when contracting services to the government on the federal, state or city level. It is also most often required by private entities from contractors.



Is a National Energy Efficiency Building Code on the Horizon?

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Kevin R. Garrison, LEED AP and John H. Kinney
Organization: Baker Donelson

On September 8, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate reconvened to finish out the first session of the 111th Congress and consider various legislative items that serve the basis of the Obama Administration's policy agenda.  One of the measures that could still be considered is legislation passed by the House and approved by a key Senate committee that would establish a national energy efficiency building code (the "National Code").  The National Code would require new residential and commercial buildings to use far less energy than today's typical buildings.  If signed into law by President Obama, the legislation would represent a major shift in power from local governments to the federal government in terms of responsibility for setting building codes.



Construction Defects and Building Products

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: J. Norman Stark, Attorney-At-Law

Construction defects claims arise in all venues of the construction industry, and may be attributable, whether directly or indirectly, to building products defects and failures.Defect claims involving construction typically involve a design mistake or deficiency in the planning, design, construction documents, contract documents, administration ("supervision"), inspection, or implementation of any improvement to real property.



Five Characteristics of Successful Contractors

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Dan Allman, CPA, CCIFP
Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

I'm often asked: "What do you see in the construction industry right now?" What this question usually really means is: "Am I better or worse off than my competition?" In every segment of the construction industry, I see companies that are successful and those that are struggling to make ends meet. Here are a few of the characteristics that the successful companies have in common, especially in the current economic environment.



IRS Rules that Developer Can Deduct Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs)

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Michael S. Evans and Jed S. Beardsley
Organization: Baker Donelson

Local governments frequently encourage economic development by acquiring property with public bonds, then leasing the property to real estate developers. Because the local government owns the property, it is exempt from real property taxes. The local government can preserve its tax base by requiring the real estate developer to make payments in lieu of taxes, called PILOTs, to the local government. What has not been clear is whether the federal income tax deduction for real property taxes applies to PILOTs. The analysis used by the IRS in a recent Private Letter Ruling holding that a real estate developer's PILOTs qualified as deductible real property taxes for federal income tax purposes, will provide useful guidance for real estate developers and their tax advisors facing this issue.



Making Safety a Workplace Reality

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jonathan Horton, M.Ed.
Organization: Landscape Development, Inc.

Safety's economic and human virtues are unquestioned, but making safety a workplace reality is no simple task. Even companies passionate about safety struggle to bring real change to operations. Managers develop procedures and distribute safety equipment, but preventable accidents continue to occur.



Integrated Lighting Control Systems: An Innovative "Green" Solution for Reducing Building Energy Costs and Creating A Sustainable Property

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Gary Meshberg, LEED AP, LC
Organization: Encelium Technologies

Excessive and wasteful energy use is inherent to virtually every commercial property. These centers of commerce and entertainment contribute more to global warming than cars, trucks, and buses combined. As a result, demand for sustainable, healthy buildings is on the rise and a leading priority for today's commercial building owners, managers, developers, and tenants. According to the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, lighting is one of the areas of highest energy use. On average, lighting accounts for approximately one-quarter of a building's overall electricity use, rivaled only by HVAC and office equipment.



Are You Ready for Stimulus Act Challenges?

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Charles R. Lucy and Kevin Bridston
Organization: Holland & Hart LLP

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Act) stands as one of the most significant pieces of federal legislation in American history. While most of the attention regarding the Act has focused on its $212 billion in tax relief and $575 billion in new federal spending, the Act poses significant challenges for both government agencies and the private contractors who serve them. Contractors should anticipate a high volume of projects and funding that will strain existing capabilities.



LEED 2009: New Certification Requirements Now in Place

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Trevor Jones, Stephen Pudner and Kevin Garrison, U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professionals
Organization: Baker Donelson

Because LEED certification has become increasingly mandatory in locations across the United States, an understanding of the new LEED 2009 (a.k.a. LEED v3) system promulgated by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is crucial. As of June 27, 2009, all construction projects seeking LEED certification must proceed under the new LEED 2009 system. While the new system is substantially similar to the previous LEED system, there are several notable improvements and differences that must be understood to assure compliance with the new system and achievement of the desired level of certification.



