Avoiding Build-Design Construction

Ordinary construction projects usually follow some variant of one of two delivery methods: design-bid-build or design-build. In the design-bid-build delivery method, the owner retains design professionals to prepare construction documents, some form of competitive bidding process takes place, and the successful contractor builds the work. Most commercial building projects and a lot of public building […]

Reducing Risk to Adjacent Properties from Underground Utility Construction

In populated areas, underground utilities are the lifeblood of the community. These utilities require periodic maintenance, expansions and replacement. Therefore, underground utility construction is common in cities, suburbs and rural villages alike. Most people notice underground utility construction because of the traffic problems they may cause. However, if you are familiar with geotechnical or geostructural […]

What are the Alternatives to Pier Underpinning?

A common application of underpinning is maintaining the stability of the foundations for adjacent structures during excavation on urban sites. If the excavation is deeper than the foundation depth for an adjacent structure, then the soil below the foundation could fail as the excavation proceeds, potentially causing the structure to collapse. Increasing the depth of […]

June 2020 Service Update

The spread of COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, recession, and protests of racism and police violence have made for a chaotic first half of 2020. While not the most affected of industries, the architecture/engineering/construction business has experienced significant disruptions. This has resulted in operational inefficiencies and project delays, forcing businesses to adapt to a new […]

Structural Implications of a Construction Shutdown

A construction project may be shut down for a variety of reasons, such as the loss of financing, stop-work orders, labor or supply disruptions or disasters. The duration of the shutdown can vary from days to years, depending on the circumstances. Some of the implications of a shutdown are obvious. There are considerations for security […]

What Contractors Should Know About Retaining Engineers

Construction contractors sometimes need to retain engineers or other design professionals as consultants. They may require engineering support to design temporary works used as part of the means and methods of construction, or portions of the project delegated to the contractor by the design professional of record. In addition, contractors may benefit from professional advice […]

How to Delegate Design the Right Way

“Delegated Design” is the means by which the Design Professional of Record (DPOR) passes design responsibility for certain details or elements of a project to the Contractor. It provides flexibility so that proprietary materials and components can be incorporated into the project without the need to complete multiple, detailed design options in the construction contract […]

What Everyone Should Know About Earthquakes and Structures

Most people understand that earthquakes can produce catastrophic damage to the built environment. However, given that large earthquakes are relatively rare, and that the television news cameras typically move on a few days after any disaster, a lot of people’s understanding of the effects of earthquakes may be shaped more by bad disaster movies than […]

What’s Wrong with Your Monitoring Plan

Construction, particularly in the urban environment, often exposes nearby structures and facilities to hazards, some of which are difficult to predict precisely and manifest as the work progresses. Impacts of this nature are associated with excavations, tunneling and foundation construction methods, and often require monitoring of potentially impacted structures and facilities. A monitoring program may […]