Mark's Construction Law Blog

Top Ten List of Contract Clauses to Save you, or Bite you

In the disruptive model of the economy — where technology changes formats of doing business or else — the legal industry is at risk of falling behind. More than ever, it is critical to make contract language fit and anticipate the new approaches in cutting age construction agreements. Take for example the fact some hospitals insist that all drawings of record are now electronic, or the design concept recently gaining traction of “Model of Record.” No, that is not a runway model, but a 3D model of a project, including its electronic data, that serves as the core design document and building recipe.

The New DSA Review Protocol for Electronic Drawings - A Better and New Wave of Design

Even if you distain the technological, you might just have children of school age. In California all K-12 school projects have their architectural, structural and MEP drawings reviewed for life safety, structural and accessibility by California's Division of the State Architect (DSA). For years Contractors and Bidders on these key educational projects have complained that the DSA review process while vital, ended up delaying start of projects (including those with fast track summer construction deadlines), or worse, led to change order disputes as DSA required midstream changes. Hopefully, DSA's new Procedure for Back Check of Electronic Documents, DSA PR 16-01, is cutting through that red tape, or more exactly, eliminating needless paper drawings in favor of integrated review of electronic 3D drawings.

The Tony Soprano Definition Of A Construction Project Submittal

Tony, the Architect on your Project, tells you, after you complain about his 9th rejection of your submittal, that:“I ain’t going to tell you what to do. Just don’t do it unless I approve it.”
Sound familiar?
To many contractors, the whole process of submittals and shop drawings is mired in voodoo, make work, arbitrary lines in the sand bearing no engineering reasoning, and frustration. The designer, whether an engineer or architect, declines to tell you what they want — schooled by their risk management team that to do so would be interfering in the contractor’s “means and methods.” At the same time, as a contractor you suspect that there is a “right answer” lurking in all these submittal rejections. Like a game of blind man’s bluff, you continue to try to pin the tail on the donkey — you try to get the shop drawing to match the unstated criteria. By process of elimination, you eliminate all your intended means and methods, all your backups considered at bid, and do it “their way”. You are no longer Sinatra — “my way” failed. Cost, time, and early project progress all compromised, and you wonder what the job is going to be like.