NEPA Compliance for Projects Funded Under the American Recovery and Reinvetment Act of 2009: Is Your Project "Shovel Ready"?

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Vincent S. Oleskiewicz
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"), provides a $787 billion economic stimulus package with funding for investments in infrastructure, energy, healthcare, education and science, among other sectors. With billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds available, the ARRA presents private firms with opportunities for financing eligible projects. For example, federal stimulus funds are available for certain affordable housing projects, as well as transportation infrastructure, including highway, bridge, road, transit, and rail improvements that may be associated with a development project. Stimulus funds are also available for wastewater and drinking-water projects, as well as environmental clean-up and remediation, and a wide range of other construction projects.



FTC seeking input on Green Guides

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Laurie Styka Bloom
Organization: Nixon Peabody LLP

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as part of its review of existing Green Guides and with an eye toward amendment of those guidelines later this year, is undertaking a study of consumer perception of environmental marketing claims. The FTC has a long-standing concern with so-called "greenwashing," that is, the labeling or advertising of products as environmentally friendly and whether such claims constitute deceptive trade practices.  The FTC's Green Guides provide a roadmap for navigating in this area and the FTC is looking for input on amendment of the Guides.



LEED® 2009: Keeping Track of Evolving Green Building Standards and Legal Issues

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Elaine Enfonde, Carolyn S. Kaplan and Richard A. Marx
Organization: Nixon Peabody LLP

As green building standards evolve and are incorporated into everything from regulatory requirements to lender criteria to tax credits, project proponents must keep current on standards and protocols and ensure proper documentation of expectations and understandings. This Alert summarizes upcoming changes to the LEED®[1] Green Building Rating System, the most widely accepted national standard, and describes some of the legal issues that can arise when building green.



U.S. Supreme Court Narrows Scope of CERCLA Liability

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Brian L. Burniva
Organization: LeClair Ryan

In a stunning defeat for state governments and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Supreme Court issued a critical opinion on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The opinion, published on May 4, interprets the "arranger for disposal" status and application of joint and several liability to all liable parties under CERCLA Sec. 107.



Separating the Interests From the Issues to Resolve Construction Defects Disputes

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Organization: Alexander S. Polsky

The singular issue damning construction defect cases from prompt and efficient resolution is the confluence of multiple interests most of which are in a head on conflict with cost efficient resolution.  Without discussing the separate and conflicting interests of contractors, developers, insurers and lawyers, the purpose of this article is to recognize that the process of litigating and resolving these disputes has been fraught with waste and inefficiency, and a sane and disciplined approach to resolution is required.



Architect Copyright

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Thomas S. Tripodianos
Organization: Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP

Question.  The Builder is a residential home builder in New York. In the course of its business, the Builder engages licensed architects to provide services related to home designs and approval of proposed home plans.



Owners Seek to Mothball Construction Projects: Avoid Risks When Mothballing Buildings

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: George H. DuBose, CGC
Organization: Liberty Building Forensics Group, LLC

With the tightening credit market and corporations starving for cash, many construction projects are being considered for construction interruption and mothballing. When interrupting or mothballing a project, there is concern that the building structural elements will be subject to deterioration. This will ultimately reduce the building's value to future buyers and could be the basis of a hidden defect claim for future owners.



Subcontractors Should Take the LEED

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Caryn S. Tijsseling
Organization: Lewis and Roca LLP

The trend towards "going green" in building and construction is here to stay.  With rising energy prices and wide spread climate awareness, residential and non-residential building is required to be more eco-friendly than ever.  The rise of green building and construction projects is becoming visible across the country. 



Environmental Protection Agency's "Endangerment" Proposal: A Carrot or a Stick?

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: James W. McTarnaghan and Jennifer D. Cook
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

On April 17, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that, if adopted, would find that the atmospheric concentrations of certain greenhouse gases (GHGs) endanger the public health and welfare within the meaning of section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The EPA also proposed to find that GHG emissions from new motor vehicles are contributing to the mix of GHGs in the atmosphere, and therefore contribute to public health and welfare endangerment.



