1 CASE STUDIES IN TROUBLED CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS By DMITRIY DUBROVSKY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 by Dmitriy Dubrovsky
3 This thesis is dedicated to my mother many times over. This thesis is also dedicated to will and power to start a new beginning.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee: Dr. Issa, for giving me advice and guidance about my academic program for the past two years; Dr. Lucas for his stories about Seabees and the Navy; and Dr. Muszynski for his genuine interest in what he teaches.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................................................................................... 4 ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 9 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .............................................................................................. 12 3 METHODOLOGY ....................................................................................................... 15 4 COMMON CAUSES OF DISPUTES ......................................................................... 16 5 DISPUTE RESOLUTION METHODS ........................................................................ 18 6 FLASH ELECTRIC INC. VS BREWSTER COUNTY EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY ............................................................................................................... 20 Background and Overview ......................................................................................... 20 Construction ................................................................................................................ 20 Claim ........................................................................................................................... 23 Questions .................................................................................................................... 25 7 BROWN CONSTRUCTION VS MADISON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD ................ 27 Background and Overview ......................................................................................... 27 Construction ................................................................................................................ 28 Claim ........................................................................................................................... 30 Breach of Contract ............................................................................................... 31 Breach of Implied Warranty ................................................................................. 31 Unjust Enrichment ................................................................................................ 32 Negligent Misrepresentation ................................................................................ 32 Questions .................................................................................................................... 33 8 LANCASTER CONSTRUCTION INC. VS DOWLING .............................................. 34 Background and Overview ......................................................................................... 34 Construction ................................................................................................................ 35 Lancaster Constructions Claim ................................................................................. 36 Mr. Dowlings Counterclaim ........................................................................................ 37 Questions .................................................................................................................... 39
6 9 JERUSALEM BAPTIST CHURCH VS CLARKSTON CONST RUCTION COMPANY .................................................................................................................. 40 Background and Overview ......................................................................................... 40 Construction ................................................................................................................ 41 Claim ........................................................................................................................... 43 Questions .................................................................................................................... 45 10 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......................................................... 47 Conclusions ................................................................................................................ 47 Recommendations for Future Research .................................................................... 48 LIST OF REFERENCE S ................................................................................................... 49 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................................................ 51
7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction CASE STUDIES IN TROUBLED CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS By Dmitriy Dubrovsky May 2010 Chair: Dr. Raymond Issa Cochair: Dr. Larry Muszynski Major: Building Construction Due to the constant surge of technological progress, t he complexities of construction projects have been increasing every year. There is a large amount of people and resources involved in each project, all working under great pressure to deliver the final product on time, within the budget and of acceptable quality With th is ki nd of stress, it is only a matter of time before mistakes occur which will cause disputes between the parties. T here is a variety of dispute resolution methods available for use the benchmark of which is litigation. Scholars agree that despite all the available and successful alternative dispute resolut ion methods, litigation remains the benchmark for resolving confli ct in the construction industry and, despite the fact that it is not used as broadly as in the past, it is still considered the most powerful option Wh ile contractors largely accept mediation and its promise of lower costs and sh orter duration, they are still reluctant to fully embrace it. This thesis, referencing actual construction claims, present s case studies of construction mediation and binding arbitration The subject is to offer a study of the most common causes of disputes, present alternative dispute resolution methods and finally to prove or disprove the idea that litigation remains the primary source of settling construction disput es. The results have indicated that
8 traditional dispute resolution methods, such as litigation and arbitration, are declining in use among construction professionals who favor alternative methods, such as mediation and dispute resolution boards.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION It is quite easy to commit a mistake at any job and it is especially true in construction. Nowadays the complexity of construction projects requires the intricate orchestration of numerous interdependent components which include information, materials, tools, equipment, and a large number of personnel working for independent engineers, contractors, and suppliers. With all those elements intertwined and the sheer number of individuals, organizations, and issues involved it is very easy for wor kers to commit mistakes. W ith mistakes inevitably comes decline in productivity, loss of quality or increase in time delay, all of which can lead to a dispute of who is at fault. Recently dis putes have begun to increase more than ever because the economic times have become worse and construction project participants are not as willing or able to compromise and use cash to smooth over the rough spots. As a result, construction disputes have become very common. They vary in the nature of the dispute, number of the parties involved and complexity. Construction disputes, when not resolved in a timely manner, can spiral out of control and become very expensive in a range of issues from finances and personnel to time and opportunity costs. There are visible and less visible expenses that need to be taken into account. The visible expenses are the direct costs that are easy to record and scale: Attorneys fees Expert witness fees The dispute resolution process itself
10 The less visible costs are those that can be ov erlooked at first and are difficult or impossible to measure: Company resources assigned to the dispute Lost business opportunities and the intangible costs Damage to business relationships Potential value lost due to inefficient dispute resolution is also considerable, although difficult or impossible to quantify. McCone Pea-Mora, & Sosa (2003) estimated that construction litigation expenditures in the United States have inc reased at an average rate of 10% per year over the last few decades, and now tot al nearly $5 billion annually The desire and pressure to finish the project and a lack of resources for identifying the root cause of the problems contribute to the danger of delaying the intervention necessary to resolve disputes. Fullerton (2005) stated that despite all the available and successful alternative dispute resolution methods, litigation remained the benchmark for resolving conflict in the construction industry. He noted that it was still considered the most powerful option, though not used as broadly as in the past. He also noted that while contractors largely accepted arbitration and its promise of lower costs and shorter duration, they were concerned about its increasing emulation of litigation. Nevertheless, he opined that contractor s seemed to be reluctant to embrace mediation. The object of this study is to look at the most common causes of disputes ; to present alternative dispute resolution methods ; and finally, to prove or disprove the idea that litigation remains the primary source of settling construction disputes. Actual claims
11 and cases will be used to illustrate how and why projects become prone to error and subject to claims. The cases are presented in such a way as to provide a brief overview of the entire case, followed by the summary of the design and construction process, followed by the description of the claim that was presented and finally finished with a set of questions pertaining to the matter of the claim. The case studies are summaries of actual claims, extrapolat ed from review of expert witness files and court files. As in all things law the reader is encouraged to discern the positive and negative arguments of both parties. The case studies will offer the basis of understanding and discussion on what can go wrong on a job site, what a contractor has to do to avoid the blame and what options are available in case one gets involved in a dispute.
