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    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

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    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Port Alexander Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

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    The Port Alexander, Alaska Building Expert Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Port Alexander's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Port Alexander, Alaska

    Court Narrowly Interprets “Faulty Workmanship” Provision

    March 28, 2018 —
    In a recent victory in their home state of Connecticut, Saxe Doernberger & Vita partners, Jeffrey Vita and Theresa Guertin, representing owner-developer 777 Main Street, LLC, overcame a summary judgment motion filed by Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The Connecticut Superior court refused to adopt the insurer’s broad interpretation of the “faulty workmanship” exclusion in an all-risk builders’ risk insurance policy. In 2014, 777 Main Street, LLC began renovations on the 27-story former Hartford National Bank building in downtown Hartford, converting the property from an office building to a mixed residential and commercial space. During the renovation, a subcontractor hired to perform the cleaning the concrete façade of the building accidentally over-sprayed the cleaning material onto the property’s windows. The subcontractor’s attempts to clean the overspray further damaged the structural integrity and cosmetic look of the windows. As a result, the owner was forced to replace over 1,800 windows, costing millions. Mr. Vita may be contacted at Ms. Guertin may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Fannie Mae Says Millennials Are Finally Leaving Their Parents' Basements

    December 17, 2015 —
    Parents, rejoice. Your offspring may finally be moving out of the family basement. A new report (PDF) from Fannie Mae, the U.S. government-backed mortgage company, suggests that the millennial generation is getting a move on. "According to the ACS [Census Bureau’s American Community Survey], the number of homeowners aged 25-34 fell by more than 250,000 in each year between 2007 and 2012, but has declined by less than 100,000 annually since then," Fannie Mae said. "In fact, the decline between 2013 and 2014 was statistically insignificant, the first indication of stability in the number of young homeowners since the onset of the Great Recession." So while the number of homeowners in that age range is still on the decline, the trend looks poised for a reversal, and Fannie Mae said it won't take much to see positive growth in millennial homeownership in the near future. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Julie Verhage, Bloomberg

    Seattle Expands Bridge Bioswale Projects

    May 11, 2020 —
    The success of engineered systems to capture stormwater runoff from Seattle’s Aurora Avenue Bridge has spurred construction of additional measures that proponents say will increase total filtering capacity by another two million gallons per year. Jim Parsons, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    How California’s Construction Industry has dealt with the New Indemnity Law

    October 22, 2014 —
    It has been almost two years since the California legislature enacted changes to the state’s indemnity law affecting commercial construction contracts. Although we do not yet have any court opinions analyzing the new statutes, the attorneys at Newmeyer & Dillion now have real world experience in negotiating such indemnity provisions. It is time to evaluate how the construction community has reacted to the changes. In this article, we examine the practical applications of the new law to various construction agreements. Enacted on January 1, 2013, the new legislation was the latest in a series of efforts by subcontractors and their insurers to eliminate “Type I” indemnity clauses. Under a Type I provision, a subcontractor has a duty to indemnify the developer or general contractor for the negligence of the developer or general contractor or other subcontractors, in addition to the negligence of the subcontractor itself. In 2006, the law was changed to preclude Type I provisions regarding “For Sale” residential construction defect claims. At that time, there was no such restriction enacted for commercial construction contracts. However, since then, commercial subcontractors have been seeking similar legislation. Their efforts culminated in the 2013 revisions regarding commercial contracts. Commercial Subcontracts Pursuant to the new indemnity statute — Civil Code section 2782.05 — we have revised our clients’ commercial subcontracts to: (a) Eliminate the requirement that the subcontractor indemnify the general contractor for the general contractor’s “active negligence;” and (b) Include the subcontractor’s options for defending claims for which they have an indemnity obligation. Many subcontractors have responded: “Hey, wait a minute, the new legislation eliminated Type I indemnity so you (general contractor) cannot still require any indemnification for the general contractor’s negligence”. Well, that might be the rumor in subcontractor circles, but the new statute does not eliminate indemnity for the general contractor’s passive fault. In addition, the Civil Code lists 13 instances where the new indemnity restrictions do not apply. Residential Subcontracts The legislature did not make anyone’s job easier by drafting a different indemnity provision for commercial subcontracts than for residential subcontracts. In fact, the residential and commercial statutes are different in several critical respects. First, the restrictions on indemnity in the residential statute apply only to construction defect claims in newly constructed “For Sale” houses. The statute does not preclude Type I indemnity provisions for any other claims arising out of residential subcontracts. In contrast, the indemnity restrictions in the commercial statute apply to all claims arising out of commercial subcontracts. In addition, the commercial statute allows indemnity for the general contractor’s passive fault. Since some subcontractors on “residential” projects perform off-site “commercial” work as well, we have amended even residential subcontracts to address the subcontractors’ various indemnity obligations for different parts of their work (e.g., residential work versus commercial work). Owner-Contractor Agreements The January 1, 2013 new indemnity provisions apply not only to subcontracts, but also to owner-contractor agreements. Civil Code section 2782(c)(1) precludes indemnity for an owner’s active negligence. Interestingly, the exclusions contained in Civil Code section 2782.05 for subcontracts do not apply, and the statute does not provide contractors with the option of defending claims set forth in the sections concerning subcontracts. Therefore, we have revised the indemnity provisions in owner-contractor agreements to exclude indemnity for the owner’s active negligence. Design Professional Agreements The 2007 revisions with respect to “For Sale” residential contracts (discussed above), and the 2013 revisions for commercial contracts do not apply to design professionals. The new indemnity statute concerning commercial subcontracts specifically excludes design professionals from the “anti-indemnity” benefits provided to subcontractors. Therefore, Type I indemnity provisions are fair game and can still be included in design professional contracts. Conclusion In sum, Civil Code sections 2782 et seq. now contain an increasingly complex framework for indemnity rules in construction contracts. For example, there is one set of rules for “For Sale” residential construction defect claims (no indemnity for the developer’s active or passive negligence), another for any other claims arising out of residential construction (Type I indemnity is permitted), another for commercial subcontracts (no indemnity for the general contractor’s active negligence, but indemnity for the general contractor’s passive negligence unless any of the exceptions apply, in which case Type I indemnity is permitted), and yet another for commercial owner contractor agreements (no indemnity for the owner’s active negligence, but indemnity for the owner’s passive negligence with no exceptions). California’s indemnity laws are complex, and rumors as to the impact of the new legislation have made it even more difficult to negotiate these provisions. It is imperative that indemnity clauses in construction contracts clearly delineate the obligations for the specific type or types of work contemplated by the contract. The legislature’s attempt to simplify indemnity obligations has actually made such provisions lengthier and more cumbersome. As experienced construction attorneys, our task is to draft indemnity provisions that comply with the laws, address potential claims, and are understandable. Mr. Himmelstein is a partner in the Newport Beach office of Newmeyer & Dillion and practices in the areas of construction, real estate, business and insurance litigation. He also specializes in drafting and negotiating construction and real estate contracts. Mark can be reached at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Do You Have an Innovation Strategy?

