A nationally recognized forensic construction expert and developer of the Quality Built® program has left his position with the newly formed Quality Built LLC only eight months after new management acquired the company. In 1994 Luhr began developing quality assurance programs to help builders produce better quality at lower cost, which spawned a new industry of private inspection and documentation consultants. His departure from Quality Built will allow Luhr to focus on developing similar efficiencies in claims and forensic support services that his firm, Pacific Property Consultants, has been involved in for over 26 years.
“Litigation claims continue to come in, and now I can spend my full time focusing on builder litigation support,” said Luhr, who kept his forensic business active while he developed the Quality Built program. “Nobody ever imagined that we would literally change the construction industry and get them focused on eliminating waste and defects. Now the word ‘Quality’ means something for the many builders who benefited by our program.”
In 1994, when construction quality was deteriorating and litigation claims skyrocketing, Luhr began sharing his lessons learned as a forensic consultant using innovative technology. The system utilized thousands of quality checkpoints written in a positive format, backed by building science and root-cause analysis which steered builders to improve their entire construction processes. The software coupled with independent field consultants provided an independent watchdog for insurance providers and production builders, who began mandating the Quality Built system. Soon, builder insurers including Arch, Lexington, Contractors Choice, Lloyds, Zurich and others utilized Luhr’s systems and training to eliminate construction flaws within the process, rather than relying on after-the-fact inspections. Catching defective work as it was occurring—rather than repair it as a punch list item—saved builders time, money and drastically reduced construction flaws.
By 2003, Luhr’s processes became the subject of hundreds of lectures and training sessions, sponsored by building trade associations, insurance companies and product manufacturers, touting the improved comfort, durability, safety and energy efficiency of a quality project. Many energy efficiency programs such as LEED for Homes and others began switching their strategies to include quality and durability as key factors of saving energy. By 2010, more than 400,000 structures were completed using the Quality Built system, amassing 40 million quality data records and 12 million photos which documented good construction practices. During his quality reign Luhr developed several products and services and received 14 trademarks and three published patents.
Luhr’s forensic consulting work has included some of the largest construction defect claims in U.S. history, including class-action product failure cases with defective ABS plumbing, polybutylene water pipe and composite siding amounting to billions of dollars of risk exposure. He has been retained on over 3,000 litigation claims and focuses on builder and developer clients, code and energy litigation, and other issues involving construction disputes. He has testified in more than 100 court trials and has given deposition testimony more than 500 occasions.