12 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW There have been a number of studies which suggested that mediation is the best possible solution among all dispute resolution methods. All articles rev iewed agreed that in order to use mediation effectively, the case must be appropriate for mediation, and the timing of the m ediation needs to be deliberately chosen. Since the courts have been overwhelmed with claims and cases, many federal district and state trial courts mandate mediation of all cases filed in their jurisdiction, whether or not the matter is constructionrelated, or whether it i s simple or complex. Peters and Mastin (2007) list the following benefits that the mediation process offers to the participants: The settlement will not be a subject of appeals and could be enforced immediately The process helps the parties to preserve business relationships as it is less adversarial and requires a certain amount of cooperation It is simply cheaper and faster than any other dispute resolution methods Confidentiality can be maintained to the extent applicable law allows or by contractual agreement Settlement options include various non -monetary solutions Blancato and Gibson (2008) also note that mediation provides an opportunity for the people who know the most about a problem to craft a mutually acceptable solution to resolve it. The purpose of mediation is not to relive the past, but to look to the future. The goal is to resolve the current problem in a way that makes each side's future brighter than it would be if the case were not settled. They note that the most important strategy in order to avoid an impasse is to be flexible. The media tor should always stress the progress that has been made during the mediation. By emphasizing what the
13 parties accomplished and encouraging them to continue discussions, with or without the mediator, the door can remain open to further negotiations. Bates and Holt (2007) however mention that when mediation takes place on a large, complex construction case with multiple parties involved, it requires a commitment from each participant in the process to achieve success. Open communication and understanding the needs of each person involved in the process is critical to achieving a negotiated solution. The m ediator has a very difficult job in finding commonality within the negotiating teams, building consensus within the teams, and fully engaging all necessary s takeholders. However, they note that the mediation process is highly successful because it meets the needs of the parties to achieve an acceptable resolution of difficult issues while minimizing the cost, time and disruptive effect of resolving the underly ing dispute. Flake and Perin (2003) suggest ed that the most important step to a successful mediation is to honestly access the strengths and weaknesses of the case and indicate a reasonable settlement range based upon the evaluation of the facts, the law, the needs and other factors. They note that most mediators provide reality check on the parties expectations and as a result, if those are not managed before the mediation begins, the mediator surely will burst that balloon during private caucuses. Ther efore, it is critical to present a true picture of the value of the case before the mediation so to not be shocked by what is said during the course of the mediation day. Dispute resolution boards also provide an alternative solution to mediation. In her s urvey of construction professionals and construction attorneys, Harmon (2004) found out the attitudes and opinions of construction industry members towards dispute
14 resolution boards. Her research indicates that 71% (317 respondents) had a positive attitude toward dispute resolution boards with only 5% (22 respondents) dissenting a nd an even greater number (88% or 390) agreed that dispute resolution boards contribute to the success of a project. Cruz (2006) comp ared two cases, one of which had been resolved through arbitration and one through litigation. He noted that i n the litigation, the parties became embroiled in a procedural morass that consumed 2 years of motions, attorney disqualification and v enue issues and related appeals, while in arbitration the process took only 6 months. Cruz stated that arbitration proceedings were made more efficient because they allow flexibility in scheduling hearings, organizing the evidence, presenting witness testimony, and questioning by the panel. Zuckerman (2007) aske d three experienced construction litigators and arbitrators from different parts of the country to estimate the claimant's cost of arbitrati ng or litigating in state court a hypothetical two party construction dispute in order to see how they compare. His study found that the cost for arbitration equaled to $94,500 while litigation $120,300 due to the fact that the majority of the cost of litigation is spent of attorneys fees.
15 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY A substantial literature review lies at the heart o f this research analysis with the help of which the case studies used were analyzed. All of the material relating to case studies was taken from expert witness depositions and attorneys who participated in them with names of the parties changed due to conf identiality issues. Most of the case studies presented were settled either formally or informally. However, regardless of the outcome, the primary documents that surround these cases are not in the public domain, and any such the settlement remains confidential. For these reasons the actual court documents at the end of case study have the names of the parties blacked out. All of the cases have been settled and none are ongoing. As a result, the information and opinions presented in this thesis are a reflec tion of facts still available after the settlement has been made and a substantial amount of time passed. A dditional information was researched through applicable court files and journal articles to support the material upon which the conclusions are based Chapter 6 concerns a dispute over the installation of updates for a network of expressways. The issues include active interference, constructive acceleration, schedule approval delay and failure of contractual responsibilities. Chapter 7 involves construction of a new school with issues that include breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation. Chapter 8 concerns the construction of a new residence and performing site improvements with the primary issue s being defective work, failure to properly manage the project and failure to keep proper records of money allocation. Chapter 9 involves a dispute over the construction of a new church. The issues include defective work and failure to properly manage the project.
16 CHAPTER 4 COMMON CAUSES OF DIS PUTES Just as no two construction projects are alike, no two claims will ever have identical components. Even the simplest box buildings will be erected by different people, on different pieces of land or at different times. Unlike the manufacturing industry, construction is not primarily concerned with the repetition of a series of processes but with a succession of one time projects. Therefore, as the complexity of the work increases, so does the number of v ariables, and, as a result, the range of things which can go wrong (Bramble 1995). To avoid and resolve disputes and claims on construction projects, specific types of problems that commonly cause disputes must be understood and categorized in order to prevent them. Any one of these issues can cause a dispute between parties and as a result, many of these disputes ultimately must be resolved in the legal system. They can be divided into the following groups and issues : Contractor practices Delay/Impact Co ntracting agency practices Changes Differing site conditions Contract documents Personal factors Design/Engineering defects Institutional factors Contract awards Contractor management and performance Third party actions/inactions Contract administration Si te access or site management failures Most of the construction disputes that occur can be easily rectified if all parties that are involved in the project communicate among themselves and try to solve the
17 issue as soon as it arises. The failure to communi cate and do what is promised is the greatest issue for any contractual relationship. Another way to avoid many of the disputes is to be attentive to certain aspects of the problems and critical points. The industry has made it much easier since it has sta rted to change towards incorporating contractors into the design process where they can interact and resolve many potentially troubling issues at their infancy. It is also a good idea to make changes that occur during the project in writing. Parties always change their minds during a construction project and if they are made at the right time, the cost and length of the job may not be affected. However, if things are delayed as a result of change, that can mean a drastic increase in price. Therefore, if changes in the plans or contract do occur during the project, it is best to put them in writing as amendments to the contract, including any differences in cost and who will pay for them. A successful contractor should keep good written records during the project in order to successfully navigate through the possible dispute. It is the most important step to safeguard them from a potential financial disaster as most of the time the side with the best paperwork wins the case. Therefore it is paramount to keep a log of conversations and copies of all documents, correspondence, canceled checks, change orders, etc.
