Time is money especially on engineering and construction projects. Because delays in the completion of the project usually result in increased owner, engineer, and contractor costs, the overall time of performance is vital to the financial success of the project. The importance of time is evidenced by the significant role played by CPM schedules, completion dates, and milestones in the bidding and awarding of engineering and construction contracts. The desire to minimize costs and the time of performance often causes the occurrence of acceleration.
Engineering involvement with property losses demands an open technical mind that can look at the bigger picture, sometimes beyond the scope of work initially requested by the adjuster or insurance company. Engineering law requires the professional engineer to protect "public health, safety, and welfare. "Sometimes specific technical requests are made to a forensic engineering firm that lead to much broader technical involvement in order to ensure compliance with engineering law and the protection of the public. Is it a benefit for an engineer to look at a broader picture when investigating a loss event, even if the scope of work has been specified? Let's examine two examples.
The forensic engineering assignment typically has a scope of work that begins with something to the effect of "determine the cause of the observed damage to the..." Often this includes an inspection and analysis to determine if the observed damage is related to a particular event. For example, an assignment might ask a forensics professional to determine if the hailstorm on June 1 caused functional hail-related damage to a roof. Or, it might ask to delineate the structural fire-related damage.
In the construction industry, it is largely agreed that overtime work adversely affects labor productivity. However, there is no universally accepted method for estimating the resulting loss of productivity, and many of the studies commonly used to estimate such losses have been subject to criticism by industry experts and the courts.
When a catastrophe hits, unmanned aerial systems (UASs, also called "drones") can quickly and effectively provide a bird’s-eye view of inaccessible and unsafe areas as well as major losses. Such visual access can drastically change the life of the insurance claim, making drone use a rapidly expanding data-collection method.
What is the first thing I should do if my home got flooded? Call your flood insurance company and file a claim, preferably before August 31st, when the flood settlement rates go down. How can I find out if I have flood insurance, and who to call?
ln our current climate of economic prosperity and rising real estate values, the prevalence and usefulness of construction litigation may be on the wane. Much of the litigation and expert opinion in recent years has resulted in unrealistic repair schemes for the sole purpose of producing a settlement among parties to the litigation. When a plaintiff expert recommends a "remove and replace in its entirety"1 scenario (for example, arguing that all exterior stucco must be demolished and reinstalled due to a lack of expansion joints), the defense expert frequently advocates a more modest "fix what's broken" scheme to provide a minimum repair at the lowest cost. This process consumes considerable time and resources, and creates a difficult environment in which to craft a settlement. More often than not, neither party is pleased with the outcome; unreasonable plaintiff positions often result in settlement amounts ranging between 15 to 25 percent of the claim amount.
So far this year, the topic of wildfires has gained national attention across the U.S. In May, the Springs Fire in California threatened 4,000 homes and destroyed 24,250 acres. In June, the record-breaking Black Forest Fire in Colorado destroyed 14,280 acres and about 500 homes and caused an estimated $85 million in damages. The devastation from the unprecedented Rim Fire that burned in and around Yosemite National Park in August and September is still being calculated, but it already ranks as one of the worst wildfires in history.
The Collapsed As-Built Windows Schedule Analysis (AACE® International Recommended Practice 29R-03, Method Implementation Protocol 3.9) is a modeled, subtractive, multiple-base method. It is a retrospective CPM schedule analysis which is typically used to prove entitlement for compensable delay and assess concurrency of delay within a window of time. The analysis simulates the as-built conditions within a schedule window and then delays are removed from the CPM model. If the forecasted project finish date “collapses” but-for or absent compensable delays, then entitlement for compensable time-related costs can be demonstrated. This article addresses the usage of the Collapsed As-Built Windows protocol and the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology.
Commonly called "flat roofs," most commercial buildings are actually clad with roof systems that provide about 1/8 to ¼ inch per foot of positive drainage. These roof systems are constructed differently than most steep-slope roof coverings and are typically watertight rather than water-shedding assemblies.