Now That’s A Steel:  VDOT Issues Memorandum for Steel Escalation Price Adjustments

Now That’s A Steel: VDOT Issues Memorandum for Steel Escalation Price Adjustments

Construction material prices have been extremely volatile, negatively impacting virtually all projects. Recently, VDOT issued guidance on steel escalation, but for VDOT projects only. VDOT’s July 27, 2022 memorandum provides that VDOT will consider pay adjustments by change order for the unexpected rise in prices for steel used on projects between January 1, 2022, and August 1, 2022, if that steel was permanently incorporated into ...
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Condo 2

New Statutory Requirements for Condominium Inspections Following the Collapse of Champlain Towers South in Florida

Heightened statutory inspection and maintenance requirements in high-rise condominium buildings emphasize the critical importance of similar inspection and maintenance regimens for similarly situated properties. On June 24, 2021, Champlain Towers South, a 12-story oceanfront condominium building suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed killing 98 people.  On May 25, 2022, almost one year later the State of Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 4D which will now require milestone ...
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Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors in Virginia

Emergency Action Plans

An Effective, and Necessary, Collaborative Tool for Job Site Safety As Construction Safety Week 2002 wanes, we want to discuss emergency action planning. OSHA requires formalized Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for all employers. For companies with more than 10 employees, the EAP must be written; but companies with fewer than 10 employees may communicate their EAP orally. Regardless of approach, the EAP should be a ...
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Sunset and Clouds

Heat Protection Awareness: It’s starting to get hot again in many places and in other places heat is a constant issue

As part of Vandeventer Black’s participation in Construction Safety Week 2022, and with heat increasing in many places (or staying hot in others), we wanted to remind those in the industry of the importance of heat-related illness prevention, training, and supervision. It remains important for construction companies to have a well-considered heat-related illness prevention plan (HRIPP) and for construction companies to constantly evaluate and consider ...
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Construction Industry Safety Awareness

Construction Industry Safety Awareness

According to 2020 OSHA data, there were 976 construction-related fatalities. Of those 88 fatalities included construction supervisors, making it clear that safety awareness is critical for everyone on a project site and not just for tradespersons. In total, OSHA reports that about 20% of all worker fatalities were in the construction industry – accounting for one in five of all worker deaths.   The good ...
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Pile of Money on Top of White Envelope

Virginia’s New Construction Payment Terms (Part 2)

(Part two of a two-part article series)  This article is a continuation of Monday’s article, and we will be discussing in detail the new payment terms for all construction contracts in Virginia. ARE “PAY-WHEN-PAID” CLAUSES A THING OF THE PAST IN VIRGINIA? KINDA, SORTA, MAYBE.  Starting January 1, 2023, all construction contracts in Virginia will be subject to payment terms limiting the right of a ...
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Money In Rubber Band

Virginia’s New Construction Payment Terms (Part 1)

(Part one of a two-part article series)  Confused about “pay-when-paid”, “pay-if-paid” clauses and the requirements of Virginia’s Prompt Payment Act on Virginia construction contracts? A new law intending to change the payment landscape may have just created more uncertainty for Virginia contractors. On April 11, 2022 Governor Younkin signed Senate Bill 550 with proposed amendments that, once approved by the General Assembly, create a new ...
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COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

The COVID-19 pandemic’s duration is approaching the two-year mark, leading to significant “COVID Fatigue” for everyone. However, the recent spike in confirmed cases makes ignoring the potential impact globally on business owners’ critical. According to the World Health Organization, confirmed cases rose by nearly 10 million in recent weeks; far higher than at any other time during 2021, with most of those confirmed cases being, in order of magnitude,  the Americas, Europe, and South-East Asia.  Shifts in ...
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Hand Holding a Mask

Masks, Vaccines, and a Return to the Workplace = Continued Economic Strength in the Construction Industry

Upturn in construction activity expected; the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index through August 2021 indicates continued economic strength despite growing supply chain issues. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the country reporting on activity of “work-on-the-boards.” The data is compiled by the American Institute of Architects Economics & ...
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Yale Padlock 5

Contractor Takeover Leads to Tortious Interference With Contract and Conspiracy Claims

When a subcontractor is having trouble completing its subcontract work, it is not uncommon for a contractor to assert itself more directly into the completion process to help expedite the work. What’s the harm you might ask? A recent Loudoun County, Virginia case answered that question: It could lead to a tortious interference with contract and conspiracy claims by the subcontractor.  That case was Evans Construction Services (the subcontractor) versus ...
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Architect Draws a Design Back View

Positive Economic News from the Construction Industry as the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic decrease

Positive signals in the construction industry; the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index through April 2021 indicates a strong rebound as the effects of COVID-19 continue to subside. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the country reporting on activity of “work-on-the-boards.” The data is compiled by the American Institute ...
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Disabled Only Sign

Don’t be a victim of an ADA drive-by!