18 CHAPTER 5 DISPUTE RESOLUTION M ETHODS When an issue does come up on which parties cannot agree peacefully, the matter of how best to a ddress it a rises. Disputes vary in nature, and different disputes are more efficiently resolved through different methods. Until the 1970s, the construction industry tended to settle disputes the oldfashioned way through litigation. That began to change after cou rts began to receive more cases than they could handle, and contractors started to try to avoid using litigation as the primary method of dispute resolution because it caused its certain characteristics: High financial cost The time commitment involved The inability to pursue new work Mental anguish Potential damage to relationships In the 1980s, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a series of proarbitration rulings that encouraged commercial parties to provide for arbitration of disputes in their contractual arrangements (Fullerton, 2005). Since then, the construction industry has been using many different types of alternative dispute resolution options: arbitration, mediation, partnering, and dispute review boards, etc. In their search for reliable alternativ es, contractors have largely accepted arbitration yet remain reserved toward mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. The most common alternative dispute resolution methods currently used in the construction industry are : Negotiation generally requires the individuals directly involved in the dispute to seek resolution through direct negotiation. If a resolution is not reached within a
19 predetermined length o f time, the dispute is elevated to senior levels of each organization. Dispute Review Boards typically consist of three neutral experts, who visit the site periodically in order to monitor progress and potential problems. When requested by the parties, the board conducts an informal hearing of the dispute and issues an advisory op inion that the parties use as a basis for further negotiations. Mediation conducted by a neutral thirdparty mediator, who acts as a facilitator to help the parties resolve their dispute. Mediators can play many roles: setting the agenda, getting partici pants to talk to each other, helping them understand their problems, and suggesting possible solutions. One thing the mediator does not do is decide the dispute. Therefore, mediation is not considered to be an adversarial procedure because the ultimate goal is not to "win" but to find solutions acceptable to all sides. Mediation is becoming more acceptable as it is usually considered less expensive and less time-consuming than either litigation or arbitration. More importantly, because it does not impose a solution, mediation is more likely to preserve the parties' relationship. Arbitration considered being the primary, rather than an alternative, method of dispute resolution since it has become used so widely in construction. It consists of a forum in whi ch each party and counsel for the party present the position of the party before an impartial third party who renders a specific award. The clearest advantage of arbitration is the ability to select the neutral party who will decide the dispute. Having an informed arbitrator is seen as a clear improvement over a judge with no particular knowledge of construction. Overall, contractors are comfortable with arbitration as a more accommodating process out of all alternative dispute resolution methods, even thou gh it sometimes resembles litigation. Next this study will look at various construction disputes that went through one of the dispute resolution methods since the parties could not agree among themselves. They are briefly described and followed by a set o f questions pertaining to how matters could have been different under other circumstances.
20 CHAPTER 6 FLASH ELECTRIC INC. VS BRE WSTER COUNT Y EXPRESSWAY AUTHORI TY Background and Overview Brewster County Expressway Authority (hereafter referred to as BCEA) decided to electronically update their expressways and lay down a fiber optic cable network. For this project they made an agreement with Flash Electric Inc., (hereafter referred to as Fl ash) who was to be the General Contractor, to install eighty two miles of fiber optic cable, set up new toll booths and video cameras in locations where deemed necessary, renovate the old ones, and connect everything into one central location. The project was officially named a Fiber Optic Network Backbone Project for Brewster County Expressway Authority and was located in Alpine Texas. The architect was selected to be Power Brown, Smith & Boynten (hereafter referred to as PBSB) and owner's representative DCA -Southwest Inc. (hereafter referred to as DCA). The work should have commenced on August 22, 1997 and the substantial completion should have been achieved on November 13, 1998. This was to be a fast -track design build project where construction would start as soon as a certain part of the design documents was finished. Construction Problems with the project started prior to construction in the design phase. Contrary to the contract documents, which required the architect to be responsible for the desi gn, PBSB directed Flash to design the project from scratch at the start of the project. Over the course of the project, PBSB did produce a limited number of as built drawings but they were consistently inaccurate, incomplete, lacked the level of detail req uired, and were often submitted in an improper format and always late. As a result, PBSB effectively converted the project from designbuild to that of design and build.
21 This was evident during the design meeting on January 22, 1998 where PBSB and DCA esta blished that the final design drawings for each segment had to have an extreme level of detail and that Flash was to use the conceptual plans to create electronic as builts of the duct routing p roposed by Flash. Thus, within the first months into the proje ct, BCEA's agents had transformed the design-build contract into a traditional design, bid, and construct contract with one party, Flash, doing both the design and the construction. However, the contract was set up for a designbuild approach and not a tra ditional design and build contract. Therefore, the fast tracking of the design and construction was made impossible and the contract length was insufficient in order to carry out the traditional approach. On top of making Flash do the design work, PBSB and DCA actively interfered with the submittal process during the design phase of the project by the following actions: Waiting until the last allowable day to return submittals Returning some submittals with no reason given for rejection Requiring a material submittal for every nut and bolt required on the project Requiring numerous resubmittals of the design because of small and not always important details Returning submittals with numerous comments of which only a few might be relevant to rejection but n ot delineating which comments were relevant Rejecting submittals due to an alleged lack of coordination with other submittals, even though this coordination was not required by contract Rejecting submittals due to PBSB's lack of understanding of the techni cal aspects of the submittal Of the total submittals made by Flash, twenty required three or more submissions for approval. Of these twenty, eleven required three submissions, five required four
22 submissions, two required five submissions, one required seven submissions, and one required eight submissions. These protracted submittal approvals caused Flash to experience a total of 1100 days of delay in the submittal approval process, out of which the design phase was affected and delayed by 334 calendar days. When the construction started BCEA was still determined to maintain the substantial completion date. As a result, it required Flash to accelerate the project via increase of manpower and instituting a 7 day workweek. Flash continued to increase its manpow er and hired additional subcontractors in an effort to overcome the delays caused by BCEA. Flash continued to do so until it became obvious that the BCEA had no intention of compensating Flash based on its normal monthly pay requests. At that time, Flash b egan t o reduce the manpower to avoid further financial losses caused by BCEA's actions. Throughout the duration of the project, PBSB and DCA demonstrated numerous instances of non-responsiveness and slow response time to the RFIs and COs which served as an other factor in delaying the construction process and the completion of the project. From the start of the project, Flash communicated with BCEA pointing out the wrong way things were going. Flash sent letters to BCEA letting them know that it was being delayed by their agents' wrongful interpretation of the RFI with regards to the scope of work under a designbuild contract and Flash's development of plans. Flash wrote a letter to DCA, advising it of the delays being caused by the slow approval of the Net work Requirements Study (which was ultimately delayed for 309 calendar days by actions and inactions of PBSB and DCA).
