Risk Management

Price Vs. Value: How to Choose the Right Insurance Coverage (And Avoid Toxic Ones)

“Insurance is not for sale when it‘s needed the most“ –Industry quote As the old adage goes: You get what you pay for. (There’s a reason this slogan has been around so long.) You can skimp and buy a cheap umbrella. But ooh the embarrassment when a soft breeze turns your umbrella inside out, while …

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Three Risky Real-Life Scenarios For A/E’s To Avoid (And how you can avoid them)

I always tell my clients, there are only 3 things in life you can count on: death, taxes, and change on a construction project.  This can literally save you hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars and endless heartaches. Here are three recent eye-opening stories in which disputes, delays, or costly changes either were avoided, …

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The evil three “D’s” of construction–and how A/E’s can protect themselves

Surprises, by nature, are hard to anticipate. In the roller-coaster world of construction, the person who anticipates the unexpected, usually wins. As a risk-management specialist for nearly three decades, my success comes from predicting the future for my clients, helping them maximize profit and minimize risk. One way I do this is by staying apprised …

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Arbitration or Jury Trial–Which is the better choice for A/E’s?

One big question my clients ask me often : “When I sign a contract, is it better to choose arbitration or jury trial, in the event we need to resolve a dispute?” This is an important topic. It’s one of those things that may seem like a minor “hypothetical” detail, because after all, most disputes …

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The Philadelphia Salvation Army Tragedy: Three Easy Ways Architects Can Avoid Liability

This may sound shocking, but as an architect, you can be held legally liable for injuries and damages at a construction project, even if you have no direct involvement. Sometimes, if you have no involvement at all. I know it seems unfair. As an architect, you have virtually no control over day-to-day construction. Yet the …

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Harness the connection between managing risk and increasing profitability, Part 2

In Part 1, we covered taking control of the submittals schedule and managing RFIs. Let’s move on to properly allocating substitutions and limiting change orders.  In our previous post, we began discussing how you, the AE professional, can control the flow of information during the construction phase and, at the same time, create strategies to manage risk, …

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Harness the connection between managing risk and increasing profitability, Part 1

As an architect or engineer, it’s important to anticipate potential issues and problems that can—and usually do—arise during the construction phase of a project. As you probably know by now, issues don’t typically arise during the design phase, when you have the most control and the best leverage with the owner.  Unfortunately, problems usually happen …

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Value engineering: How to manage the process and limit the risk of VE

As an ideal, the underlying intentions of value engineering seem noble. Truly, discarding elements of a design that add extraneous costs but do not make a significant contribution to a building’s performance or appearance can be a useful tool when correctly utilized. But in practice, value engineering (VE) is often a less than ideal experience, …

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