This past year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The Act is a civil rights law that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of life, including existing buildings and facilities.  Under Title III, the Act defines “Public Accommodations” as a private entity that owns, leases, or ...
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Excavators Digging To Moving The Soil

Virginia DEQ Amends Construction General Permit to Include Disposal Disclosure Requirements

Contractors that obtain coverage under the Virginia General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (“Construction General Permit” or “Permit”) will soon need to disclose information regarding the disposal of excavated material from project sites. The Construction General Permit regulation, 9 VAC 25-880, governs stormwater discharges from regulated construction activities. Contractors seeking coverage under the Construction General Permit must submit a registration statement that ...
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Surgical Mask in Light Blue Background

Virginia’s New COVID-19 Reporting Change and Online Reporting Portal

Effective December 8, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has determined that employers no longer need to report single COVID-19 positive cases to the Virginia Department of Health. However, after an outbreak of two or more cases, employers shall continue reporting all cases to VDH until the local health department notifies the business that the outbreak has been closed. Closure is an effective ...
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Lady Statue of Justice

Timely Protest Following Required Debrief or Explanation Letter

Under 4 CFR § 21.2, disappointed offerors protesting the award of a contract must file their protest within "10 days after the basis of the protest is known or should have been known." Notwithstanding the seemingly clear language, this is the subject of regular dispute, particularly with respect to procurements that require a debrief or explanatory letter to the party not receiving award. Additionally, there ...
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Statue of Justice or Lady Justice With Law Books Background

Bid Protests On The Basis Of Cardinal Change: The Fine Line Between Solicitations And Contract Administration

The Government Accountability Office’s (“GAO”) Comptroller General and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) regularly consider bid protests.  Bid protests are challenges to the terms of a solicitation or to the award of a federal contract.  Post-award protests are generally the result of an interested, but unsuccessful, offeror challenging the agency determination that another offeror provided the best value to the Government per the ...
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Construction Worker Picture

Construction Industry Economics Respecting COVID-19 Mixed But Positively Trending

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the United States reporting on construction project activity the AIA refers to as “Work-on-the-Boards” (projects in the planning and design processes).  The data is compiled by the AIA’s Economics & Research Group, using a first-hand survey index from architectural firms as ...
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Face Masks Background

Virginia’s Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention Regulations: A reminder that the opportunity for public comment closes September 25, 2020

As previously publicized, the Virginia Department of Labor’s (DOL) Safety and Health Codes Board (Board) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Infectious Disease Prevention became effective on July 27, 2020, but because of their nature would expire unless they or alternatively proposed regulations were made into permanent standards. When the ETS were published, DOL included its notice of intention to adopt them as a permanent standard, ...
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Hand Signing a Paper

Subpoena Power of Arbitrators Over Non-Party Documents

Arbitration is a means for parties to resolve disputes in a more efficient and less costly manner than seeking recourse through the judicial system.  The Federal Arbitration Act empowers the arbitrator to subpoena non-parties and their documents to an arbitration proceeding.  However, there is disagreement among the courts regarding the arbitrator’s power to compel pre-hearing document production from non-parties.  The federal circuits have approached this ...
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Law and Justice Concept. Mallet of the Judge, Books, Scales of Justice.

“Zone of Reasonableness” Test Prerequisite Addressed by the Federal Circuit

The so-called “zone of reasonableness” standard has been long applied by federal courts and boards of contract appeals in evaluating contract interpretation when the contract is deemed ambiguous – meaning that it is susceptible to more than one reasonable interpretation. Ambiguity does not exist merely because the parties differ in their respective interpretations of the contract; rather, the parties’ interpretation must be reasonable, with that ...
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