Green Home Checklist

Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Christine Sears
Organization: The House Designers

Since green building is still a relatively new process, it's a good idea to research green building on your own so you know what to look for when choosing your site, home plan, builder and sustainable products.



The Construction Industry and the Alleged Defective Chinese Drywall Issue

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeffrey A. Rubinton, Esq., Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq., and Joanna E. Frankel, Esq.
Organization: Rubinton & Laufer, LLC

During the construction boom experienced in the early part of this millennium, shortages in materials used to construct property caused certain organizations in the building and construction industry to import drywall manufactured in the Far East.  Recently, allegations of defects in drywall used in this construction have caused fall-out in the state of Florida.



Could Your Subcontractor’s Workers Be Considered Your Employees?

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Stanely A. Martin and Matthew L. Mitchell
Organization: Holland & Knight

Since the 2004 amendments to the so-called "independent contractor law," whether or not your subcontractor's workers could be considered your employees has been a concern not only in the construction industry but in the general business community in Massachusetts. A recent Superior Court decision, described below, has highlighted the problem.



Saving Green: Finding Ways to Protect the Environment and Our Budgets

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Rick Walker LEED, AP
Organization: http://greenefficient.com

The recession has financially hit us all in some way. And for some, it keeps coming again and again, beating us down until we are forced to curl up and remain as still as possible, closing our eyes and hoping that it will just go away. But it doesn't. It keeps punishing our budgets and stripping clean our pockets, like an elementary school bully looking for lunch money.



The Movement Toward Sustainable Land Development

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Tony Seruga
Organization: http://www.maverickrei.com

Urban planning and city construction have had trends and influences affecting them (and on the cities that implement them) since John Nolan at the turn of the 20th century, with his emphasis on weaving a network of footpaths and parks through planned land development areas. As the trends have waxed and waned, and different demographic elements have come and gone, the tendency to think of cities as planned developments has come back into style.



It's All Green to Me

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Kevin R. Garrison, LEED Certified
Organization: Baker Donelson

Green, green, green. Every time you turn around in the construction industry, it seems that word pops up these days. Just what is green construction anyway? If you ask my father, he would probably tell you it is any building with a coat of paint splashed on it in a hue that falls somewhere between yellow and blue on the color spectrum. And he'd be right in one sense, but that's not what we're talking about when we say green construction in this day and age. Although there are many ways to define the term, in general it usually refers to a building that achieves one of the certification levels under the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.



Stimulus Act - Impact on Commercial Real Estate

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Timothy W. Martin, Geoffrey M. White and Erik C. Lattig
Organization: Frost Brown Todd

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "Recovery Act") offers multiple opportunities for property owners, developers and other stakeholders in the commercial real estate arena. This advisory briefly highlights some of those opportunities in affordable housing and green building provisions, with one specific change in the tax code regarding debt forgiveness that may greatly benefit many real estate developers during these challenging times.



President Elect Obama’s Environmental Policy: Will It Be a Sustainable Change?

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Bonni Kaufman
Organization: Holland & Knight

Barack Obama's election as the next president of the United States should bring substantial changes to the last eight years of environmental policy and regulation. President-elect Obama ran a successful campaign, with clearly expressed views on climate change, land use, clean air, renewable resources and clean energy technology. In his campaign, Obama established an environmental agenda to "ensure that our nation's environmental laws and policies balance America's need for a healthy, sustainable environment with economic growth."



The Trouble With Mold

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Raymond Daniel Burke
Organization: Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver

When mold was discovered in part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, it ultimately resulted in the closing for more than a year of an entire 453-room 25-story tower.  It is reported that Hilton spent some $20 Million on consulting and investigation costs, and an additional $35 Million in the remediation.  This is one notable example among many of how the presence and growth of mold in homes and commercial buildings has developed into a serious issue that has potentially far reaching consequences for residential and commercial property owners and managers, as well as for the construction and insurance industries.



