Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

Category: Construction Administration (page 1 of 3)

Subcontractors and Suppliers – Why Should You Send a Notice of Furnishing of Labor/Materials on Your Next Project?

On large construction projects, it is common for significant labor or materials to be supplied by lower-tier subcontractors and material suppliers – that is, entities who do not contract with the general or prime contractor, but instead contract directly with a subcontractor.  Without a direct contractual relationship, the prime contractor may not know the identity of all lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers.  As a result, the prime contractor may lack sufficient information to ensure that lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers have been paid before releasing payment to its subcontractor.  The prime contractor may first learn the identity of lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers when they contact the prime contractor claiming that they have not been paid for their labor or materials or when they file a mechanic’s lien or payment bond claim.

However, remote subcontractors and suppliers may avoid this situation by sending a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials to the general contractor before supplying labor or materials.  This provides notice to the prime contractor of the identity of lower-tier subcontractors and may help subcontractors get paid. 

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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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Why You Should Consider Rectification Coverage

During the course of any design or construction project, there are various factors that can cause damages or delays, which can be financially costly and detrimental to your firm’s reputation.  For this reason, it is essential to have comprehensive liability insurance.  In recent years, many insurance carriers have begun to offer a new form of protection called rectification coverage which is available to contractors under their professional liability policy and to design professionals who have a lead role in design/build projects.

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Is Modular Construction the Future?

Permanent modular construction has flourished in Europe for the past two decades, and it is now increasingly emerging as a project delivery system in the United States.  It has also begun to attract interest from owners of large commercial projects after several recent high profile projects.  The appeal of modular construction is simple: it can reduce costs and improve project delivery times.  These advantages are particularly valuable for commercial projects, since they allow owners to reduce construction costs and achieve a faster return on investment by putting a building into service earlier.

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Shop Drawings: Enforce the Contractor’s Obligations

In the specifications, design professionals typically include requirements that certain shop drawings must be submitted by the contractor.  To avoid liability for shop drawing review and to ensure a high quality project, architects and engineers need to know about and enforce the contractor’s obligations regarding shop drawings.  Sections 3.12.16 and 3.12.17 of the 1997 edition of AIA 201 require that the contractor review and approve the shop drawings of its subcontractors and suppliers before they are submitted to the architect or engineer.  Frequently, this does not occur,  passing potential liability to the design professional.  If a shop drawing contains obvious errors showing that the contractor merely processed or rubber-stamped the shop drawing, or the drawing has not been reviewed at all, the design professional must return the drawing with an explanation of the contractor’s responsibility to review and approve the shop drawing and require resubmittal when completed and all errors corrected.  It is tempting when there is a time crunch to simply review the shop drawing anyway but that is a mistake and requiring that the contractor review and approve the shop drawing will result in a better project. 

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