Industry Spotlight

Interface Consulting News:

  • Consultant, Caroline Van Dyke, joins the Interface team

Construction Litigation

Multimillion dollar lawsuit filed against Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Tahoe Daily Tribune

"SMC Construction filed the lawsuit on May 5 in Nevada's Ninth Judicial District Court, alleging fraud, failure to pay and breach of contract against Neva One LLC, and Jon and David Park. SMC is seeking a $9.6 million lien against the hotel, plus costs for services, labor, punitive damages, and legal costs....The legal document highlights that the scope of work on the hotel and casino went through significant changes, causing SMC and its subcontractor to incur overtime, additional manpower on the job, inefficiencies caused by work conditions and fatigued workers."

Cornell sues firm of famous architect I.M. Pei over Johnson Museum of Art

The Ithaca Voice

"Cornell University has filed a lawsuit against the architecture firm founded by I.M. Pei that accuses it of submitting 'inherently flawed and materially defective' designs for the Johnson Museum of Art's recent expansion....'Pei breached this duty of care and negligently performed its work by failing to exercise due care in the performance of its professional obligations, failing to meet the standard of skill and care appropriate to a professional architect, and by failing to demonstrate the expertise and competence possessed by others in the field.'"

District sues former construction manager of Unity school building project

The Union Leader

"The architect being sued by the Unity School District for negligence and breach of contract in the Unity Elementary School construction project filed a counterclaim against the school district last week. Scott Vaughn filed the countersuit...alleging the school district engaged in breach of contract and unjust enrichment for retaining the benefit of his services without paying....The countersuit alleges his company received $423,200 in fees and is owed more than $800,000."

State pays $7 million to settle one dispute over prison construction

Radio Iowa

"The state has settled part of the financial dispute over the rising costs of the new-but-not-yet-opened maximum security prison in Fort Madison....A professional mediator was hired and the final agreement calls for the state to pay about 40 percent of what Walsh Construction originally requested....'It was undisputed that they spent additional time on the project and it is a fair and reasonable resolution of that dispute,' he told the State Appeals Board, 'and is in the best interest of the State of Iowa.'"

Construction Costs

Silver Line construction costs rise, completion date pushed back

Fairfax News

"...Design modifications and remaining work on Phase 1 of the Metrorail Silver Line project will add $76 million, or about 2.6 percent, to the previously announced Phase 1 cost and 13 months to the completion date of Phase 2....The majority of the remaining work on Phase 1, which opened for business in July 2014, will be completed by the end of this year, including the delivery of 64 new rail cars at a cost of $189.4 million to expand the Metrorail fleet."

Columbia Street construction costs going up

InfoTel News

"Based on the bids that were submitted, the project is now expected to cost roughly $4.8 million, nearly $900,000 more than the city originally allocated. Now staff is asking council to dip into two separate purses to cover the remaining expenses - approximately $400,000 from development cost charges and $490,000 from capital project, arterial overlays."

Ethiopia: Awash Bank Sustains Extra Cost of 15 Million Br Due to Light Railway Construction

All Africa

"The Addis Abeba Light Rail Transit (AALRT) is costing Awash International Bank S.C. (AIB) 15 million Br on its ongoing construction of a 10-storey building in Lideta District because of the 11m railway bridge which the AALRT attached to the fourth floor without prior warning....In terms of cost, the original cost was 268 million Br but now the project has reached 78pc of its completion the cost has escalated to 283 million Br."

Construction Opportunities

$4bn Malaysian mega-casino breaks ground in Las Vegas

Global Construction Review

"When it is completed, the 22 million square foot development will have four towers with more than 6,500 rooms, and will have a construction cost of $7bn....The first phase of the Resorts World scheme, which is owned by Malaysia's Genting Group, will include a 3,000-room hotel and a 175,000 square foot casino, complete with indoor waterpark and giant panda exhibit....Genting Group purchased the 87-acre plot in March 2013 for $350m."

Avison Young Development Team begins construction on $75 million mixed-use project in Chicago

RE Journals

"Vue53...will comprise 28,000- square-feet of ground-level retail, 267 apartment units and 225 parking spaces....The project will offer affordable housing units in excess of the City's requirements and is being developed without tax increment financing (TIF) or other public subsidies. The residential component will offer studio, one and two-bedroom apartments, high-end finishes and ample amenities, including a multi-purpose clubhouse with Wi-Fi, 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour business center and secure bike storage."