Impact of the Federal Stimulus Legislation on the U.S. Construction Industry

Mon, 2 Mar 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: John H. Kinney
Organization: Baker Donelson

Recent headlines tell a pretty scary story:  Caterpillar, 20,000 jobs, eliminated; Home Depot, 7,000 jobs, gone; Sprint Nextel, 8,000 positions, axed; "Lending Drops at Big Banks;" "Recession Batters Law Firms," "Economic pain to be 'worst in 60 years'."   The list goes on.



Three New Executive Orders Will Have A Significant Impact On Federal Contractors

Mon, 2 Mar 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Clinton S. Morse
Organization: LeClair Ryan

The Executive Order titled "Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws" revokes Executive Order 13201 (Beck Notice Requirements), and imposes new obligations on federal contractors to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Previously, Executive Order 13201 required federal contractors to post notice advising employees of their right to "opt out" of paying that portion of any union dues used by unions for activity not related to the administration of the collective bargaining agreement.



Defective Workmanship and Insurance

Mon, 2 Mar 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Organization: Robert E. Frankel

Over the past decade, the construction industry has experienced significant growth, although recently it has waned due to the financial meltdown caused by subprime mortgages.  Even with the recent abatement in construction, the growth of new construction over the last decade is apparent.  Greater frequency of the discovery of, and ensuing litigation over, faulty or defective workmanship has followed this boom in construction and such exposure is not likely to end soon.



Green Building and Its Advantages

Mon, 2 Mar 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Organization: Kirthy Shetty

Green building concept has emerged from the need to meet high standards of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Focus is mainly on resources such as energy, water and materials and attains efficiency of these resources. It is said to reduce the energy bills and offer a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Reduce the effect of environmental hazards and ease its effects on human health and environment too.



Handling Changes to Jobsite Conditions

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Nathan D. Chapman, Lee C. Davis and W. Henry Parkman
Organization: Sutherland

Unexpected or differing site conditions on a construction project can significantly increase costs for owners and contractors. As one might expect, the resolution of such issues depends on several factors: (i) whether the owner or the contractor had superior knowledge regarding conditions on the jobsite as they existed at the time the contract was made; (ii) whether the owner made any representations in contract or related documents that the site conditions were different than those encountered by the contractor; (iii) whether the site conditions that were actually encountered differed substantially from those reasonably contemplated by the parties at the time of contracting; and (iv) how the owner and contractor allocated the risk of unexpected conditions in their agreements.



New FAR Rule on Compliance Programs and Ethics Mandates Comprehensive Internal Controls and Mandatory Disclosure of Violations and Overpayments

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Richard O. Duvall; Allison V. Feierabend; Steven Gordon; Christopher Myers
Organization: Holland & Knight

On November 12, 2008, the FAR Councils issued a final rule that further amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation to amplify existing compliance program provisions (Subpart 3.10) and clauses (52.203-13 and 52.203-14). The rule also added requirements that contractors and subcontractors disclose certain violations of criminal law, violations of the civil False Claims Act and significant overpayments.1 The new rule took effect on December 12, 2008.



Tips for Building Green With Off-Site Construction and Modular Buildings

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Brandon Alexander
Organization: Modtech

As most people know, the latest trend in construction is green or environmentally friendly buildings. As energy prices continue to soar and global warming attracts more attention, the green construction trend is likely to escalate. The goal of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the benefits of green construction and illustrate how off-site construction and modular buildings complement green construction.



Post-Tensioned Buildings

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Organization: Izhak Z. Stern

Buildings with monostrand unbonded tendons post-tensioned slabs are becoming a widely used application of prestressed concrete. This method achieves performance and construction improvements over other construction methods. However, in order to reap the benefits of this method, proficiency is required in both structural design and construction.