23 As a result of all the delays, the project reached the substantial completion date on February 15, 2000, 452 days past of the original p roject completion date of November 13, 1998. Claim Shortly before the completion of t he project, Flash sent a letter to BCEA, putting them on notice that since BCEA were blaming all the problems on Flash, they had no option but to prepare a claim at the end of the project and to pursue their cost impacts caused by the actions and inactions of the BCEA and its agents. Flash noted that the issues started with BCEA, PBSB and DCA being late to start the design phase as well as prolonging submittal and material reviews much more than it was necessary. Later, during the construction phase, to make up time for their mistakes, BCEA and its agents continually accelerated the project without paying Flash for the additional manpower and resources that it provided. As a result, Flash had no choice but to file a claim to be compensated for all the direct and indirect costs they incurred from delays, disruptions and cost overruns. Along with the letter, Flash submitted a RCO outlining the items in dispute and requesting a time extension of 435 days and a contract adjustment of $4,627,937. The main reason that Flash presented as a basis of entitlement was an active interference on behalf of BCEA and its representatives, PBSB and DCA, with Flash while it attempted to comple te the project. Specifically, Flash noted that BCEA, PBSB and DCA actively interfered with them in the following ways: PBSB and DCA prolonged the submittal and design review/approval process by overzealous review of submittals. The protracted design proces s delayed project completion.
24 PBSB's delayed approval of the material related submittals for Network Requirements Study forced Flash to construct the project segments out of sequence. PBSB's failure to provide as built drawings as required by contract delayed Flash's design process and the start of construction work. PBSB's insistence on a level of detail in the outside plant drawings that was above and beyond normal industry standards forced Flash to expend a significant amount of money in order to comply. The second major basis of entitlement was for damages incurred due to BCEA's constructive acceleration of Flash's work. When both parties signed the contract, the project had a specified length and completion date. Article 3.5 of the designbuild contract clearly stipulated that time was of the essence. Flash suffered numerous delays in the design phase and construction phase of this project that were outside of its control or contemplation at the time of bid submission. Flash requested a time extension on numerous occasions and in every case where it did, the request was rejected by the BCEA which decided to extend the workdays for the crews and build up a work force on the project. Despite, the fact that Flash complied and fulfilled the conditions BCEA as ked of them, BCEA did not provide any compensation for the actions taken. The third major basis of entitlement was regarding baseline schedule approval delay. DCA and PBSB originally complained that Flash's schedule had too much detail, however, later in the project they changed their position and decided that it was in need of more milestones and summary activities. Moreover, DCA and PBSB indicated that the biggest problem was a discrepancy between the schedule of values cost values and the same cost items on the schedule, which, after review of both documents, proved to be a mistake. Finally, DCA and PBSB resorted to trivial complaints of column widths and other equally mundane matters. As a result, the overzealous review of DCA and
25 PBSB turned the schedule approval process from a maximum possible reasonable duration of 60 days into a drawn out process that was d elayed by 203 days. Although the baseline schedule did not have an activity for the submittal and approval of the schedule, its delay had a very large impact on Flash. Pay requests were impacted and requests for stored materials payment were unnecessarily delayed or withheld. Flash asked BCEA to be compensated for the losses it suffered but the pay request was declined. The fourt h and final basis of entitlement was concerning the permits. The delays in acquiring permits on this project greatly delayed the start of many of the construction activities and contributed to the late completion of the project. After the start of the perm itting process, it seemed that PBSB and the Texas Department of Transportation were confused with regard to permitting requirements. This resulted in PBSB and BCEA taking 455 calendar days longer than planned to clarify the requirements for TDOT permits. Moreover, PBSB refused to acquire the permits for Flash, despite the fact that the contract stated that the work that was to be performed per the conceptual drawings, was supposed to be the responsibility of BCEA or its agents. Of the 81 necessary permits required for construction, PBSB obtained only 51 permits, and Flash obtained 30 permits while it was responsible for only 15 permits due to the fact that it was forced to apply and get every city permit. Flash asked BCEA to be compensated for the idle manp ower and equipment time lost while waiting for the permits but the pay request was denied. Questions 1 Flash sent letters to OOCEA letting them know that Flash was being delayed by OOCEA's agents' wrongful interpretation of the RFP with regards to the scop e of work under a design/build contract and HPI's development of plans on numerous
26 occasions. Despite that, could they be at fault for not pushing the issue forward and setting up a personal or phone meeting with parties involved to resolve the issues? 2 Who is ultimately responsible for resolving issues between the parties on the project? If a disagreement is between the designer and the contractor who has more authority since both have privity with the owner? To what extent is the owner responsible for conf lict resolution? 3 In order for a contractor to have a claim for constructive acceleration, a condition that the contractor must have suffered delays that would extend its period of contract performance past the specified project completion date must be met. If the suffered delays were partially contractors fault, does the claim have a basis to be filed? 4 If a submittal is returned on the last allowable day does this warrant a delay on behalf of the person responsible for its return? What if it happens repetit ively? 5 At which point of the dispute should the parties start considering possible ways of alternative dispute resolution? Should they wait until the dispute escalates to the point where it naturally flows into litigation?
27 CHAPTER 7 BROWN CONSTRUCTION V S MADISON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD Background and Overview The School Board of Madison County in Florida was in need of a new school which was to be designed and built from scratch. On December 6, 2001, they made an agreement with Brown Construction Inc., who w as to be the General Contractor, to build the new school which would be called Hollyview High School. The work was to include a new high school with sitework improvements located in Hollyview, Florida. The building was to be approximately 165,000 square feet. Spaces would have included a gymnasium, an auditorium, a media center, kitchen and dining areas, administrative offices, and classrooms. Sitework would have included drives, parking areas, onsite utilities and stormwater management. The architect was selected to be Hollister McGraw McKinney LLC ( hereafter referred to as HMM). The work should have commenced on December 10, 2001 with 570 consecutive calendar days allowed for its completion, thus making the contract completion date July 3, 2003. The contr act was to be the standard AIA Document A101 with the contract sum of $18,290,000. The job site was located on a 62 acre parcel of undeveloped land located in Hollyview, Florida. Prior to the start of construction two soils tests were conducted to determi ne the s ub-surface soils and conditions: The first test was done by D&M Testing Lab Inc. and their report stated that the sub-surface conditions were favorable for support of the planned construction or structure when the construction methods and procedure s, that they recommended in the same report, would have been implemented in their entirety. The soil was classified to be clay, containing 10.3 to 20.3 % of moisture, depending on depth with a bearing capacity of 4000 psi.
28 The second test was done by QuadState Testing Lab Inc. and their report submitted described the sub -surface exploration and geotechnical engineering evaluation for the project. The purpose of the report was to determine general subsurface conditions and to gather data on which to base re commendations relative to site preparation, foundation design and construction considerations for the project. The report stated that surface drainage was good, with runoff discharging generally in a northerly direction away from the site and it classified the soil as clayey sand. The bearing capacity was set as 2500 psi. Construction Work on the project started as planned however, substantial delays were incurred from the very start of the project. Beginning with the second week, after the notice to procee d was obtained, the rains hampered the progress for four straight months with the exception of 2 weeks downtime due to the owners testing lab approving placement of 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill lifts without testing the subgrade. Between December 10, 2001 and the March 25, 2003, the job site experienced 78.47 inches of rainfall with the months of April 2002, July 2002, September 2002, November 2002, and March 2003 having monthly rainfall in excess of 7 inches. On May 9, 2002, Brown, the School Board, and HMM exec uted Change Order No.3, which granted Brown an additional 93 days due to extensive rain during the first 127 days that Brown was at the job site and under contract. However, it was not until May 11, 2002, almost 6 months into the project that the first foo ting was poured; over 10 months before the 1st slab was poured; and over 12 months before the 2nd slab was poured The work represented 25% of the cumulative work of the project which was to be completed, on the project planned for completion in 19 month. The frequent rains have had a significant impact on progress with regard to work stoppage, work day interruptions, reallocation of labor to remediate water accumulations, etc. but its largest impact was on lost productivity.
