Industry Spotlight

Interface Consulting News:

  • Poject Consultant, Hannah Trum, joins the Interface team
  • Principal Consultant, Philip Barnard, visits project site in Arizona
  • Philip Barnard, PE provides deposition regarding a veterans home

Construction Litigation

Illinois construction giant settles $12 million whistleblower lawsuit

InsideCounsel

"Chicago-based construction company James McHugh Construction settled a suit with Illinois and federal prosecutors and will be forced to pay $12 million to the government in a whistleblower lawsuit....The suit stems from project manager Ryan Keiser...[who] was coerced into participating into a subcontracting scam...spending his days falsifying purchase orders, labor hours and other paperwork to show that his company... was doing jobs that were actually being handled by McHugh."

Contractor Suing University of Hawaii Over Campus Center Delays

Civil Beat

"The company contracted to oversee various construction projects at the University of Hawaii is suing the school for more than $4.6 million over complications related to two projects....[I]n the lawsuit, Honolulu Builders describes these setbacks as being the result of 'myriad deficiencies and missteps in the design and management of the Project by UH and its consultants,' saying they resulted in more than $6 million in extra work..."

Prison lawsuit goes to mediation

Valley Morning Star

"The county filed a lawsuit...against Houston-based Hale-Mills Construction, arguing the company poorly built the $7.5 million Willacy County Jail, a $14.5 million county prison that holds inmates for the U.S. Marshals Service and a $111.5 million prison made up of tent-like domes. The county will mediate with Hale-Mills, which it has accused of poor construction that led to roof leaks at the prison that holds inmates for the Marshals Service...."

Construction Costs

DIA Hits Significant Construction Cost Overruns

KCNC-TV

"Denver International Airport is inching closer to the finish line of its huge construction project, but not without significant cost overruns....As they advance to completion airport staff are saying it's going to cost a little bit more....It's an increase of 5 to 10 percent for the airport's $544 million budget for the hotel and transit center. This is a budget that was already raised last year by $4 million....[T]he rising cost comes from a new risk assessment. It links the high price tag to a rise in labor and material costs and accelerated schedule."

Mammoth Union Station project plagued by slow progress, climbing costs

Toronto Star

"The City of Toronto had to hire two top construction consultants to rein in costs and speed up progress on the $795 million Union Station revitalization project....Costs have continued to climb as the plan has evolved, jumping a further $80 million in October. Documents from the March-May 2013 time period lay out a series of problems with the mammoth project. For example, at one point, the city expected 12 structural columns to have been completed and only two were. In another instance, a review of Carillion's work progress revealed poor planning."

Construction Delays

Southwest University Park may have set construction record among Triple-A stadiums

El Paso Times

"Construction of El Paso's Downtown baseball stadium may have set a speed record for a Triple-A baseball stadium, officials with the companies that built it believe. Construction of the $74 million, city-owned stadium, home of the San Diego Padres-affiliated El Paso Chihuahuas, who play in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, took just under 12 months....The next fastest construction time was about 13 months..."

Long Beach council delays Bluff Park erosion control project

Press-Telegram

"An erosion control project at Bluff Park will be delayed after some residents objected to the use of sprayed concrete, known in the construction industry as shotcrete, to stabilize the bluff between Ocean Boulevard and the Pacific Ocean....Although a delay may cost $100,000 or more, the council voted to put the project on hold....The overall project is a $6.8-million job that has been in progress since 2010. The big problem, however, is that landscaping that was intended to hide the shotcrete applied at the bluff did not grow properly...."

Construction Economics

Removal of Fontainebleau's construction crane signals doom for ill-fated Strip hotel

Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Construction workers...began dismantling a large crane that has sat unused atop the mothballed Fontainebleau on the north end of Strip for more than five years. The activity is the latest chapter in the sad history of the shuttered Fontainebleau, which was to have been a 3,889-room hotel-casino with a price tag of $3 billion before the development went bankrupt. Construction was halted in April 2009 when the building was 70 percent completed....Hadland called the crane 'an economic eyesore' for the Strip."