Resolving Problems and Disputes on Construction Projects: Tackling Contract Performance Delays

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Nathan D. Chapman, Lee C. Davis and W. Henry Parkman
Organization: Sutherland

All parties involved in the construction process (i.e., owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers) have a vested interest in on-time performance and on-time payment. This section discusses delays in performance, which are, not surprisingly, among the most commonly litigated issues arising from construction projects. Construction projects involve expensive equipment, tremendous overhead, significant manpower and large payrolls for owners and contractors alike. The longer a job takes, the higher the costs and the greater the potential for litigation. Due to the high costs of untimely performance, contractors and owners usually require well planned and often complex schedules.



Green Washing...Be Very Careful

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Cal Pasvogel
Organization: Michaels Engineering

Green Washing (verb): the dissemination of misleading information and/or concealment of corner cutting during the construction of a sustainable building.As the momentum to construct more sustainable green buildings grows, many building owners are embracing LEED® elements such as sustainable land use, energy efficiency, green materials, recycling and indoor environmental quality. While nearly all building owners desire these elemnets, most are not willing to pay for the costs associated with LEED® certification.



Legal and Practical Considerations for Purchasers of "Broken" or Distressed Condominiums

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Brian L. Belt
Organization: Duane Morris LLP

Across the country, and particularly in the state of Florida, investors are poised to make bulk acquisitions of interests in troubled or broken condominium projects. Generally, the assets in question may be uncompleted condominium buildings with outstanding purchase contracts for some or all of the units, or units in a completed building in which a large number of units remain unsold. These acquisitions often take place in one of two forms: (a) assets purchased from struggling developers or banks that have foreclosed or (b) through the purchase of discounted debt from lenders.



Green Without LEED

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Bob Faulhaber
Organization: AEI - Architects, Engineers and Planners

Green buildings and LEED® have become popular buzzwords in the design and construction industry. The dramatic increase in fuel and energy prices coupled with the discussion surrounding climate change have pushed the environment into the public consciousness in a way that we have never seen before. Even those who are not concerned with their environmental impact are now interested in energy use and how it affects their bottom line.



Federal Government Contractors Must Use E-Verify Effective January 15, 2009

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Robert C. Divine
Organization: Baker Donelson

The U.S. agencies responsible for setting the general rules for federal government contracts have finalized the rule implementing the recent executive order requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify system in addition to completing Form I-9. Employers need to determine whether they are federal contractors or subcontractors who will have contracts containing the E-Verify clause beginning January 15, 2009, whether to enroll in E-Verify now or wait until required by contract, and how to put necessary procedures and training in place by the time of enrollment.



Subcontractor Quotes - What Is a Firm Offer?

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: Ryan L. Beaver
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

A general contractor's first goal for any construction project is to submit a successful bid that will secure the contract while allowing the contractor to make a reasonable profit. In pursuit of that goal, virtually every general contractor solicits quotes or bids from subcontractors for portions of the labor and materials in order to determine the cost of completing the project. In industry practice, the numbers provided by the subcontractors generally are considered firm offers, binding a subcontractor to the terms contained therein if its bid is selected. This allows general contractors to rely on the subcontractors' bids to create an overall bid for the entirety of the project with some measure of security with regard to the numbers they are relying on. 



The Economic Loss Rule Applied to Negligence Claims Against Construction Managers - Does One Size Fit All?

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Author: W. Henry Parkman
Organization: Sutherland

The modern formulation of the economic loss rule grew from the 1965 products liability case of Seely v. White Motor Co., 63 Cal.2d 9, 45 Cal.Rptr. 17, 403 P.2d 145 (1965). Stated simply, the economic loss doctrine "bars the use of negligence or strict liability theories of recovery of economic losses arising out of commercial transactions where the loss is not a consequence of an event causing personal injury or damage to other property." Phillip L. Bruner & Patrick J. O'Connor, Jr., 6 Bruner and O'Connor on Construction Law § 19:10 at 50 (2002). The economic loss rule "is stated with ease but applied with great difficulty," especially in the context of the construction industry. Presnell Construction Managers, Inc. v. EH Construction, LLC, 134 S.W.3d 575, 584 n.12 (Ky. 2004) (concurrence).