29 According to weather records kept at the Hollyview Municipal Airport, which was located less than one mile east of the project, precipitation occurred 253 days out of the 590 days between December 2001 and July 2003. This represented precipitation 43% of t he time, which is almost every other day. This frequent precipitation saturated the clayey soils, creating accessibility and mobility problems within the building footprint and throughout the site. Maneuvering and slopping around in these extreme conditions reduced productivity considerably, thus contributing significantly to project delays. Another problem created by the saturated site conditions was "jumping around" or performing work and procedures out of the originally planned sequence On many occasio ns after a significant rainfall the General Contractor had to mobilize work efforts to another area of the project while the previous work area was dewatered and dried out enough to resu me work. Thus, numerous weather -related interruptions made it very dif ficult to hold on to or develop any type of schedule. As a result of the delay, the contractual substantial completion date of October 3, 2003 in reality became March 31, 2005, which was when all the work was finally completed, and the total approved contract time of 663 calendar days became 1207 calendar days. All the factors that produced significant delays can be classified into four criteria, which are the following: Soil Characteristics: Frequent rains saturated the clayey soils, creating accessi bility and mobility problems. The contract stated that Brown was not responsible to bring in or haul out soil materials. Building Orientation: The building was situated in the middle of a natural drainage flow of the surrounding property. Thus, whenever it rained the sheet flow was
30 literally through the building which created catastrophic results after substantial rains. Frequent Precipitation: Precipitation had occurred on the site at least 43% of the first 590 days the school had been under construction. Project Duration: When considering all the problems encountered, the original project duration of 570 days became extraordinarily unattainable by any reasonable or fiscal responsible means Claim On October 3, 2003, Brown submitted a formal claim for an additional 305 days to complete the project and an increase in the contract price of $403,370.00 due to unsuitable and unworkable soil conditions encountered through July 27, 2003. Brown's argument was that as the unsuitable and unworkable soil conditions c ontinued, Brown realized that the project location, specifically the building footprint, was directly within a natural drainage basin, which in combination with the soil conditions at the project site, made the soils unsuitable and unworkable with even minimal or moderate precipitation. These soil conditions negatively affected Brown's productivity and efficiency in the performance of the contract, thereby substantial l y increasing its costs and time in performance of the contract. Throughout this time, Brow n timely gave the School Board and HMM written and verbal notices that the conditions were inconsistent with the actual contract and general construction experience, and not accounted for by the plans and specifications, and that Brown would be submitting a claim for adjustment of the contract time and contract price when such calculations could be made. On March 3, 2005, Brown submitted to HMM a revised claim for conditions encountered through January 15, 2005, and later on March 31, 2005, Brown substantially completed the project.
31 On July 25, 2005, HMM issued its first written response to Brown's claims dated October 3, 2003 and March 3, 2005, where it substantially denied Brown's claim for an adjustment of the contract price and contract time. The main reason that Brown presented as a basis of entitlement was a breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation. Breach of Contract The site conditions encountered by Brown differed materially from those indic ated in the contract and made it impossible to perform the construction project called for in the parties' contract within the time specified in the bid documents. As a result, the School Board had failed to perform all of its obligations and had materiall y breached the contract by failing to adjust the contract time and contract price, and by failing to pay all amounts owed under the contract. Breach of Implied Warranty Brown, in good faith, attempted to perform the contract in accordance with the plans, s pecifications and contract requirements provided by the School Board, and within the contract time allotted. However, the plans and specifications, and specified contract time were materially defective, as they failed adequately to account for the effects of precipitation given the soil characteristics and drainage patterns at the project site. As a consequence, it was impossible to perform the work, as designed, within the contract time. Due to that, Brown incurred substantial additional costs and suffered substantial delays in its efforts to comply with the defective plans, specifications and requirements of the contract documents. The defects in the plans, specifications and contract requirements were the direct and proximate cause of the additional costs and
32 additional time required by Brown to perform the contract. Therefore, Madison County School Board had breached its implied warranty, which can be described as the sufficiency and adequacy of the plans, specifications and contract requirements. Unjust Enrichment Brown's furnished labor, material, equipment and other goods and services, related to the construction of the project, were accepted by Madison County School Board for its benefit. The work performed was reasonably worth the amount charged therefore at the time that it was performed, including the additional costs and damages claimed by Brown for the delays in construction occasioned by the site conditions and the failure of the plans, specifications, and contract requirements to account for such conditions. However, despite demand for payment, the School Board had failed and refused to pay Brown and payment remained due. Negligent Misrepresentation In its bid documents, the School Board stated that the project could be substantially completed wit hin 600 consecutive calendar days after commencing work. The School Board also stated, based on the soil reports, that surface drainage was described as good, with runoff discharging generally in a northerly direction away from the site. Both of these stat ements turned out to be false. The School Board intended and expected Brown to rely upon these statements, and Brown reasonably relied upon the statements in bidding on the project, and entering into the contract with the School Board for the work described in the plans, specifications, and other contract documents. As a direct and proximate result of Brown's reasonable reliance upon Madison County School Board 's false statements of material fact, Brown had been damaged.
33 Questions 1 Could any of the companies that performed soil testing be held responsible for providing false information and thus bearing the costs of delays? What about the civil engineers who signed off on the contract specifications? 2 Should HMM have consid ered using different materials to alleviate the rain delays after the Change Order No. 3 was issued to safeguard the project from future possibility of rain delay? If so, how soon they should have acted and what sum of money would have been deemed feasible to spend? 3 Would it have been economically efficient to suspend the project and wait till the weather would clear out? 4 Can Brown's claim be justified if neither the School Board nor HMM signed off on the permission to use extra funds to complete the project or would it be classified as contractor's good faith obligation? 5 Could the School Board argue that the location of the site and excessive and abnormal amounts of precipitation that were encountered, were all an unfortunate series of events that were out of their control?
