The construction of a new facility or the substantial renovation of an existing one depends upon the technical expertise of many people for an extended period of time and a diverse array of sophisticated materials and equipment. As such, a major construction project poses significant risk to person, property, revenue, and reputation in addition to the possibility of unmet expectations regarding cost, schedule, quality, and performance.
With so much at stake and outside the owner’s direct control, a comprehensive risk management process should begin as soon as planning for the project commences. This process should involve the project’s architect, engineer, contractor, and critical equipment manufacturers, as well as an attorney and insurance advisor knowledgeable of the specialized legal and insurance coverage issues that major construction projects present. This article will introduce some of the strategies and tactics the author has identified during more than twenty years practicing construction law and litigation. While “one size does not fit all,” applying these tools should increase the likelihood of your project fulfilling your objectives and expectations and assist in preventing, avoiding, and mitigating the financial risks and liabilities that construction projects typically create.
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