5/27/20 – COVID-19 Hits the Construction Industry: For Construction Contracts, Is Force Majeure an Available Excuse of Performance?
CLM Magazine issued an article discussing the applicability of force majure clauses in construction contracts. The article details sample provisions and provides an analysis of whether force majure can serve as a qualifying event. It also details situations where no force majure clause is available. A link to the article can be found below.
4/30/20 – The new normal: 8 ways the coronavirus crisis is changing construction.
Construction Dive magazine issued an article discussing ways that construction projects could change in a post Covid-19 world. Potential change include: jobsites will be cleaner and safer; distancing will be the norm, via technology; projects will take longer; telework will become more common; union influence will grow; demand for project types will change; supply chains will recalibrate; and modular adoption will increase.
4/6/20 – Total among companies seeking force majeure on EDF contracts: sources.
Reuters reports that energy giant, Total, is among several power suppliers that tried to declare force majeure on buying nuclear power from EDF, sources said, as the coronavirus outbreak has pushed prices in the French electricity market far below existing contracts.
4/1/20 – Construction Costs Continue to Rise – and that was before Covid-19.
On April 1, 2020, Commercial Property Executive Magazine issued an article discussing the continued increase in construction costs across the nation. It was reported that there was a 2% increase in costs across the country in 2019 and cost increases are expected to continue. Covid-19 has already caused disruptions to supply chains from Chinese manufacturers and construction projects will likely be impacted as a result in terms of costs for both time and materials.
4/1/20 – Architects help meet the demands for hospital beds on emergency.
On April 1, 2020, the Architectural Record issued an article discussing the role of architects in meeting the demands for hospitals beds that States are now facing as a result of an influx of patients due to Covid-19. Architects are assessing existing structures for their capabilities to be quickly converted into treatment facilities. In addition to assessing spacial considerations, architects are analyzing “HVAC and treatment infrastructure including availability of oxygen, nursing call systems, etc.” Forward thinking designs are also proving beneficial in modern hospitals, such as NYU Langone, where the hospital’s spaces can be converted to any demands.
3/25/20 – Contractors may be liable for delay caused by coronavirus.
Concerns are arising in the construction industry regarding whether contractors will be liable for delay caused by the coronavirus. As mentioned in an article published by Bis Now, “contractors and subcontractors should check their contract clauses regarding claims, notice, schedules, delays, force majeure and safety.” Additional concerns are arising on whether project owners will attempt to assert delay claims against contractors on projects where delays were already caused due to other factors. Detailed project documents will prove critical in the defense of these claims in the future.
3/24/20 – Contractual impacts to construction projects due to coronavirus.
Construction projects have been brought to a halt in many states and the impacts will soon be felt. As detailed in an article published by Contractor Magazine, contractual provisions will be key to addressing liability as we proceed through these uncertain times. Key contractual provisions should be carefully reviewed to determine potential liability including: force majeure; suspension of contract; insurance; and loan documents. “As construction project participants navigate the novel issues it has raised, they should closely evaluate their construction contracts in order to make the best decisions regarding ongoing work and project safety, as well as to implement strategies to mitigate financial and schedule impacts as much as possible.”
3/24/20 – AIA Practice considerations: Manage your architecture firm’s risk in response to COVID-19.
The American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) authored a risk management guide to help architects manage risks caused by impacts to active projects by Covid-19. As noted by the AIA, the document is intended to be a resource only, while it highlights considerations that should be given to not only the projects and attendant contractual implications but also to the human element to the industry. The AIA reminds architects to consider the need to provide a safe work environment and to take austerity measures to preserve cash flow, among other recommendations.