    November 08, 2017 —
    Construction and engineering are among the top five industries ripe for disruption according to research by PwC. Will innovation come from tech companies and startups, or could established firms be proactive? For Granlund, founded in 1960, innovation is a strategic essential and a core competency. Granlund is a Finnish design, consultancy, and software services firm specializing in energy efficiency. It employs more than 800 people in 20 locations in Finland and in its offices in Shanghai and Dubai. The company is known internationally for being in the vanguard of building information modeling and for real estate management software development. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Ten-Year Statute Of Repose To Sue For Latent Construction Defects

    November 12, 2019 —
    If you are dealing with latent construction defects, it is imperative that you consult with counsel to understand your rights. This not only includes claims for property damage stemming from latent construction defects, but also personal injury stemming from such defects. There is a ten-year statute of repose to sue for latent construction defects. See Fla.Stat. s. 95.11(3)(c). After the expiration of this statute of repose you are out of luck, meaning you can no longer sue. Now, I probably will not be the first to tell you that the statute of repose is not written so clear that you know the precise date it ends (or the last date you can sue for a latent defect). For this reason, you really want to operate conservatively, meaning it is always better to sue early if you think you could be running on the end of the statute of repose period. It is always advisable to avoid any legitimate argument that you filed your construction defect lawsuit too late. In Harrell v. The Ryland Group, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D2054b (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), a subsequent owner of a house sued the original homebuilder in negligence for a construction defect causing a personal injury. The subsequent owner claimed the homebuilder defectively installed an attic ladder (that provided access to the attic for the original construction) which collapsed as he was using it. The homebuilder filed a motion for summary judgment that the statute of repose expired so the owner’s claim was time-barred. The First District agreed. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Did the Building Boom Lead to a Boom in Construction Defects?

    May 10, 2013 —
    The height of the building boom is now almost a decade past but some are saying that the results of the rush to get housing built during the profitable market are still with us. The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise of construction defect lawsuits as these homes have aged, some not too gracefully. One couple thought they were hearing acorns falling on their roof. They were less happy to find that the source of the noises was their house slumping on one end, leading to cracks throughout the house. Their neighbors had similar problems and they are now part of a lawsuit against the builder. The expenses to repair the houses could total millions of dollars. Some have suggested that during the building boom both building and inspection standards were more lax in order to keep up with the pace of building. Criterium Engineers, a building-inspection firm, estimates that 17% of new homes built in 2006 had at least two significant defect, while only 15% of those built in 2003 fit these criteria. Meanwhile others attribute the rise in construction defect lawsuits to home inspector and construction defect attorneys looking for new territories to exploit. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    World-Famous Architects Design $480,000 Gazebos for Your Backyard

    December 10, 2015 —
    Star architects known for dreaming up museums, concert halls, and stadiums are aiming to bring high design into a much more pedestrian segment: prefabricated, mixed-use structures. If you don't want to spring for one of Zaha Hadid's $50 million penthouses, you can now have your own outdoor dining pavilion by the Pritzker Prize winner. Price tag: $480,000. Made with wood, stainless steel, and aluminum, the curvy piece comprises a platform and a sprawling, perforated canopy, resembling a giant mushroom straight out of Alice in Wonderland. (This is a Hadid, after all.) It will be made in an edition of 24. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Katya Kazakina, Bloomberg