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Construction Defect Litigation: The Critical Role of the Expert Forensic Witness

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 12, 2021 9:45:00 AM / by Mark McGivern, CSI, Aff. M. ASCE

Expert witnesses are a critical part of construction defect cases, whether the outcome of a case is determined through a trial or arbitration. Attorneys rely heavily on expert witnesses to support them in understanding the facts of the case, the cause of the defect, and what is required to repair the defect.

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Selecting a Design Consultant; A Guide for Owners and Property Managers

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 22, 2021 7:15:00 AM / by Peter A. Byrne, PE

Construction projects are costly undertakings for owners, so it is important to be thoughtful when choosing the design consultant and the team to implement it. Saving costs by skimping on the design time is not the best way to save money on a project. The lack of a complete and coordinated design on a project has resulted in many failed projects.
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CCA Bolsters Support for Clients’ Data Centers and Mission Critical Facilities

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 9, 2021 2:16:19 PM / by Guest post

New senior control systems and mechanical engineer joins CCA’s single-source solution team in the Engineering, Catastrophe Response, Litigation Support, and Construction Consulting practice

CCA, the leader in single-source solution for architectural, engineering, construction consulting, and environmental-related problems, welcomes a strategic new hire to its New England based team. Tom Stachowski, P.E., joins the firm from a world-wide conglomerate focused on energy technologies, real-time automation, software, and services for homes, data centers, infrastructure, and industries. He served as global engineering manager for a data center solutions team and managed many engineers and designers around the world. In this new role, Stachowski will enable CCA to better serve mission critical facilities, including data centers, addressing their mechanical and control systems issues, construction related projects, troubled project turnaround, forensics, and litigation support.

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How to Avoid Broken Construction Projects and Late Schedules

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 3, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Peter A. Byrne, PE

 

Owners have a lot of responsibility when it comes to design and construction—it is their money on the line while they turn to teams of experts to design and build the project. They are the ones who feel the brunt of any problems, which unfortunately abound in the construction industry. Despite awareness of the issues, the industry has not changed much in recent years.

McKinsey research shows that construction projects typically take 20 percent longer to finish than the original schedule, can be up to 80 percent over budget, and frequently result in litigation.

Even with all the players involved in even the simplest construction project, owners have a lot of power to avoid these types of challenges. Keeping a project on track requires great leadership and the ability to stay on top of myriad issues that pop up along the way. Many building owners do not have the time, expertise, or interest to take on that level of responsibility. In that case, owners turn to a representative to act as their intermediary.

Owner’s representatives act on behalf of the owner, assuring that design, construction management, and construction forces on a project have input from the owner, comply with industry standards, and provide quality built projects that meet the owner’s goals.

What To Look For in an Owner’s Representative

An owner’s representative acts as the eyes, ears, and mouth for the project. They are the person or company that will provide critical oversight, alert owners to any potential challenges, and be the task master, ensuring all parties deliver the project to meet the owner’s goals.

The types of skills that enable a representative to be successful on your project:

  • Strong knowledge of construction contracts and RFPs
  • Full understanding of design
  • Ability to coordinate and work closely with the design team
  • Knowledge of construction and engineering
  • Experience working with various contractors and subcontractors
  • Extensive knowledge of building materials and the construction process

Some owners have an individual with these skills in-house. Others outsource this job to a firm that can manage the project from concept to completion. At CCA we have significant experience acting as owner’s representatives on projects. We take the responsibility seriously.

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Construction Defect Mediation vs. Arbitration

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 9, 2021 1:00:00 PM / by Mark McGivern, CSI, Aff. M. ASCE

Mediation and arbitration are two types of alternative dispute resolution that are often confused. Both are options for sorting out conflicts in construction defect cases, usually without having to involve a court of law. It is helpful to understand the differences between mediation and arbitration to decide which is most appropriate for a particular situation.

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Off their game: How the pandemic has hit the NY construction market

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 10, 2020 2:40:04 PM / by Taylor James Pierce, RA, NCARB, LEED AP

In March of 2015, the New York Times discussed the increasing number of legal cases that followed the fevered pace of new construction and condominium conversions in the city. Substandard construction performed under aggressive schedules left many new homeowners with a substantial number of serious building defects. Five years later, a new issue could complicate an already suspect building boom: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the construction market.

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After the storm: Assessing hurricane damage for insurance claims

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 14, 2020 2:57:05 PM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Hurricanes wreak significant damage in the coastal areas they hit—destroying the built and natural environments in their path. Once a storm has passed, businesses and property owners focus on recovery and restoring the local economy. A key piece of that process is determining the damage caused by the hurricane. Property owners need to have funds to restore their property or business and insurance adjusters need to provide appropriate funds for covered damages. Both Both need experienced engineers to provide wind and flood assessments suitable for property insurance, to understand their needs and determine the facts to decide and defend claims. 

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Managing Legionella Risks During Reopening

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 24, 2020 12:33:32 PM / by Michael P. Mellette, Sc.D., CIH, CSP, CHMM

The prolonged shutdown of businesses and buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant reductions in normal water use for many commercial buildings, hotels, and public facilities. These reductions have increased the opportunity for Legionella growth in building water systems and created a significant risk for transmission of this waterborne bacteria to returning occupants. It's important that building owners and managers understand the risks leading to increased Legionella growth and consider them as part of an overall reopening strategy.

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Facility & Operational Planning: COVID-19 FAQ

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 3, 2020 2:48:01 PM / by Martin J. Barry, PhD, CIH, CSP, PE

In our recent webinar, Getting Back to Work Safely: Experts Discuss Facility & Operational Planning for COVID-19, participants submitted many great questions reflecting the state of uncertainty and the desire for pragmatic answers from our experts. We developed this FAQ resource to help.

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Back to School COVID-19 Basics

[fa icon="calendar'] May 28, 2020 9:33:04 AM / by Martin J. Barry, PhD, CIH, CSP, PE

There are major benefits for students of all ages to return to school. But if a school system reopens business as usual (like in 2019), uncontrolled COVID-19 transmission within the school system and the community could cause major public health problems. Reopening schools with reasonable and workable changes should radically reduce that COVID-19 threat.

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