Richard Zokol sued for $42 million over Sagebrush golf club

Vancouver Sun

"The course itself met expectations; Sagebrush was named by both ScoreGolf and Golf Digest magazines as the best new Canadian course. But today the course sits almost empty....And now the owners of the club are suing two-time PGA Tour winner Richard Zokol for more than $42 million, the amount they claim has been sunk into the money-losing Merritt-area course.... In that lawsuit, Zokol seeks special damages, including a design fee of $200,000 he alleges was never paid by Sagebrush and its owners...."

Construction of MOX plant at SRS to continue through September

The Augusta Chronicle

"Construction of the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility will continue until at least through September without layoffs....The MOX project is intended to convert 34 metric tons of U.S. weapons-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel and fulfill an international nonproliferation agreement with Russia. About $3.9 billion has been spent so far, and construction costs have reached an estimated $10 billion. In 1999, the MOX plant was projected to cost $1.7 billion."

Construction Innovations

Robots and flatpacks: The future of construction

CNBC

"Costing just 30,000 ($50,000) to build, a single occupancy Y:Cube home is 26m and designed to be used on urban brownfield sites. It is hoped that Y:Cube - which does not need foundations - will offer a real alternative to current housing options, providing a rapid, sustainable, flexible and compact solution to people's needs....Inspired by the behaviour of termites, researchers at Harvard University have been working on a 'swarm construction system' in which robots work together to build structures."

Australian demonstration project seeks ways to cut building costs

The Construction Index

"The state government of South Australia is partnering with the private sector on a project aimed at finding ways of lowering the costs of building apartments....The Apartment Construction Cost Demonstration project will help developers explore alternative construction techniques and designs to reduce costs and increase affordability. The project is the first of its kind in South Australia, and will receive advice from representatives of the major industry bodies through an industry reference group."

Industry Spotlight

Universities Ramp Up Construction Projects During Summer Break

School is letting out for the summer and universities across the country are ramping up for construction projects, many with the hopes of making major headway before classes resume in the fall. From business schools and cutting edge solar farms to medical schools and residence halls, universities are spending millions of dollars on new builds, renovations, and maintenance. Read on to learn how these summer construction projects are adding long-term value to their university.

OU keeping heavy summer schedule of heavy construction

The Athens News

"Ohio University will be a busy hive of construction activity over the summer. The campus is alive with the buzz of saws and the beep of construction vehicles backing up as roadwork, classroom building renovation, steam-tunnel work, and major dorm construction are all currently in progress. Historic Lindley and Tupper halls are each in the process of $10 million renovation projects and OU is constructing four new residence halls as part of a $110 million South Green project."

Skidmore College's solar project to be finished by early summer

Albany Business Review

"Construction on Skidmore College's eight-acre solar farm will be complete by early summer. Around that time, the private, liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, NY could decide it's moving forward with a micro-hydro project. The solar panels will generate about 12 percent of the college's annual electricity and the micro-hydro project could generate 18 percent, said Michael Hall, special assistant to the vice president for finance and administration."

Summer construction ramps up at MSU

KTVM

"With students off campus, construction crews are wasting no time getting to work on Montana State University's campus. The school is tackling several major projects. Everywhere you turn on campus there are people busy putting up new buildings and renovating existing ones....'We're in the process of building the College of Business behind us, we're renovating the Miller dining hall, currently right now, we're planning a new residence hall to be constructed,' said Banziger."

University begins Dell Medical School construction

The Daily Texan

"The University launched construction of the Dell Medical School on Monday during a groundbreaking ceremony with state, city and University officials in attendance. The medical school will feature an education and administration building, a research building, a medical office building and a parking garage, totaling 515,000 square feet. The predicted cost is $334 million and will be located at the intersection of 15th Street and Red River."

Headed for the cliff? University of Utah maintenance backlog tops $400 million

Deseret News

"The state of Utah owns and operates thousands of buildings, the majority of which are located on or are affiliated with the campuses of Utah's institutions of higher education. The buildings are costly to construct and make headlines when new brick and mortar projects are announced. But the costs of maintaining the buildings has become a growing concern, a backlog that now tops $400 million alone at the University of Utah and increases each year..."

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