Category: Design Build Agreements

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Doing It Differently: Portland’s Plan to Redevelop the U.S. Post Office Site and Broadway Corridor

Portland real estate is booming and Portland is now on the map for many national and international developers for the first time. This success, while enviable, is not without some negative consequences, as evidenced by increasing housing costs and congestion. As Portland anticipates the arrival of even more people, it is trying to figure out … Continue Reading

Design-Build Certification

One should never stop learning, so next week I will attend a three-day seminar presented by the Design-Build Institute of America. If I complete the seminar and pass a test, I will become a Designated Design-Build Professional.  The DBIA has an informative page about certification on its website. In preparation for the seminar, I completed … Continue Reading

Negotiating by a Thousand Texts: LOL? Think Again.

The law may be slow to evolve, but courts are beginning to embrace 21st century communication methods.  The prospect of negotiating a deal by text message may seem like a laughing matter, but a Massachusetts court recently relied on parties’ email and text communications to determine the essential elements of an agreement for the sale … Continue Reading

“From, For, and Against”: What’s the Difference?

Indemnity provisions are often among the most negotiated and least understood provisions of commercial contracts, and construction contracts are no exception to this rule. Despite, and perhaps because of, the importance of these clauses, they have evolved into an almost impenetrable jumble of legal terminology. This jumble of words is not, however, without meaning. Although … Continue Reading

Termination Clauses a Must for Owners

The recent termination of the joint venture of Skanska-Hunt from the Washington State Convention Center project (article here) is a good reminder of the importance of well-written termination clauses in your owner-contractor contracts.  The reasons for termination (or “severance,” a slightly kinder word) can be many, including failure to agree on pricing (the reason given … Continue Reading

An Introduction to Design-Build for Public Project Delivery

Design-build is growing in popularity with public owners. But it presents challenges and potential pitfalls for the unwary. In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I address some of those challenges and pitfalls and offer considerations that go into a successful design-build project.  Read the full article here. “An Introduction to Design-Build … Continue Reading

DBIA Releases New Model Bond Forms for Design-Build Projects

On May 6, 2015, the Design-Build Institute of America (“DBIA”) released a suite of new bond forms prepared specifically for design-build projects.  According to DBIA’s press release, the forms were co-authored by designers and builders and have been endorsed by two surety industry groups.  As with any industry template form, consultation with an attorney is … Continue Reading

Sophisticated Parties? You May Shorten Both the Start and Length of the Statute of Limitations in CA Commercial Construction Contracts

Can parties waive both the commencement and length of the statutory limitation periods for construction defect actions?  Yes, answered the Fourth Appellate District, by allowing the parties to contractually preclude the application of the “delayed discovery” rule that normally triggers the commencement of the limitation time period and affirming case law permitting the shortening of … Continue Reading

Keep An Eye On This Major Seattle Project

On January 6, 2011, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) signed a contract with Seattle Tunnel Partners for the biggest piece of the SR 99 Viaduct replacement project, the 1.7 mile long tunnel carrying traffic from the south end of the Seattle waterfront to near the Seattle Center.  This is a design-build contract with … Continue Reading

Adding an “O” and “F” to the DB process

The design-build (DB) process is no longer a novelty. In the past ten years, contractors and engineers have fine-tuned the DB project delivery approach, utilizing it to build bigger and better structures at reduced costs. As the demand for public infrastructure continues to increase and the funds to pay for public infrastructure continues to decrease, … Continue Reading

Bond. Performance Bond.

Performance bonds—insurance-like arrangements in which a surety (the bonding company) contractually agrees to pay for the performance of a principal (the contractor) to an obligee (the owner) in case the principal fails to perform the obligations of its contract—should be used more often in construction agreements to provide owners with a source of funds to … Continue Reading

Be careful what you ask for Idaho

In the last two decades, the Idaho State Legislature has authorized design-build contracting for many different types of public projects. It appears that the Legislature will continue this trend for highway projects. In February, a House committee voted to print a bill that would allow the Idaho Transportation Department (IDT) to award design-build contracts for highway projects.  … Continue Reading
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