April 15, 2021
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Surety & Insurance Market Trends
Severe convective storms and flooding in the US during March are estimated to have caused more than $1 billion of insured losses, according to an Aon report. Aon says a preliminary total of 122 tornadoes were confirmed in March, with the most severe damage occurring in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (4/9) 
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On the Radar Screen
A pair of California initiatives that require use of fire-resistant materials could hamper construction and elevate building costs, builder advocacy groups say. "If you're going to say you can only use steel or cement-type structures in some of these areas, that's a different kind of build with significant costs associated with it," says Peter Tateishi, CEO of AGC of California.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/13),  Construction Dive (4/13) 
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Building owners and developers are hopeful that architects, engineers and contractors will offer more than cost-cutting solutions, according to a survey. Appetite is strong for innovations regarding energy efficiency, product delivery and occupant health, the survey found.
Full Story: Building Design + Construction (free registration) (4/9) 
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Construction business owners should ensure proper record-keeping and continue to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols following President Joe Biden's nomination of Doug Parker to OSHA, given Parker's track record as chief of California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Parker is expected to focus on a federal emergency COVID-19 standard and become part of the Biden administration's "more aggressive and robust" workplace safety enforcement effort, says Travis Vance, co-chair of Fisher Phillips' Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management practice.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (4/12) 
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Construction Contract Terms & Conditions
State courts differ in their interpretation of how so-called "blanket" additional insured endorsements are enforced based on contractual privity, and the outcome may depend on the explicit language of a policy endorsement, two attorneys write. They recommend that contracting parties be meticulous in scrutinizing the terms of a policy, to fully understand the scope of coverage before beginning a project.
Full Story: Policyholder Pulse (4/12) 
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Protocols & Procedures
General and specialty contractors have a new way to manage their expenses and cash with a platform from financial software firm Briq. The BriqCash system includes tools for automated invoicing, vendor management, direct payments and rewards.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/14) 
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Legal Compliance
The mandate for prevailing regional wages and benefits for federal contract work under the Davis-Bacon Act is expected to be applied to projects under the Biden administration's American Jobs Plan. Lawyer Michael Schrier urges companies vying for these projects to review compliance with the act to ensure proper pricing.
Full Story: The Contractor's Perspective (4/12) 
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The Los Angeles City Council has expanded fire rating requirements for new buildings and has limited the use of light wood-frame construction in densely populated parts of the city. The motion is supported by some in the concrete industry, while others fear it could clash with the state building code and drive construction costs up.
Full Story: JD Supra/Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (4/8) 
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Construction & Insurance Case Law
A recent Wisconsin court case indicates that lien waivers will be broadly applied unless "expressly and specifically limited," writes Devon Baumbach. To avoid potential pitfalls, Baumbach advises, contractors should carefully review lien waivers before signing and limit them if necessary.
Full Story: The National Law Review/Von Briesen & Roper (4/12) 
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Project Focus
The coronavirus pandemic-induced oil demand and production slowdown threatens to leave almost 50% of Permian Basin oil pipelines empty by year's end, according to analysts and executives. Pipeline operators are offering discounts, renegotiating contracts, considering stake sales and exploring pipeline retrofits to hedge against this risk.
Full Story: Reuters (4/13) 
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AGC News
New ConstructorCast Episode: Committed To Holistic Safety
On this episode, Gilbane Building President and CEO Mike McKelvy covers everything you need to know about Construction Safety Week 2021, happening May 3 to 7. Mike shares his excitement to be the chair of this year's event and his passion behind the "Holistic Safety" theme; walks through the wealth of planning resources and communication tools that firms can use to participate; and talks about lessons learned, future goals and how he keeps his team engaged in safety initiatives. Also, hear from some Construction Safety Week partners who are offering free training and resources. Kevin Cannon, head of AGC's safety and health services, ties it all together with what you need to know about OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which is happening the same week. Listen now.
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