Green Roof Constructability

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:00:00 GMT

Organization: Michael K. Murphy

An analysis of green roof constructability concerns was conducted by Ryan Kline, an experienced LEED®-accredited professional and superintendent for Turner Construction Company. Mr. Kline reported that green roofing technologies, whether intensive or extensive, continue to evolve as design professionals and builders retool their skills in response to emerging technology in improvements to insulation, water retention and drainage, and habitability.



Faulty Workmanship - Accident or Intentional?

Mon, 3 Nov 2008 13:00:00 GMT

Author: Kirk Johnston
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

One may state with a reasonable degree of certainty that no contractor intends to construct a building with faulty workmanship. Certainly, if any defects are present in a structure, they must be accidental. On the other side of the coin, the manner in which a contractor constructs a building could very well be (and in fact may have likely been) the result of intentional acts and decisions.  One does not "accidentally" design and construct a building a certain way. Rather, such decisions are likely the result of deliberate, intentional and considered decisions on the part of the contractor. In an insurance context, the above conundrum has sparked endless debates, confusion and conflicting laws regarding whether faulty workmanship is accidentally and, therefore, contemplated under an insuring agreement.



Tips for Building Green With Off-Site Construction and Modular Buildings

Mon, 3 Nov 2008 13:00:00 GMT

Author: Brandon Alexander
Organization: Modtech

As most people know, the latest trend in construction is "GREEN" or environmentally friendly buildings. As energy prices continue to soar and global warming attracts more attention, the GREEN construction trend is likely to escalate. The goal of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the benefits of GREEN construction and illustrate how off-site construction and modular buildings complement GREEN construction.



HUD Publishes Information on $4 Billion in Funding for Neighborhood Stabilization

Mon, 3 Nov 2008 13:00:00 GMT

Author: Mary Grace Folwell
Organization: Ballard Spahr LLP

An opportunity has arisen for developers to fund affordable housing projects that will serve to stabilize neighborhoods affected by the foreclosure crisis. HUD has made available the federal register notice of the allocation of $3.92 billion in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to individual jurisdictions, and the rules that will apply to the allocation of these funds. These funds were originally appropriated in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act signed into law on July 30, 2008. Community Development Block Grant rules apply to NSP funding, with exceptions for NSP goals and requirements as described by HERA and detailed in the federal register notice.



What's Important?

Mon, 3 Nov 2008 13:00:00 GMT

Author: Bob Faulhaber
Organization: AEI - Architects, Engineers and Planners

One of the mistakes that many designers and builders make in regard to green design is making it an "add-on". Good, sustainable design is integrated into the client's needs, desires and budget; it's not something that you tack on at the end so that you can label the project "green". A select number of clients are interested in making an environmental statement because they are environmentally conscious, but most client's first concern is how the project will satisfy their needs and how much it will cost them; being environmentally friendly is just an added bonus. The beauty of good green design is the synergies that result from an integrated approach to design. The best green strategies meet the client's needs, budget AND are environmentally friendly.



The Importance of Proper Documentation Procedures

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Roy Cooper P.E.
Organization: PinnacleOne

Good documentation just doesn't happen by accident. Left to our own devices, many of us probably think we have better things to do than write down what the weather was that day, fill out the shop drawing log or, dare I say, update the schedule. After all, there's a project to build. However, it only takes one time in litigation to change that mindset. In addition, the reality of a dispute resolution forum is that who's right and who's wrong may not determine who wins the case. It can come down to who can present the best documents to support their case.



It Pays to be Indemnified

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Cameron S. Hill
Organization: Baker Donelson

Does your contract have an indemnification provision? Does having one give you all of the protection you need? Are you also listed as an additional insured on the contractor's general commercial liability policy? Let's take a look at some factors that will help you better understand how you can benefit from planning ahead.



A New Paradigm at OSHA: Little-Noticed Ruling Means General Contractors Are Less Likely to Pay for Mistakes of Unsafe Subs

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Joseph P. Paranac, Jr.
Organization: LeClair Ryan

News of several deadly construction accidents in New York this year, including two crane collapses that killed a total of nine people in Manhattan, has focused national attention on the critical responsibility of subcontractors to maintain workplace safety.