Construction starts on new Allston-Brighton commuter rail station

"[Allston-Brighton commuter rail station's] expected to open in the fall of 2016, two years later than originally planned....NB Development Group, a New Balance-owned real estate company developing Boston Landing, said in a news release that the rail station will cost approximately $20 million. Previous estimates had put costs between $14 million and $16 million."

Building under construction in New York could bring Willis Tower down another notch

Chicago Sun-Times

"New York's Nordstrom Tower, which is under construction, could be set to take over the title as America's tallest building - beating out the current titleholder, the Big Apple's One World Trade Center and knocking Willis Tower down to third. New diagrams of Nordstrom Tower show its planned spire will reach to 1,795 feet, three feet higher than the beacon atop the One World Trade Center..."

Construction Economics

Construction of Dubai Metro extension a feat of engineering

The National

"It took more than 1,000 experts to turn the Dubai Metro dream into a reality and build the first driverless rail network in the Middle East....The new Route 2020 will serve 240,000 people living at The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investments Park. The metro serves an estimated 375,000 passengers daily....Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visitors and has been the driving force behind a building boom....'There is increasing evidence that locations next to the existing metro are commanding higher prices and rentals,' [Craig Plumb] said."

How Not to Build a Power Plant: a Tale From Java Island


"'The Central Java project is the poster child for everything that can go wrong with the land acquisition for a greenfield, coal-fired power project in Indonesia,' said Bart Lucarelli, Bangkok-based managing director of Roleva Energy....In most countries, governments can force landowners to sell their acreage for public works. Indonesia only got such a law in 2012, which sets timeframes for land negotiations and arbitration of disputes....Part of the problem is that officials are still trying to employ a top-down approach to infrastructure projects, where the government makes a decision without first consulting the local population."

Industry Spotlight

Refinery Snapshot: A Changing Marketplace

From groundbreaking new construction and maintenance to the encroaching impact of shale, the construction industry is keeping a close eye on the changing refinery landscape. While some refineries may be facing delays and shifting market demands, others are making room for expansion and fortification. With historic refinery developments and companies positioning themselves to handle the increasingly popular super-light oil, the refining industry is in the midst of a changing marketplace.

Dickinson refinery begins producing fuel from Bakken crude oil


"After more than two years of construction and testing, the approximately $425 million refinery -- the first greenfield refinery built in the United States since 1976 -- began making product over the weekend and is now storing it in preparation for sale....'It's historic. Obviously, it hasn't been done in 40 years,' Podratz said. 'To be able to be a part of it from the beginning -- from scratch -- to put the organization together has been phenomenal.'"

Refinery positions itself to handle more U.S. shale crude

The Advocate

"Gulf Coast refiners spent billions of dollars in the 1980s on modifications that enabled them to process the heavy, high-sulfur crudes imported from Mexico, Venezuela and other countries. But in the last few years, U.S. oil production, driven by the super light oil from shale formations, has swamped Gulf Coast refiners....Refiners who responded to a survey by the American Fuel & Petroleum Manufacturers expect to spend more than $5 billion between 2013 and 2016 to add 2 million barrels of daily, light crude processing capacity."

Chevron Refinery successfully completes mega maintenance inspection

Cape Business News

"'Planned refinery maintenance and safety inspections are practiced world-wide to allow for technology and operational upgrades, to uphold high levels of safety and to ensure a refinery is running optimally, resulting in fuel security'....The refinery maintenance and safety inspection has a significant ripple effect whereby individuals and companies benefit. Above increased employment and skills transfer, a number of small businesses benefited from catering to hiring of marquees and scaffoldings."

Brazil's Petrobras announces refinery delays

Fox News Channel

"[This] announcement came a day after the company said it decided to cancel two other refinery projects in the northeastern states of Maranhao and Ceara....[T]he delivery of the Abreu e Lima refinery and Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex will be delayed while the contracts are renegotiated with the construction companies, who face accusations of illegal overcharging....[T]he Maranhao and Ceara refinery projects - known as Premium I and Premium II, respectively - were suspended due to the recent sharp drop in global oil prices."

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