Source: http://stlrecord.com/, May 17, 2017
By: Sam Knef
A dispute between a homebuilder and engineering firm over who was to blame for a newly constructed home being condemned shortly after the owners moved in has been decided by the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District.
In a decision handed down May 9, the appeals panel upheld a St. Charles County Circuit jury verdict holding C.B. Engineering Inc. of Union responsible for the condition of the Lake St. Louis home at 115 Place de Yeager because it failed to test the compaction rate of at least one layer of fill below grade upon which the home’s foundation was laid. The $615,000 home slid down the rear slope of the property, according to court documents.
The engineering firm faced cross-claims brought by Beris Construction LLC of Wentzville, which discovered in litigation brought by homeowners Carl and Jessica Eisenmann that, even though C.B. Engineering provided a certification letter to the city’s building department indicating testing was completed and ensuring the bearing capacity of the subgrade, it actually did not test or observe a layer of soil between 6 feet and 7 feet below grade.
According to the ruling, the certification letter stated that “the materials placed under observation met or exceeded the minimum compaction requirements and are suitable for support of the residential construction.”
Three months before the Eisenmanns were to close on the house, they had noticed cracking and leaking in the basement. As a result, the builder had a retaining wall installed, the ruling states.
The ruling also says that the engineer who was consulted for the retaining wall had not been aware of any problems related to slope failure when he was asked to design and install it, and he therefore did not perform any additional soil stability or global stability analysis of the area.…
Source: http://www.securityinfowatch.com, April 26, 2017
By: Keith Gushard
A $5.2 million civil lawsuit has been filed in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas in connection with a fire that gutted the Titusville Towne Square building more than two years ago.
The 17-count lawsuit has been filed by Erie Insurance Exchange, as it was the insurance agent for Titusville Redevelopment Authority, and Melissa Bergman, a tenant of the Towne Square. Erie Insurance is suing architects, contractors and the owner of an adjoining building claiming negligence. No trial date has been set in county court.
The suit claims negligence and breach of contract by architects and contractors in the design and installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system on the fourth floor of the Towne Square building. The owner of an adjoining building is being sued for both negligent security of her building and general negligence for letting a March 17, 2015, fire spread from her building to the Towne Square building. The suit alleges the March 17, 2015, fire at the adjoining building rekindled and set the Towne Square Building on fire March 18, 2015.
According to the suit, Erie Insurance has paid out $5,246,662.15 in insurance claims so far and wants to recoup that money plus interest, attorneys’ fees and any other costs the court “deems just and proper.”…
Source: http://www.constructiondive.com, April 19, 2017
By: Kim Slowey
It was just a few weeks ago that stadium officials floated the possibility of a change to the July 30 opening date amid rumors that the roof was not going to be complete. This latest delay pushes the opening almost five months behind schedule.
However, even the August 26 opening date doesn’t appear to be 100% firm, as team officials said the demolition of the Falcons’ former home, the Georgia Dome, has been put on hold as “an insurance policy” in case the team has to start out the season there. The Georgia Dome field has already been removed, as well as other equipment that would have to be returned so that the Falcons could play there, according to USA Today.
The roof design, while troublesome up to this point, is the focal point of the project. It is designed to open and close like the aperture of a camera lens, necessitating precision in design and installation. The steel delivery was also a challenge. Team officials said the manufacturing of roof material had to be coordinated between 32 factories in the U.S. and Canada.
When complete, the venue will be the first LEED Platinum–certified stadium and the first sports facility to earn all of the U.S. Green building Council’s available water credits. The project also received recognition from the White House last year when the Office of Science and Technology Policy used the stadium — which will have solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations and solar panels — as an example of sustainability.…
Source: http://www.latimes.com, April 17, 2017
By: Ralph Vartabedian
Design flaws, construction shortcomings and maintenance errors caused the Oroville Dam spillway to break apart in February, according to an independent analysis by Robert Bea for the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley.
Bea, a co-founder of the center and retired civil engineering professor, found that in the 1960s, when the dam was being planned, designers did not call for a thick enough concrete spillway floor. Nor did they require the continuous steel reinforcement needed to keep its slabs intact during decades of service.