Who Is a "Subcontractor Under the Miller Act?

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Matthew E. Cox
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Everyone who is in business is presumably in business to make money. Those in the construction industry are no different. Given the nature of the business contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers are constantly dealing with new people or companies, many of whom are unfamiliar. Accordingly, every contractor, subcontractor or material supplier wants some assurance or protection regarding payment. On private jobs, there are mechanic's lien rights. On public jobs, however, such is not the case. Since 1894, Congress has enacted laws to offer those furnishing labor and materials for federal construction projects some protection. Currently, the Miller Act is the federal statute which provides this protection. (40 U.S.C. § 3131, et seq.).



Bankrupt Sub's Claim Against General Contractor Is a Non-Core Proceeding and Must Be Arbitrated, U.S. Court Holds

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jessica Singh
Organization: Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled that an adversary proceeding by a debtor subcontractor against a general contractor was a noncore proceeding under the Bankruptcy Code and that the adversary proceeding was subject to the parties' arbitration agreement.



LEED® Commissioning

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Jeff Ihnen
Organization: Michaels Engineering

PerceptionThe perception of some building owners is that designing, buying and constructing a building is like buying a Honda Accord. When shopping for the Accord, you can get competitive bids from multiple dealers for exactly the same car. The sole difference is price. Design and constrcution teams are many times selected in the same way - price.



592 Federal Government Contracting: New Obligations and Risks

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Thomas J. Kelleher
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

In recent months, the nature of obligations and risks that may face a federal government construction contractor are clearly changing. One rapidly evolving area relates to corporate ethics and compliance. The second involves the basis for obtaining time extensions for weather delays and the third relates to screening undocumented workers using the federal government's E-Verify System. The following articles provide a summary of these trends and developments.



Tackling Envrionmental Issues In Real Estate Agreements - Addressing the Potential Issues

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Lauren A. Beetle and Amy M. Trojecki
Organization: Ballard Spahr LLP

Addressing environmental issues has emerged as one of the most significant concerns in commercial real estate transactions today. The strict liability nature of environmental laws has resulted in a heightened awareness of environmental issues in real estate transactions for decades now. Dealing with environmental concerns, however, has become increasingly important in recent years, due to rigid state and federal environmental requirements and the fact that many New Jersey developers, investors and property owners are now acquiring existing and/or redeveloping abandoned or underutilized sites.



Specify "Arbitration" with Clarity

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Ian C. Clarke
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

The principal concept of every contract or agreement is to achieve the intent of the parties. The courts will examine the language of a contract to determine if the terms are clear and unambiguous. It is not the responsibility of the court to rephrase the language or to add any missing terms. Reasonably clear contract construction must take place when forming the contract.



Barona Band of Mission Indians v. Yee - Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Allyson Gail Saunders and Zehava Zevit
Organization: Holland & Knight

On June 18, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decided Barona Band of Mission Indians v. Yee, in which it held that a non-Indian subcontractor who purchased materials which were later delivered to a construction site on Indian land – under a lump sum contract and as a "purchasing agent" for the Tribe – was liable for state sales taxes



Urban Heat Islands

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Nick Burke
Organization: Michaels Engineering

Los Angeles spends an extra $100 million each year due to the Urban Heat Island effect, according to a study by the Heat Island Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This is not only a problem for sunbelt cities, although the effects are more pronounced in those areas due to their mild climates.



Green Buildings - They Aren't For Just New Construction Anymore

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Peter J. Arsenault
Organization: Stantec

Green buildings, energy savings and sustainable designs continue to be the hottest topics in the real estate and building industries. But if you own, manage or invest in existing buildings, do you sometimes wonder how to take advantage of this dramatic movement? If so, there is good news.



E-Verify Required for All Federal Contractors - Part of Plan

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Robert C. Divine, with introduction by Cameron S. Hill
Organization: Baker Donelson

Some of you have federal contracts. All of you need to be aware of the rapidly evolving laws concerning your employees' immigration status because ignorance could cost you time and money or otherwise distract you from completing your projects. The construction industry faces these issues every day. Given the extent to which you have projects across the country and the degree to which you pull employees from the local markets where your projects are located, you should pay attention to how immigration issues may affect your bottom line.