34 CHAPTER 8 LANCASTER CONSTRUCTI ON INC. VS DOWLING Background and Overview John Dowling III was in need of a new residence which he decided to construct from scratch. On 15 March, 2000, he made an agreement with Lancaster Construction Inc., who was to be the Construction Manager, to build his new house. The site was to be a 8.6 a cre parcel located in Charleston, SC. The contract stated that in addition to the erection of a single family brick veneer three story residence, an adjacent three story guest house would be constructed as well. After the two buildings would be built the r est of the work would include retaining walls, walks, steps, terraces, swimming pool, fences, roads, and other miscellaneous site improvements. Mr. Dowling used the services of Larry Cox Associates, Architects, Ltd. f or architectural services to design the residence and produce construction documents and specifications. The contract was to be AIA A131 Owner/Construction Manager, where Construction Manager was also a constructor and included cost plus fee bases with no maximum amount. The construction management fee was to be for 10% percent of the cost of the work that has been executed under the administration and supervision of the construction manager. Garry Lancaster was to perform supervisory and administrative activities at the site for $25 per hour. O n October 31, 2001, Lancaster Construction wrote a letter to Dowling stating that projected costs of labor and materials, based on the plans and specifications that they had, to complete the main house would be $625,000; for the guest house $675,000; and for patio, walks, steps, terrace area, brick flag stone, concrete base and pool $200,000; that would bring the overall project cost to $1.5 million.
35 Construction A permit for the construction of the main house was obtained from the City of Charleston D epartment of Inspection Services on March 15, 2000 and the construction commenced in advance or immediately after the permit was issued. On June 29, 2000, a permit for the construction of the guest house was obtained from the City of Charleston Department of Inspection Services and again, construction commenced in advance or immediately after the permit was issued. The construction appeared to proceed unimpeded until January 11, 2001, when the main house experienced a fire which destroyed the in place cons truction above the basement walls and foundations. The fire caused some damage to the remaining structure (i.e. basement walls, foundation, and columns) which required certain corrective work. The owner was compensated through their insurance carrier for the major portion of the loss; however, due to the construction manager's inability to produce certain requested back up and documentation, the owner was unable to fully reconcile the covered portion of the loss. The clean up and the reconstruction of the main house commenced immediately after the fire and the construction of the guest house continued. A permit for the completion of the construction of both the main house and the guest house was applied for and obtained from the City of Charleston Department of Inspection Services on July 24, 2002. T he construction was not impeded by the application process to obtain these completion permits. On October 1, 2002, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the City of Charleston Department of Inspect ion Services for the main house. Construction activities continued with punch lists prepared and produced by Larry Cox on March
36 2003 and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the City of Charleston Department of Inspection Services on March 26, 2003. Af ter that Mr. Dowling moved into the house making it his primary residence. Construction activities continued on the site improvements and the guest house after March 2003. On April 24, 2004, the Construction Manager applied for and obtained another permit for the completion of the construction of the guest house. Once the permit was obtained, construction activities continued on both the site improvements and the guest house. There were no documents or records that would indicate when or if the Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the City of Charleston Department of Inspection Services for the guest house or for site improvements. Lancaster Constructions Claim Sometime after the completion of the project Lancaster Construction issued a claim against Mr. Dowling. It stated that throughout the job Lancaster Construction submitted various cost + 10% invoices to Mr. Dowling, which initially were paid in their entirety, however, later in the construction process, Mr. Dowling began to retain 5% of the amount owed under the invoice as retainage. Lancaster Construction stated that although they were advised of this by Mr. Dowling, since the funds retained did not affect the profitability or progress of the overall job, it was understood that the funds would be set aside exclusively for Lancaster Construction. Lancaster Construction also claimed that they would show that the contract and the agreement provided that Mr. Dowling would produce the final payment to Lancaster Construction thirty days after the completion of the residence and out buildings, including all amounts owing as retainage. The claim states that retainage was in the amount of $208,299.21 and the final and remaining payment $276,320.25. Lancaster
37 Construction stated that Mr. Dowling, in spit e of repeated demands, had simply refused and refused to comply with the contract and had failed to remit the remainder of all amounts owing to Lancaster Construction. Mr. Dowlings Counterclaim Shortly after Lancaster Construction brought forth its claim, Mr. Dowling responded and denied any wrongdoing and in turn issued a counterclaim where he stated that the work performed by Lancaster Construction and its subcontractors was defective and substandard In addition, it claimed that a large portion of the w ork had to be replaced already or would be required to be replaced in the future and that Lancaster Construction failed to adequately supervise and manage the construction project, causing the costs to skyrocket. The claim also noted that the contract required Lancaster Construction to obtain three written quotes from subcontractors before entering into its written subcontracts and that Lancaster Construction failed to obtain these written contracts before commencing its work under its contract. Other than that, Mr. Dowling also claimed that Lancaster Construction also failed to provide detailed payment applications, adequate accounting of the distribution of monies, including funds to subcontractors, and notification with each payment application of the per centage complete on the project as was required by the contract. The claim ended with requesting that L ancaster Construction specifically perform the contract by repairing and/or replacing all defective work on the project. In case the replacements had alr eady been made, Lancaster Construction was to compensate Mr. Dowling the actual costs, damages and losses. Mr. Dowling's claim highlighted the most relevant mistakes that occurred on the project. It stated that no control estimate was prepared by the Const ruction Manager nor
38 was a detailed system of cost control developed and implemented to compare the control estimate with the actual cost, while the Paragraphs 2.2 of the Contract clearly stated to do so. Garry Lancaster invoiced Mr. Dowling for wages and s alaries for his supervisory and administrative activities when stationed at the site in sums in excess of $25 per hour, which was contrary to the provision of the agreement and he was not performing supervisory and administrative activities at the site for periods indicated on payroll. There was no evidence that a final application for payment was ever provided to the Architect for processing and certification or a final accounting for the cost of the work had been submitted by the Construction Manager for review by Mr. Dowling. Payments were made to subcontractors without retainage being withheld and without documentation that the labor hours that were invoiced were for actual labor hours during the invoiced period. M aterials were ordered in excess of what were required or that materials ordered and placed in the care of the Construction Manager were ei ther lost, misplaced or stolen. When the main house experienced a fire, on January 11, 2001, the Construction Manager estimated the fire loss as a sum of $1,1 60,916 however, Mr. Dowling had been reimbursed a sum of $885, 618. Thus, the sum that was not fully reconciled was in an estimated amount of $275,298. The waterproofing and/or drainage appeared to have failed in the northeast portion of the guest house. C orrective activities would have been necessary; however, the scope and cost for those activities had not been determined at the time of the claim. The painting was substandard and defective which required Mr. Dowling to secure the services of another paint er to make certain repairs. This cost totaled the sum of $326,819, inclusive of expenses incurred by Mr. Dowling. Certain construction equipment was on rental for periods that were unjustified
39 based on the construction a ctivities that were in progress and some invoices were paid multiple times. Questions 1 Is the Construction Manager due any sum of money made up of the balance of sums due and retainage? Why or why not? 2 Should any thought be given to the fact that Mr. Dowling moved in the main house after its completion and had better supervision of the remaining phase of the project, which should have given him a better idea of what was going on at the job site? 3 If the quality of work for the project would indeed be classified as substandard should Lancaster' s Construction pay any punitive damages for the time lost? 4 How would the fact that the records needed for the insurance company which were missing, thus preventing Mr. Dowling from getting the full amount of compensation, were burned in the fire that occurred, change the situation? 5 The contract that Mr. Dowling signed clearly stated that there would be no maximum to the costs of the project; should he be allowed to bring forth the complaint about ballooning costs?