The design also did not require strong enough anchors into the underlying mountainside to resist movements downhill and from side to side.
The analysis is the first major assessment of what caused the massive damage that forced the evacuation of nearby Oroville and left the state with a repair bill likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
It also sends a warning that the state’s aging fleet of dams may contain unknown defects that would threaten public safety in future wet years.
California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said the agency has not seen Bea’s analysis.…
Source: https://therealdeal.com, April 17, 2017
By: Francisco Alvarado
An Aventura-based architecture firm allegedly left McKafka Development Group hanging, delaying construction on its 90-unit high-rise called the Crimson in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, according to a lawsuit.
McKafka, through its limited liability company Alpine Estates, accuses International Design Engineering and Architecture, or I.D.E.A. for short, of breaching its contract and negligence, in the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month.
Stephane L’ecuyer, I.D.E.A.’s principal, did not return two phone messages seeking comment. McKafka principal Stephan Gietl also did not respond to The Real Deal, but his lawyer Bruce King said, “We had several discussions to get a resolution and have been unable to do so.” He declined further comment.
According to the lawsuit, McKafka hired I.D.E.A. on Feb. 8, 2013 as the architect of record and Facchina Construction of Florida as the general contractor for the Crimson. However, the architecture firm performed poorly, the lawsuit alleges. The Crimson, at 601 Northeast 27th Street, remains unfinished today.
“I.D.E.A. failed to timely coordinate with or respond to Facchina, prepared incomplete or inconsistent drawings and specifications, and failed to perform in a manner consistent with the design schedule,” the lawsuit states.
McKafka alleges that I.D.E.A. also failed to timely respond to requests for information, change order requests, or provide staff to ensure continuity of service. In addition, according to the suit, I.D.E.A. improperly designed the garage ramps that led to substantial structural changes. The company also improperly designed the temperature control system, resulting in high humidity in the condo units, the lawsuit alleges.
Other significant revisions at the Crimson included the relocation of piles and beams and the redesigning of the height of the building’s stairs and the size of an emergency generator room, McKafka alleges. As a result of the repairs and revisions, the project was delayed and Facchina charged the developer for the delays, as well as additional construction costs, according to the suit.…
Source: https://therealdeal.com, March 1, 2017
By: Francisco Alvarado
The condominium board at an older building in Edgewater is suing the engineering firm that designed the HVAC system at the property, alleging that the system caused extensive damage to the building.
In a Jan. 26 lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Biscayne 21 Condominum Inc., which represents the 192 unit owners of the mid-rise tower at 2121 North Bayshore Drive in Edgewater, is suing Fort Lauderdale-based Hillman Engineering. Biscayne 21 alleges that Hillman was professionally negligent and breached its contract by designing a leaky system that caused damage to the building’s interiors.
The condo board is seeking more than $1 million in damages, plus attorneys’ fees. Representatives for Hillman declined to comment, and Harry Malka, the attorney for Biscayne 21, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
According to the lawsuit, Biscayne 21 determined near the end of 2010 that the HVAC system needed to be upgraded and repaired. On Feb. 15, 2011, Biscayne 21 hired Hillman to determine the extent of the repairs to the existing equipment, design a revamped HVAC system approved by the association, and oversee the installation of the new system and repairs.
“Shortly after the conclusion of the project, the new HVAC system began to experience many leaks in the new insulation,” the lawsuit states, “causing damage to drywall and flooring throughout the hallways and corridors of the property.”
Biscayne 21 hired Bosch Group, a construction consulting firm, to inspect the work performed by Hillman. On Nov. 12, 2015, Bosch issued a report documenting “numerous design and construction administration errors and omissions” by Hillman, the lawsuit states.
Biscayne 21 was built in 1964. Prices of available units start at $279,000, according to Realtor.com.…
Source: http://www.bendbulletin.com, February 9, 2017
By: Marina Starleaf Riker
A Deschutes County Circuit Court judge said Wednesday he needs more information before he’ll make a decision about whether the city of Bend and a Washington-based construction company should settle an $8 million lawsuit in court.
