Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

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Protect Your Business – Steps to Avoid Personal Liability

Architects, engineers and other construction professionals, like all business owners, create business entities, like corporations and limited liability companies, to operate their businesses and to shield themselves from personal liability.  The liability shield is a primary benefit of establishing a business entity, because it protects the business owner and the officers and directors of a corporation from personal liability for acts of the company.  However, merely forming a corporation is not necessarily sufficient to avoid personal liability, since it is possible to “pierce the corporate veil” if a business does not maintain a separate identity from its owners or related entities. 

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4 Emerging Technologies That Can Benefit Your Firm

It is an exciting time for design and construction professionals.  In the last few years, innovations in technology have emerged that are rapidly changing the way that you work, and will continue to shape the industry for future projects.  Here are a few of these emerging tools and how they can benefit your business.

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Should You Allow Employees to Use Personal Electronics?

To be successful and remain competitive, architects, engineers, and other construction professionals must be aware of with rapidly-changing trends in technology. Some businesses have shifted from company-provided laptops, smart phones, and tablets in favor of employee-provided devices, known as bring-your-own-device, or BYOD. While there are many benefits, there are some legal risks that you should consider.

Bring-your-own-device is embraced by younger workers, and is gaining favor among more experienced professionals. The Society for Human Resource Management recently reported that nearly 86% percent of employees own the smart phone they use for work. Allowing employees to use their preferred devices can aid in recruiting and boost productivity and job satisfaction. It can reduce a company’s equipment and technology costs. In addition, because workers are able or even expected to troubleshoot problems on their personal devices, BYOD can reduce the workload and budget of an IT department.

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What You Need to Know about South Carolina’s Statute of Repose

The statute of repose is a defense that we often assert as a defense in design and construction cases that we handle because cases are often brought, or our clients are added as a defendant in a case that has been pending for years, long after a construction project has been completed.  A statute of repose is a law that requires that a lawsuit be brought against each defendant within a certain number of years following a specific date – usually the date of substantial completion.  South Carolina’s statute of repose is found at S.C. Code Ann. §15-3-640.   South Carolina’s statute of repose provides that a lawsuit for damages based upon a defective or unsafe condition of an improvement to real property must be brought within eight years after substantial completion of the improvement.

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5 Things to Consider When Designing for Modular Construction

In a recent post, we discussed the benefits of using permanent modular construction – how it can reduce costs, increase efficiency and allow for faster project delivery times.  However, permanent modular construction differs in many respects from traditional construction and requires consideration of different factors to ensure a successful project. Here are five issues that architects, engineers, and design/builders should consider when incorporating modular construction into a construction project.

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