40 CHAPTER 9 JERUSALEM BAPTIST CH URCH VS CLARKSTON CONSTRUCTI ON COMPANY Background and Overview The Jerusalem Baptist Church grew rapidly in the numbers of its followers and decided to construct a new building which was to be designed and built from scratch. On October 12th, 2001 Pas tor Ronald Fo xworth, representing the Jerusalem Baptist Church, signed an AIA B141 Owner/Architect Agreement and AIA C101 the Architect/Consultant Agreement with JHI Design Inc., who was to act as a design builder to build a new 3,000 seat sanctuary building with offic e and educational spaces. Compensation was based on a stipulated sum or percentage of construction cost, progress payments for basic services in each phase were to total the following percentages of the total basic compensation payable: Bidding or Negotia tion Phase 15% upon 100% completion of construction contract Construction Phase: 6.25% per month through the completion of 85 % Total Basic Compensation 100% The project was to consist of a 80,000 square foot three-story building with shallow spread footings, steel frame, cast in place concrete and decorative concrete block veneer. The interior walls were to be clad with drywall and painted. Construction budget was estimated to be in $10-11 million range. The project was to be located in the 51th distri ct, land lots #73 and #87 in Langston County SC. For the construction part of the project, Pastor Foxworth signed an AIA A101 Owner Contractor Stipulated Sum Agreement on October 12, 2001, with the Clarkston Construction Company to construct the Jerusalem Baptist Church.
41 Construction The construction of the church proceeded on schedule without many problems affecting its progress. There were only a few issues that slowed the progress for a short period of time. On December 30, 2002, Michael Clarkston, CEO of Clarkston Construction Company notified Jerusalem Baptist Church and JHI t hat as of the date of the writing, the funding for the November 2001 Pay Application, in the amount of $974,983.84, was 15 days overdue. Mr. Clarkston underlined that the decision not to pay had severely jeopardized the overall project schedule, as some of the requested changes could have a direct impact on their ability to receive the Certificate of Occupancy, and consequently the nonpayment to the subcontractors had caused noti fication of several pending mechanics liens on the project. Mr Clarkston, noted that Joe Myers, representing JHI, and Sami Goldman, representing Bank of America, which was responsible for holding the funds for the project, verified the progress of their work to that date, as it was related to the Pay Application, and their site review provided confirmation they were still on track to meet the schedule on the work that was under contract. Mr. Clarkston also noted that Pastor Foxworth stated in several meet ings that as soon as funds were made available from the bank, the church would fund the November Pay Application, however it did not do so e ven though those funds had been made available. Mr. Clarkston noted that the General Conditions of the Contract, Art icle 9.7, Failure of Payment, stated the following: If the Owner does not pay the Contractor within seven days after the date established in the Contract Documents the amount certified by the Architect, then the Contractor may, upon seven additional days w ritten
42 notice to the Owner and Architect, stop the Work until payment of the amount owing has been received. The Contract Time shall be extended appropriately and the Contract Sum shall be increased by the amount of the Contractor's reasonable costs of shut down, delay and start up. According ly, Mr. Clarkston notified Jerusalem Bible Church that seven days from December 30, 2002, the project would be shut down until the payment would be received. He noted that it would be most unfortunate since, specific to the project schedule, their work forces had been working 60 hour six day work weeks and doing all the things necessary to meet the schedule. Mr. Clarkston also requested, in writing, information which was necessary and relevant for the substantiation of available funds to completely fund the project, as was specified in the General Conditions of the C ontract under Article 2, Owner, paragraph 2.2.: The Owner shall, at the request of the Contractor, prior to the execution of the Agreement and promptly from t ime to time thereafter, furnish to the Contractor reasonable evidence that financial arrangements have been made to fulfill the Owner's obligations under the Contract. JHI responded by stating that they were not aware of any issue which would justify the owner's decision not to fund the November Pay Application and had recommended that the church fund that payment immediately. On January 7, 2003, Clarkston Construction company notified Jerusalem Bible Church that November 2002 Pay Application was twenty three days past due at that time. Mr. Clarkston stated that his company would stop work on the project effective January 10, 2003 due to the fact that they could no longer incur cost on behalf of Jerusalem Bible Church without the certainty of repayment, and under the terms of their contractual agreement.
43 The November 2002 Pay Application was finally paid in March and work resumed as planned and the project was completed on schedule. Claim Despite the fact that construction of the project was completed on ti me with no major issues affecting it, certain problems began to occur in the building as more and more time passed: The curtain wall started to leak and wet the carpet Due to the temporary basement flooding during construction, mold had developed but was corrected by cutting out the sheetrock. However, as the issue was never truly fixed, it came back after the completion of the church. The A/C was malfunctioning and wou ld make some rooms freezing cold to the point that the heaters were turned on. There was a dangerous electrical line and a light that kept exploding, culminating in one of the choir members getting shocked when he was sitting on his chair. A lot of people started to look at the roof and it seemed to be leaking Based on these issues, Jerusalem Baptist Church, filed a claim against Clarkston Construction Company on the grounds that the work performed by Clarkston Construction and its subcontractors was defec tive and substandard, a large portion or which would be required to be replaced in the future and that Clarkston Construction failed to adequately supervise and manage the construction project. After a preliminary review of the building by a team of const ruction experts the following defects were found: There was a general corrosion of steel stairways at bolted and welded connections. Adjustable anchors were not used in the walls and application of self -adhesive flashing was not according to the specificat ions.
44 Block walls were not waterproofed with building paper or Tyvek prior to split face block being applied. Weep holes were not present in appropriate amounts or locations. There was little evidence that any waterproofing agents were used on the split fa ce block. Improper slope at the base of structure walls was causing drainage problems. There would be a need for continued caulking at the base as cracks would widen between horizontal slab and vertical wall of the structure due to settlement. After revie wing project records it was discovered that concrete failed to meet 28 days compressive strength but was used regardless. Roof drain design was improper because the slopes toward the drain were inadequate and the highest part of the roof actually sloped inward instead of outward toward exterior drains. Roofing materials that were used were of very low quality and not according to the specifications. Main floor seating slab appeared to not meet the 5-inch thickness specification and reinforcing steel appear ed to be lying at the bottom of the slab and exposed to view from the basement level. After the initial report the main problem identified was the improper construction techniques and poor quality control employed by Clarkston Construction Company, which r esulted in the building being virtually open to moisture penetration. Further thermal imaging and moisture content tests of basement floor and walls were suggested which revealed the following: In Room 109, moisture meter showed a high reading of 22%. In the storage room and on the wall near stair #2, moisture readings ranged from 18 to 24%. The exterior wall of the storage area had a moisture reading of 20%. In a computer service room, the moisture meter read 20% on the exterior wall and there were visibl e water stains on it.