The Kennewick, Washington-based Apollo Inc. was hired to expand the city’s sewer treatment plant and is suing Bend for unpaid work and damages after the project was delayed and over budget. According to court documents, Apollo wants to force the city into arbitration, which means settling the dispute outside of court.
But the city wants to keep the case in circuit court and says the project’s issues were caused by Apollo’s poor management and construction work.
On Wednesday, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Walter “Randy” Miller said that before he makes his decision, Apollo must file more documents to explain why the case should go to arbitration.
Miller scheduled another court hearing for March 20, which gives the city time to defend why it thinks the case should stay in court after Apollo files the documents.
“The decision by the court will inform which way we head after that,” said Miller.…
Source: https://www.adn.com, January 31, 2017
By: Devin Kelly
The city of Anchorage has reached settlements with three remaining contractors involved in the botched Port of Anchorage expansion project, ending a lawsuit that stretched nearly three years and recouped only a fraction of what the city had sought in damages.
Engineering firm CH2M Hill Alaska Inc. paid the city $1.5 million, according to the settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. CH2M Hill was sued because it acquired Veco Corp. after Veco became mired in a corruption scandal. Veco actually worked on the port project.
The port designer, PND Engineers Inc., and another designer, GeoEngineers Inc., each settled for $750,000.
In all, seven private contractors settled with the city for about $19 million total. The city had sought more than $100 million in damages. The port expansion cost more than $300 million and left the city with a dock that couldn’t be used or fixed.
A statement Tuesday from the law firm that represented PND Engineers, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, highlighted the small size of the settlement relative to what the city had sought in damages. Attorney Lisa Marchese called it “nuisance value.”
Source: http://www.bendbulletin.com, January 29, 2017
By: Marina Starleaf Riker
Budgeting issues, design flaws and construction defects were among a number of challenges the city of Bend dealt with while expanding its sewer treatment plant.
Next month, the city will be responsible for defending how it dealt with those problems in court after the construction company hired to expand the plant sued the city for $8 million.
According to the lawsuit, Kennewick, Washington-based Apollo Inc. experienced added costs and delays due to an “extraordinary” number of design errors by the project’s engineer and construction manager, Colorado-based CH2M Hill. Apollo alleges that the city’s design and contract documents were “defective and deficient,” and is suing Bend for $8 million for unpaid work and damages.
However, the city of Bend says the added costs and delays were instead due to Apollo’s poor management and failure to follow the contract — not issues with CH2M Hill, which has not been brought into the lawsuit. The city also says Apollo’s allegations about damages are “legally insufficient,” and that the company is only owed about $4 million in unpaid work.
To date, the project has cost city taxpayers about $24 million on construction, $10.8 million for engineering and construction management and $2.7 million in consultants and attorneys — but has yet to be finished.…
Source: https://www.bloomberg.com, February 1, 2017
By: James Tarmy and Kartikay Mehrotra
Nina Agabian, a retired director of research in global health science at the University of California, bought a 29th-floor apartment in San Francisco’s Millennium Tower in 2010. “It was supposed to be a wonderful building,” she said in January, sitting in a leather chair in the building’s vast, low-lit, owner’s-club level. “For many of us, who left our business lives to start our older years, this had become a nice, comfortable place.”
The building, which opened in 2008 and was touted as the most luxurious tower in San Francisco, became a beacon of the city’s burgeoning wealth, attracting tech millionaires, venture capitalists, and even the San Francisco 49ers retired quarterback Joe Montana.
The 58-story tower’s shine faded on May 10, 2016, when Agabian attended a homeowners association meeting and was informed that the building had sunk 16 inches into the earth and tilted over 15 inches at its tip and 2 inches at the base, according to suits filed by residents and the city of San Francisco. “You can imagine how distressed we were to know that, for one, our lifetime investment and savings are at risk,” she said. “And we have no idea whether or not there’s a fix to it, and if there is a fix to it, what it will entail.”
The building, meanwhile, continues to sink.…