Guest Post: Why Mediate? Because You Run a Business

Christopher Hill (no relation to yours truly) is a longtime construction law attorney and mediator practicing out of Richmond, Virginia. His blog, Construction Law Musings, has always been one of my must-read sources of news and insight pertaining to construction law ever since he started it in late 2008. Be sure to follow @constructionlaw on Twitter for the latest updates from a true thought leader in the art and science of resolving construction disputes. Without further ado, I am proud to present Mr. Hill’s guest post on a topic that I couldn’t agree with more — the business case for why the mediation process is so critical to the A/E/C industry.

First of all, thanks to Brian for his invitation to discuss a passion of mine, mediation, at his great AEC Forensics blog.  I read it regularly and so should you. Continue reading “Guest Post: Why Mediate? Because You Run a Business”

Do energy efficient building practices result in better feedback loops and better workmanship?

My wife and I have been lucky to have three kids that (so far) haven’t ever played with fire, or knives, or consumed dangerous cleaning supplies, or anything like that. It didn’t take burning down the house, stitches, or stomach pumping to teach each of them the danger inherent with certain things—a quick touch to a hot oven provides instantaneous feedback.

This is the primary concept of the feedback loop, explained by Wired Magazine: Continue reading “Do energy efficient building practices result in better feedback loops and better workmanship?”

London: Failed, fallen structural components at the Cheesegrater building prompt investigation

The Leadenhall Building at 122 Leadenhall Street in London, also known affectionately as the Cheesegrater due to its unique shape, is 47-stories tall and is the UK’s 4th largest building. Featuring a cutting edge high-performance building envelope incorporating passive heating and cooling elements, 85% of its construction took place off-site, making it one of the largest and most complex prefabricated projects to date. Continue reading “London: Failed, fallen structural components at the Cheesegrater building prompt investigation”

LAUSD gets a surprise early visit from FBI over flawed iPad procurement program

Things seem to have gone from bad to worse for administrators at LA Unified School District over a $70-million iPad program, as the FBI executed a subpoena to seize about 20 bankers boxes of documents this week.

Previously, I wrote about the LAUSD’s decision to end their iPad program amidst allegations of an improper bidding process. According to the story I referenced from the LA Times, it sounded as if district officials had fallen victim to Apple’s notorious reality distortion field. Continue reading “LAUSD gets a surprise early visit from FBI over flawed iPad procurement program”

Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote talk on the future of A/E/C business development at PCBC 2014

I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and have been following his work for the better part of a decade. If you’re like most people, you might be thinking to yourself, “Who is Gary Vaynerchuk?” The short version: Gary took his family’s liquor store from $3M per year to over $60M per year by leveraging social media to establish himself as a leading expert in his field. Continue reading “Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote talk on the future of A/E/C business development at PCBC 2014”

Alan Nevin on San Diego builder’s move from for-sale to rentals in Carmel Valley

One of my great pleasures working for Xpera Group is being surrounded by some amazing industry thought leaders. Economist and real estate guru Alan Nevin is one of those individuals that constantly inspires as well as informs. A regular fixture in the media, Alan was asked for his take on a somewhat unorthodox move by a local builder.

Real estate, construction, and even the litigation that often follows, generally follow some fairly predictable cycles. One such cycle is the conversion by real estate developers of apartments to for-sale condominium units. Often, converters simply spruce up the finishes and appliances, create an HOA, hold a sales blitz targeted primarily at first-time buyers, and then rush to the bank to cash out the LLC before the first claim is filed. Continue reading “Alan Nevin on San Diego builder’s move from for-sale to rentals in Carmel Valley”

Pictures from the 2014 AGC San Diego Hot Summer Nights car show

On July 29th, the San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGCSD) held its annual “Hot Summer Nights” event. Featuring dozens of restored/modified classic cars owned by members of the organization, the event is a fun way to see some of the toys that AGCSD members are so passionate about. While I’m not a … Continue reading Pictures from the 2014 AGC San Diego Hot Summer Nights car show

California: Workmanship still not insured under standard Commercial General Liability policies

Tamara Boeck, writing for the Stoel Rives blog, Ahead of Schedule, has written an excellent analysis on a very important appellate decision in the state of California. The case: Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation (PDF) (May 16, 2014, No. BC464209) Cal.App.2d. [2014 WL 2643242] The facts of this dispute are not unfamiliar, … Continue reading California: Workmanship still not insured under standard Commercial General Liability policies

Make sure to stop by the Xpera Group Booth (N-5438) at PCBC 2014

My colleagues and I from Xpera Group will manning the booth at the 2014 PCBC show. The event takes place June 25th and 26th at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, and is billed as “The Art, Science + Business of Housing.” If you are attending this year’s conference, make sure to drop by the Xpera Group’s … Continue reading Make sure to stop by the Xpera Group Booth (N-5438) at PCBC 2014

The Next Wave of Condominiums, Litigating the Recession, and More!

I just got done posting my first news update for the Xpera Group website. The title: The Next Wave of Condominiums and Other Updates. The article contains a number of updates which I’d like to highlight here. The Next Wave of Condominiums Our resident Economist, Market Research Analyst and Forensic Expert, Alan Nevin wrote an … Continue reading The Next Wave of Condominiums, Litigating the Recession, and More!