45 In the pantry, exterior and interior walls all measured 40% moisture content. In the fellowship room, the exterior wall between the pantry and Room 135 had several areas that had moisture content in the low 20%. In the finance office moisture readings were found to be 30%. In garage, moisture meter readings ranged from 24 to 60 %. As mold is likely to grow in areas that have moisture potential over 5 0% it was visible that the building was suffering from some moisture penetrat ion ( Florida Department of Health [FDH], 2008). Questions 1 Should the architect be held responsible for failing to inspect and supervise quality assurance and quality control on the project? 2 Under the Terms and Conditions of the Agreement: The Architect shall visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction or as otherwise agreed by the Owner and the Architect in writing to become generally familiar with the progress and quality of the Work completed and to determine in general if the Work i s being performed in a manner indicating that the Work when completed will be in accordance with the Contract Documents. However, the Architect shall not be required to make exhaustive or continuous on-site inspections to check the quality or quantity of t he Work. On the basis of on-site observations as an architect, the Architect shall keep the Owner informed of the progress and quality of the Work, and shall endeavor to guard the Owner against defect s and deficiencies in the Work. What is the extent of exhaustive or continuous on-site inspections? What part of the fault should the contractor bear, if any? 3 If the failure of payment on behalf of the church made the contractor stop their work activities and by extension hurry their work after they resumed work to meet the schedule, should the quality be allowed to suffer to meet the deadlines? If so, to what extent? 4 Who is ultimately responsible on the jobsite for quality assurance and quality control, superintendent, project manager, building inspector? Should it be directly stated in the contract or assumed based on industry wide practices?
46 5 If a building receives the Certificate of Occupancy does that mean that if passed the basic quality standards required by law? Should the building inspector be held l iable for allowing it to pass? 6 If the materials that are to be used are not specified in the specifications should the contractor contact the architect for further clarification or proceed using industry wide practices?
47 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMEN DATIONS Conclusions Over the course of the last few decades, construction industry disputes have been steadily increasing. In todays world contractor s will inevitably be involved in a disagreement over a variety of issues at one point or another in their c areer Therefore, not only it is necessary to know the common causes of disputes in order to avoid them, but it is also important to know what steps to take when disagreements do occur in order to resolve them with minimal losses. A variety of dispute resolution methods exists nowadays and the contractor must be aware of the positive and negative side of each and what method is the most applicable in which situation. Some scholars have suggested that despite all the available and successful alternative dispute resolut ion methods, litigation remains the benchmark for resolving confli ct in the construction industry and, despite the fact that it is not used as broadly as in the past, it is still considered the most powerful option. And wh ile contractors lar gely accept mediation and its promise of lower costs and sh orter duration, they are still reluctant to fully embrace it. This study has show n that the assumption stated above is not always correct. Out of four cases analyzed, three have been settled after su ccessful mediation and only one has been settled through binding arbitration. Therefore, mediation was used seventy five percent of the time which gives it the right to be regarded as the primary dispute resolution method. However, it must be noted that the number of cases that were analyzed is too small to make any significant results and requires further research to make substantial conclusions. It is, nonetheless, a step into displaying a bigger
48 picture of change that is taking place within the construction industry: litigation is a thing of the past and in the very near future, if not already, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, will be the primary method fo r settling disputes and claims. Recommendations for Future Research To im prove results in the future, more personal interactions with all the parties involved would be recommended. Besides the research of available legal materials it would also be beneficial to talk to the lawyers and expert witnesses, besides actual parties in volved, to get their perspective of the case. Finally, it is also recommended that more cases be analyzed in the future to give a better understanding of the dispute resolution trends.
49 LIST OF REFERENCES Bates, A. & Holt, T. (2007, May July ). Large, Complex Construction Disputes: The Dynamics of Multi party Mediation. Dispute Resolution Journal 62( 2 ) 36 -41. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 17 December 2009. Available: University of Florida Libraries. Blancato, W. & Gibson, A. (2008 August October ). Controlling your own Destiny: You can with mediation. Dispute Resol ution Journal 63 (3 ), 14 -2 1. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 10 December 2009. Available: University of Florida Libraries. Bramble, B. (1995). Resolution of disputes to avoid construction claims. National Academy Press. Cruz, J. (2006 November January ). Arbitration vs. Litigation: An Unintended Experiment. Dispute Resolution Journal 60( 4 ), 1016. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 28 January 2010. Available: University of Florida Libraries. Florida Department of Health, (2008). How can I prevent mold growth? Indoor Mold and Health. Flake, R. & Perin, S. (2003 May July ). Mediating Construction Disputes: What Works and What Doesn't. Dispute Resolution Journal 58( 2 ), 24 -34. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 26 January 2010. Available: University of Florida Librarie s. Fullerton, R. (2005, February April ). Searching for Balance in Conflict Management: The Contractor's Perspective. Dispute Resolution Journal 60( 1 ), 48 57, 61. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 30 January 2010. Available: University of Florida Libraries. Harmon, K. (2004 November January ). Co nstruction Conflicts and Dispute Review Boards: Attitudes and Opinions of Construction Industry Members. Dispute Resolution Journal 58 ( 4 ), 6675. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 5 February 2010. Available: University of Florida Libraries. Pea Mora, F., Sosa, C. & McCone, D. (2003). Introduction to Construction Dispute Resolution Prentice Hall.
50 Peters, R., & Mastin, D. (2007 May July ). To Mediate or Not To Mediate: That Is the Question. Dispute Resolution Journal 62 (2), 1421. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearch/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 7 January 20 10 Available: University of Florida Libraries. Zuckerman, S. (2007, May July ). Comparing Cost in Construction Arbitration & Litigation Dispute Resolution Journal, 62 (2 ), 428. Retrieved from Wilson Web. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/simplesearc h/simple_search.jhtml Accessed 6 December 2009. Available: University of Florida Libraries.
51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Dmitriy Dubrovsky received a Bachelor of Arts with concentration in Economics from New College of Florida in 2004. Construction was always of an interest for Mr. Dubrovsky and he decided to add it to his knowledge of economics by enrolling in the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building C onstruction to obtain a Master of Science, which he will realize in May of 2010. For the next four years, Mr. Dubrovsky is planning on obtaining construction experience and serving his country as an officer in the Navys Seabees.