Legal Aspects of The Built Environment Blog

BIM Coordination Dispute

Building Information Modeling Litigation Architectural Record reports that XL Insurance recently settled a messy case arising out of the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to design and construct a life sciences building at a major university.  XL representatives would not name the parties involved but commented on the dispute to make people aware of the risks of BIM. The dispute centers on the lack of communication between the designers of the BIM model and the subcontractors actually responsible for performing the work – in this case the MEP contractor.  The BIM model’s tolerances for spacing in the plenum were very tight but the nature of the restriction was not communicated properly to the MEP contractor.  After the mechanicals were about 70% complete  using normal sequencing, it dawned on everyone that they were out of space.  Apparently, the design team did not communicate to the contractor that the very tight tolerances could only be achieved through a specific sequencing. The contractor sued the owner, the owner sued the architect, XL provides insurance to the design industry and so it brought in the MEP contractor. BIM Too Complicated for a Jury? The article reports that the resolution of the dispute was expensive …

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Roofing Snow Jobs – Contractor Door-to-Door Sales

  Door-to-Door Sales and the FTC Home Solicitation Sales Act So a contractor gets a call from a frantic homeowner in Massachusetts.  She pleads with the contractor to come out right away and fix something.  She says it is an emergency!  The CNN “Severe Weather Forecast” predicted more heavy snow and warned that some roofs may need to be shoveled off. The contractor arrives to check out the situation; there is no real emergency but the owner is plainly motivated to hire the contractor to do building maintenance tasks right away.  On the spot, the contractor sees an opportunity to make an easy buck, writes out a contract for $999, the owner happily signs (after all, she thinks it is an emergency), and the contractor gets started right away. Either not thinking about it or thinking that a) because the cost of the job was under $1,000; or b) because the services were technically not construction services; or c) because the owner said it was an emergency, the contractor did not provide the homeowner with the statutory 3-Day Notice of Cancellation Form.  Big Mistake! Later that day the homeowner pays the $999 in cash and is given a receipt for the work. She …

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