Library project claims tend to be less severe than claims stemming from other project types. From 2001 through 2010, the highest frequency (55%) and severity (76%) for library claims involved delays and extras. The following is an example of a library claim:
Plangrid, a small startup, has released an iPad app that looks to replace printed construction drawings with a digital archive. According to news reports, the iPad app allows users to manipulate construction drawings in the field, and helps make sure that users are working off the latest set of drawings. Design professionals will have to be aware of technological and business risks that may arise from using these types of applications. Our management advisory “Placing Project Information in an Electronic Plan Room” addresses the issues that need to be considered.
Design professionals take heed; it may be that the economy is headed towards a recovery. For the third straight month, the Architectural Billings Index indicated that U.S. construction activity was headed towards a recovery. The Architectural Billings Index was 50.9 in January and a measure over 50 marks expansion; forecasting U.S. construction spending 9 to 12 months ahead. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker noted that the encouraging indicators are reflected in most regions of the country and across major construction sectors.
Officials in Los Angeles have brought involuntary manslaughter charges against an architect for the installation and construction of fireplaces that did not meet building codes. According to press reports, the fireplaces were built of wood framing and lined on the bottom, sides, and top with combustible drywall that ordinarily is used for standard walls. A Los Angeles firefighter fighting the blaze was buried under debris when the ceiling collapsed; the firefighter died subsequently. It appears that the architect was responsible for both the design and construction of the residence. These charges of course have be to be proven in court; nevertheless it is a reminder that design professionals may face criminal charges when they egregiously fail to meet minimum standards and such failure results in the loss of human life.