Exculpatory Clauses and Third Party Claims

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: John S. Tobey
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Broad exculpatory clauses that are written to foreclose certain third party claims against design professionals and construction managers are routinely included in construction contracts. Notwithstanding those clauses, some courts are holding that construction professionals may be liable to third-parties due to the nature of the construction professional's contractual undertaking. For example, a construction manager who agrees to supervise safety on the jobsite might be liable for negligently supervising safety notwithstanding the presence of an exculpatory clause that insulated the construction manager's liability from third-parties. Likewise, an engineering firm may be liable for its professional negligence notwithstanding the presence of a broad exculpatory clause in a construction contract because a court may conclude that an engineer has a nondelegable duty to provide its services with ordinary care and diligence.



Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction will Expire January 1, 2009

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Bob Mapes
Organization: Rea & Associates, Inc.

On August 8, 2005, President Bush signed H.R. 6, The Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law. This legislation created a new tax incentive for constructing energy efficient commercial buildings. This deduction is only applicable to building systems installed before January 1, 2009, so it is important to take advantage of this deduction before its expiration.



Arbitration and Contract Termination

Tue, 27 May 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Leonardo N. Ortiz
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

The American Institute of Architects standard contract documents are commonly used in the construction industry today. The AIA General Conditions of the Contract for Construction (A201-1997) include a dispute resolution clause that requires all claims to be submitted to mediation and arbitration after initial decision by the architect. However, anyone that uses the AIA documents should be aware that termination of the contract itself may create a question of the continued applicability of the contract's dispute resolution clause.  In 2007, the First District Court of Appeal of Florida issued its decision in Auchter Company v. Zagloul, 949 So. 2d 1189 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007) which provides guidance on the ability of a party to enforce the AIA arbitration provision after termination.



Developing a Baseline Schedule

Tue, 27 May 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Rick Cianfaglione, P.S.P.
Organization: PinnacleOne

In a field such as construction, how can a schedule, which depicts one particular scenario, dictate a construction project that contains thousands of variables? As the simple adage "there's more than one way to skin a cat" suggests, in construction there are multiple scenarios that can be utilized to successfully complete a project on time and within budget. Does this mean that it is acceptable to blow off the establishment of a reliable and well-thought-out baseline schedule? Absolutely not.



Can a General Contractor Get More Than It Bargained For?

Tue, 27 May 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Steven F. Griffith Jr. and M. David Kurtz
Organization: Baker Donelson

In the wake of any disaster, be it a hurricane or a single house fire, one of the most immediate challenges is that of rebuilding. In normal times, there is more than enough capacity in the local construction industry to accommodate recovery from an event that affects a few houses or buildings. Federally declared disasters, on the other hand, can simply overwhelm local contractors. The construction industry depends on a number of resources in order to operate, available labor, available materials, housing for a workforce, an infrastructure of roads and utilities, functioning governmental agencies, a functioning local economy, population, and so on. After a disaster, some or all of these resources can be dramatically reduced or even absent.



Revised AIA Contracts: An Overview of the Changed Terms and New Approaches

Tue, 27 May 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Richard M. Shapiro
Organization: Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP

© 2008 ConstructionWebLinks.com and with another line reading:  Reprinted with Permission.  All Rights Reserved.The American Institute of Architects has released the latest versions of many of its most widely used form documents, including the owner/contractor agreement forms and related general conditions and the owner/architect agreement forms. The AIA periodically revises its most popular form documents, generally on a 10-year cycle. The revisions are significant because the AIA documents have been the most widely used forms for major building projects in the United States.



"Green Building":What You Need to Know

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Author: Helen H. Pope
Organization: Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP

Although so-called "green building" is the latest trend in the construction industry, it can be hard to define what makes a project "green." The United States Green Building Council — a nonprofit organization comprised of owners, developers, facility managers, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and government agencies — tasked itself with identifying green building practices. The result was the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.™