General Contractors

September 9, 2019

An inside look at a failed roofing repair

Source: https://www.constructiondive.com, August 14, 2019
By: Kim Slowey

Dive Brief:

  • San Diego State University, inewsource reported, mishandled a $2 million renovation of its College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts building to the point that a former OSHA official called the project, which ended up shutting down the building because of released toxins in the air, “a case study in how not to do projects.”
  • The renovation was supposed to start last summer, but SDSU failed to secure the proper permits in time, so the schedule was changed so that work would begin in early 2019 when students were on break. After heavy rains, crews used Tremfix to seal the many roof leaks, but an aging and malfunctioning HVAC system failed to clear the building of vapors from the chemicals, which entered through nearby fresh air ducts on the roof. Testing revealed that the level of coal tar pitch volatiles was just under OSHA’s safe limit and above the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s limits, even though crews tried various methods — some disruptive — to remove the fumes. Read more.
August 30, 2019

Engineers put $6 million pricetag on cleanup at Harrisburg wall collapse site

Source: https://www.pennlive.com, August 29, 2019
By: Christine Vendel

Cleanup of the Harrisburg wall collapse site next to the Mulberry Street Bridge in Harrisburg is expected to cost about $6 million, engineers revealed Wednesday, putting a pricetag on the project for the first time. Read more.

August 15, 2019

Heritage Landing Couple Says In $10 Million Lawsuit That Mold In Residence Made Them Sick, House Not Habitable

Source: https://www.chattanoogan.com, August 14, 2019

A couple that bought a condominium at the upscale Heritage Landing on the Tennessee River said mold under the house made them sick and the house no longer habitable.

Tim and Muffy Mitch are suing the Heritage Landing Condominium Association, Morris Property Management, PDM Engineering, Mack McCarley of PDM, Precise Plumbing, Charles Reynolds of Precise Plumbing, Reliable Heating and Air and Alternative Actions, Inc. Read more.

July 2, 2019

Yakima School District files lawsuit against architects, builder over Ike blue wall

Source: https://www.yakimaherald.com, July 1, 2019
By: Janelle Retka

The Yakima School District has filed a lawsuit against the design and construction companies responsible for the blue wall running through Eisenhower High School for alleged breach of contract leading to property damage and substantial repair costs.

The lawsuit filed last month in Yakima County Superior Court names Graham Construction & Management, a Canadian firm with a Seattle office, and Yakima-based KDA Architecture as the defendants.

The architecture firm designed the Eisenhower High School campus, which was completed in 2013 to replace a campus dating back to 1957, and Graham was the contractor. The entire project cost the school district roughly $83 million.

May 21, 2019

Defects in west Denver homes highlight what can happen when development outpaces everything else

Source: https://denverite.com, May 20, 2019
By: Donna Bryson

The ensuing legal tangle calls into question how city building officials ensure that developers can meet the demand for housing — and do it safely.

After the city raised safety concerns so serious that new beams had to be installed to support a row of homes in Villa Park, the owners and their builder joined to sue the engineering company. The engineers in turn blamed the city and a company contracted to review building plans.

The legal tangle spelled out in Denver District Court papers is a matter of life or death for the small building firm and, at the very least, stress for the homeowners and the engineers. It also puts a spotlight on how Community Planning and Development is managing, amid Denver’s building frenzy, to ensure that developers can meet the demand for housing — and do it safely.

The pressure is strong to get permits issued so people can have houses and offices. In a 2017 report, the Denver auditor focused on the building permitting system, noting “Denver is growing quickly, and we want to ensure the process for planning projects is effectively meeting city objectives and efficient for customers.” The auditor’s recommendations on improving efficiency urged reviews to determine whether staffing and resources were sufficient. Safety was not a focus of the report, the most recent to look at permitting.…

May 21, 2019

Ongoing asbestos cleanup forces 2 New Orleans schools to spend another year at temporary spots

Source: https://www.theadvocate.com, May 19, 2019
By: Marta Jewson

Two New Orleans charter schools will spend a second year in temporary facilities as multimillion-dollar asbestos remediation jobs stretch into another school year. The schools — Lafayette Academy in Carrollton and Rosenwald Collegiate Academy in Algiers — had previously been expected to move into their permanent buildings this fall.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, the Orleans Parish School Board claims it has spent $5 million relocating schools and programs as a result of contractors’ mismanagement at Lafayette Academy’s South Carrollton Avenue building, which was closed last summer due to an asbestos release.

The Choice Foundation, which runs Lafayette charter school, is a co-plaintiff in the suit. The foundation says it has spent $1.3 million replacing possibly contaminated furniture and equipment at the campus.

Asbestos, a commonly used building material until the 1980s, is dangerous when its fibers becomes airborne. Many old schools may contain the fire-retardant material in floor tiles and adhesive, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation. It is generally safe unless renovations or other activities disturb the material.…

April 2, 2019

Completion of high school project delayed another year

Source: AXA XL Environmental

To achieve the completion date on a school project, the GC accelerated its schedule, allowing the drywall contractor to start before the building envelope was completed. Rain damaged a majority of the installed drywall as well as the materials stored on site. This resulted in $2 million in repair costs and associated delay costs, borne by the GC.…

April 2, 2019

Local bank faces both asbestos and mold cleanup

Source: AXA XL Environmental

A GC renovating a bank hired an asbestos abatement contractor. As part of their final cleanup process on a Friday, the abatement contractor utilized a high-pressure wash, resulting in saturated carpets, ceilings and walls. Materials remained saturated over the weekend while the HVAC system remained turned off. The GC was greeted with extensive mold growth throughout the building on Monday morning, and ultimately a $600,000 bill to correct the damage. Although the GC ensured that the subcontractor retained pollution insurance, the subcontractor had a mold exclusion on their policy, leaving the entire cost on the shoulders of the GC.…

April 2, 2019

Renovations at school result in bodily injury claims

Source: AXA XL Environmental

A GC was renovating an elementary school. During the course of work, dust from concrete cutting set off the fire alarms. Parents of students filed a claim against the general contractor for bodily injury due to fear of contracting silicosis. Although the GC was not held liable for causing a pollution incident, defense costs exceeded $50,000.…

April 2, 2019

Contractor causes property damage to building

Source: AXA XL Environmental

A GC used muriatic acid while performing concrete etching in a commercial building. The highly corrosive fumes from the acid were not properly contained and were released into the building damaging the newly installed chrome fixtures. As a result, the GC was responsible for $75,000 in property damages.…