Streamline the design-build process with a solid strategy for choosing partners
by Andrew Mendelson FAIA
August 8, 2018
Prime design consultants often have a great deal of project control and leverage. Unfortunately, such responsibilities increase the potential for significant risk. This is especially true if errors or omissions committed by subconsultants cause damage to the client or project. Under such circumstances, the prime will most likely be held liable as if they committed the negligent acts themselves.
Given the risks and responsibilities, it’s surprising how many times prime consultants retain subconsultants without thoroughly vetting their skills and backgrounds. Many even fail to hold written contracts with their subs or only move forward with brief agreement letters and/or the subconsultant’s proposal. But consider this: if problems occur and the prime has no contract with the subconsultant, or if the contract is inadequate or ambiguous, the prime could end up paying for the client’s entire loss.
Another problem is that primes often neglect to require insurance—or an adequate amount—from their subs which places their own deductible and policy limits at risk.
As a result, here are eight steps Berkley Design Professional recommends for helping to prepare against issues before they arise, while also protecting against costly and time-consuming delays.
Navigating 21st Century Technology Pitfalls for Construction Professionals
By Dion Cominos and Laila Santana
The intersections and collisions between the worlds of professional services and technology are varied and numerous, affecting virtually every facet of modern business. Nowhere has this effect been more profound than in the field of construction, where electronic tools and innovations have revolutionized the processes of design and construction, resulting in a significant acceleration of both the conceptualization and development of buildings and structures worldwide.
However, this panacea of mechanization and automation comes with a price as a whole new range of liabilities and exposures emerge, presenting novel challenges and dilemmas for the architect and engineer (A&E) practitioner. Let’s explore both the opportunities and hazards that can result from the convergence of technology and construction, and also examine ways in which professionals can steer clear of the perils that can jeopardize the unwary.
By James B. Atkins, FAIA & Andrew D. Mendelson, FAIA
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly becoming the central platform for design, construction and building operation. But like the transporter of science fiction star adventures, BIM can appear uncertain and mysterious at first glance. A single delivery contract and open access to the architect’s Building Information Model can quickly raise one’s risk alert level to red. Although there has not yet been a proliferation of claims, risk management can be preemptive. This paper addresses issues that can be beneficial in managing risks in digital practice.
by Andrew W. Mendelson
The term “materials transparency” has quickly grown in importance among building owners, developers, design firms and associations based on the industry’s growing ecological concerns.
Simply put, materials transparency requires manufacturers to disclose the content of building products with the goal of creating more sustainable and healthful indoor environments. To meet these objectives, contractors and construction executives will be seeking additional material information and content reports during the specification and construction submittal process.
However, new trends like this often translate into additional risks. Responsibility, unless clearly contracted, is often not readily apparent when products do not work as advertised or cause unexpected negative impacts.