Design and Construction Defect Claims
This is a simple question with a complicated answer. Construction defects are one of the most common causes of disputes and litigation in the construction industry. There is often disagreement when it comes to identifying what a construction defect is because of the differing viewpoints and interests of those asking the question and/or making the determination.
Generally speaking, a deficiency in the design or construction of a building or structure resulting from a failure to design or construct in a reasonably workmanlike manner, and/or in accordance with a buyer’s reasonable expectation. The most dangerous defects have the capacity to fail, resulting in physical injury or damage to people or property. However, many defects present no increased risk of injury or damage to other property but nevertheless cause harm to the property owner in the form of loss of use, diminution in value, and extra expenses incurred while defects are corrected. This latter type of defect is often referred to as a passive defect. Whether, and to what to extent, coverage applies in liability policies for claims alleging construction defects is a matter of serious debate both in insurance circles and in the courts.
As experts in construction management, we evaluates and analyzes a wide array of design and construction problems, including construction defects. Despite the best laid plans, construction defects typically occur. e-basel Consulting has a long history of evaluating and analyzing construction defects for all parties involved in the construction process including, but not limited to, the following:
- Owners and developers.
- Contractors and subcontractors.
- Architects, designers, and engineers.
- Vendors and material suppliers.
- Insurance and bonding companies.
- Banks and lending institutions.
- Government and municipal agencies.
Design and construction defects can and do occur due to a variety of problems, including the following:
- The owner chooses materials or hardware or provides owner-furnished material, which is not sufficient for the purpose intended.
- The architect/engineer specifies the incorrect material, or fails to specify the materials to be used.
- The contractor’s quality control and workmanship is poor or the contractor didn’t follow the proper construction/installation guidelines.
- The contractor/subcontractor uses substandard materials in an effort to reduce costs.
- The material supplier’s product is insufficient or defective.
All of the above, as well as many other design and construction defects, can lead to issues such as cosmetic defects, water intrusion/water infiltration, mold, structural instability, excessive foundation movement, code violations, etc. These can result in problems during construction, as well as claims and disputes after the project is completed.
e-basel Consulting provides a wide range of design- and construction defect-related services to both assist our clients in avoiding potential issues during construction, as well as performing after-the-fact site investigation and forensic analysis to determine the root cause of the construction defects.
Our services include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Construction Drawing and Specification Review.
- Design Consistency and Constructability Analysis.
- On-site Inspections/Construction Standard of Care Reviews.
- Relevant Building Code and Industry Standard Compliance.
- Root Cause Analysis.
- Remediation and Repair Recommendations/Cost to Repair.
- Forensic Construction Defect Evaluation.
- Destructive/Non-destructive Testing.
- Building Envelope/Moisture Infiltration.
- Water Damage/Mold.
- Property Damage Assessment.
- Material Quality.
- Selection and Coordination with Other Experts.
- Quantification of Construction Defect Damages.
- Direct cost of Repair.
- Diminished Value Analysis.
- Loss of Use and Other Indirect Damages.
PREVENTION AND RESOLUTION
All parties involved in the design and construction of a project want to prevent construction defects. For a contractor, implementation of a quality assurance/quality control program is important as it will serve to minimize defective work. The implementation of this program provides the contractor with an opportunity to repair defective work prior to the completion of the project, which may reduce monetary damage to the contractor and protect the contractor from future litigation.