After almost exactly two years, AECforensics.com is back to dissecting the latest issues impacting quality and risk management in the built environment. And what’s more, there’s now a Daily Edition featuring the top curated news for professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
It is I, Brian L. Hill, your trusty editor, up in the early morning hours once again to scour the internet in search of the most relevant content to share with you. Hopefully, you’ll find something useful to implement on your own projects to achieve what I call More From Less: improving quality and adding value, while reducing wasted energy, effort and expense.
Backstory, and an Update
If you’ve been a longtime reader, first of all thanks for sticking around. For new folks, AECforensics.com first went live in around 2006. Back then, blogs were still very much considered an alternative medium for communication, and while plenty of blogs existed to cover the construction industry, and even construction law, nobody was discussing architectural, engineering and/or construction forensics.
You can read more about my background, if you are so inclined, but the short story is that I’m a 4th generation real estate and construction professional who has spent the better part of two decades investigating, evaluating and resolving some of the most complex and difficult issues impacting building performance. My role has typically been that of the fact-finder — to employ the scientific method in pursuit of empirical data that can be used to help decision makers make better informed decisions.
So for me, AECforensics.com is, and always has been, a true labor of love — a way for me to share my passion for dissecting the issues that impact quality and risk management in pursuit of a better built environment.
In 2014, as many of you know, I put my consulting practice on hold for an opportunity to join one of San Diego’s fastest growing small businesses, Xpera Group. My role initially was to oversee the firm’s marketing program, and to help launch our owner representation company, Xpera CM. Eventually my role would expand to overseeing I.T., and under my direction we successfully rebuilt the company’s entire infrastructure, implementing the industry’s highest standards for both marketing and I.T. operations, as well as bringing together an extremely high performing team.
I’m proud to say that we were able to help Xpera become recognized by Zweig Group as one of the nation’s fastest growing architecture, engineering and construction consulting firms… two years in a row!
It’s All About The Clients
After 2-1/2 years, it is time for me to move on from promoting Xpera’s services and get back to working directly with clients. And I couldn’t be happier.
Nearly six years ago, I wrote an article for my friend’s construction law blog about the role of forensics in the AEC industry. Back then, there was still quite a bit of litigation in the industry relating to the boom of the previous construction cycle.
The Times They Are A-Changing, Yet Again…
After about a five year lull, in just the past several months, we are starting to see another uptick in litigation, disputes and construction claims. And unlike in previous cycles, the nature of the types of issues we are seeing has changed.
Whereas before we would see construction disputes dominated by multi-party or even class action lawsuits involving dozens or sometimes hundreds of single-family homes, there haven’t been too many of those projects built for people to sue over.
Instead we are seeing claims that involve decidedly larger and more complex projects. There are still residential claims, but they are typically either multifamily apartments (with the occasional condo thrown in for good measure) or high-end custom homes. And with these massive projects, often with equally massive alleged damages, there are hundreds of thousands of documents to be reviewed and analyzed, and numerous potential “rabbit holes” that must be pursued.
So there is a need for highly trained forensic analysts like myself to dig in and sort through the mess to help people figure out how best to proceed.
What’s the Point?
Just as there is a clear need for competent forensic services (executed in style, of course), there is also clearly a need for sharing news, information, best practices, and the upcoming trends relative to improving quality and reducing risk in the AEC industry.
What you can expect from me is diligent searching of the various rabbit holes of the internet to bring you the most relevant content I can find. As always, we will seek out the true experts and get their perspective on how to bring even more value to our stakeholders. Or, as John Ruskin put it (tip of the hat to my old friend, Erik Peterson):
When we build, let us think that we build forever.
Let it not be for present delight nor for present use
alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will
thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on
stone, that a time is to come when those stones
will be held sacred because our hands have
touched them, and that men will say, as they look
upon the labor and wrought substance of them,
“See! This our father did for us.”
The AEC Forensics Daily Report
While AECforensics.com will continue to be a source for insight on quality and risk management trends in the AEC industry, I recognize that there is also a need for more up-to-the-minute news for my fellow colleagues. If you are like me, and can’t get enough of the industry’s best content, then you’ll definitely want to subscribe for free to the AEC Forensics Daily Report.
Each day around noon, the top stories percolating through my carefully cultivated and curated sources are delivered either to your inbox, via social media, or simply available online for you to read at your leisure.
So that’s it for now. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.