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Familiarity Breeds Contempt

This past week I reviewed several contracts that all had one thing in common: each one required the design professional to “warrant” that it had “thoroughly familiarized itself with the local conditions under which the Services required under this Agreement are to be performed.” The first problem with this provision is the obligation to provide … Continue reading

Should an Engineer Guarantee Cost Estimates?

A contract that I was recently asked to review required the engineer to guarantee engineering cost estimates to be within a 10% accuracy range. It further required that for every 5% outside of the accuracy range, the engineer would forfeit 2% of the engineering fee. The engineer wanted to know if this exposure is covered … Continue reading

State-Funded Projects and LEED v4

As reported by EcoBuildingPulse a few weeks ago, Indiana Governor Mike Pence decided to neither sign nor veto a new bill that will put an end to the state’s energy efficiency program. The decision was controversial and met with criticism since an alternative measure has not been proposed as of yet. Several environmental groups have … Continue reading

Spring means increased construction activity

As design professionals welcome warmer weather and seasonal allergies, they also usually find themselves responding to more RFIs and submittal reviews as construction projects kick off. Some timely reminders about construction phase responsibilities are therefore in order. Design professionals typically have construction contract administration responsibilities on a design-bid-build project. The scope of authority that the … Continue reading

Green Building Is One of the Top Industries This Year

Inc.com has listed green building as one of its top industries for 2014. The U.S. Green Building Councilpredicts that this fast-growing industry will see total revenue increase to $245 billion by 2016. Inc.com interviewed several companies that recently broke into the green construction industry about what they have learned. One of the statements made was … Continue reading

Projects for Tribal Nations

Designing projects for tribal nations may be lucrative, but there may also be unanticipated perils. Sometimes, Native American tribes have specific rules and codes of law. Although there is no uniformity from tribe to tribe, there are often charters, with related compacts and covenants, that form the basis of their laws. Other times, however, unspecified … Continue reading

EJCDC Issues New Standard Contract

The Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) has republished its standard E-500 form contract (Agreement Between Owner and Engineer for Professional Services). It is the comprehensive standard contract for engineering design services and related construction-phase engineering and administrative services. The terms and content of the 2014 edition are coordinated with the recently published 2013 edition … Continue reading

Architecture Firm Releases Free Sustainable Design Tool

A national architecture firm has announced the release of an online sustainable design tool, which is offered for free on their website. The tool furnishes sustainable design strategies in a variety of categories such as Energy, Water, Waste, Materials, and Tools. According to an article on bdcnetwork, firms that utilize the tool (called the Matrix) may … Continue reading