Design Firm Reaches Victim Settlement in Bridge Collapse
URS Corp. reached an agreement with attorneys representing the individuals injured or killed in the I-35W bridge collapse to pay over $52 million. There is no admission of responsibility. The San Francisco-based URS Corp. had been sued by more than 100 people. They accused the company of missing warning signs on the bridge before its rush-hour collapse into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1, 2007. 13 people died and 145 were injured.
In recent years, design professionals have had their roles during the construction phase limited severely by cost-conscious clients looking to save money on projects. From a risk management perspective, design professionals are uniquely qualified to provide services during the construction phase so that the likelihood of project success is enhanced. The ability to observe and evaluate the contractor’s work enables the design professional to serve the client’s needs, while at the same time keeping current on the latest construction practices in the marketplace. As long as design professionals devote sufficient resources to the construction contract administration phase and diligently carry out their contractual responsibilities, it appears that the risks during this phase can be successfully managed. We have recently updated our construction contract administration phase claims study with some interesting case studies (access limjted to policyholders and brokers only).
In Las Vegas Green is More than the Color of Money
The City of Las Vegas has a sustainability officer. That might seem like hiring a nutritionist for a candy store or a stand-up comedian for a funeral home, but the city of excess and artificiality appears serious about reducing its energy and water use.
In a joint effort, several leading construction industry organizations have published a guide called Integrated Project Delivery For Public and Private Owners. Contributors include the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA), the National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA), the APPA (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators), the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Hewlett Packard has recently published a research paper on the feasibility of “cow-powered” data centers, according to an article from GreenBiz.com.
BuildingGreen.com reports that GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) is making changes to regain control in the supervision of LEED certifications.