August 2010 
Complexity: A Transient Condition Precedent to Project Failure
Robert C. McCue, P.E.
Consulting Engineer

MDCSystems® has been providing Forensic Project Management (FPM®) services for over forty years for industrial, transportation and institutional capital projects. Using this extensive knowledge base, MDC®, develops and conducts seminars for the public and private sectors on many topics including the topic of Complexity and Systems Thinking.

One of the key realizations based on our long history and experience is that the failure rate for projects in general has remained high. Our understanding of key failure mechanisms and the necessary intervention actions to correct troubled projects has evolved over time and it is now apparent that the condition of Complexity is driving the high failure experience for modern capital projects. How did this problem emerge, why is it so prevalent today and how does the project management team recognize the condition and develop and implement strategies to overcome it? »

Building Envelope Investigations
G. Peter Vander Heide
Consulting Architect

MDCSystems® has performed building exterior envelope investigations for over forty years on all types of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Some of these investigations have included unique aspects of work concerning:

  • Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)
  • Traditional hard coat cement stucco repairs/replacements
  • Stone veneer failures/replacements
  • Shingle roof failures/replacements
  • Water penetration due to improperly flashed windows
  • Water penetration due to missing/defective sealant applications
  • Flashing omissions
  • Air and Vapor barrier failures/omissions
  • Defective design applications for both new and traditional materials

Many contractors and craftsmen do an excellent job of assembling building systems properly, but with the pace of change of new materials, changes in contractor personnel, training requirements and the pressure to accelerate completion, it seems that some assembly activities are not performed with the required attention to detail and quality concern.

Because we’re creating artificial indoor climates to live in which have to be warmer or colder as well as dryer or wetter than the outside climate most of the time, we have to have an effective envelope to contain our comfortable climate. »

In This Issue
Complexity: A Transient Condition Precedent to Project Failure
Building Envelope Investigations
"No Damage for Delay" Clauses
Upcoming Events
ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Fall Meeting
September 2 & 3, 2010
Loews Miami Beach
Miami, FL
DRI 2010 Construction
Law Seminar
Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, 2010
Bellagio Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
Contact Us
MDCSystems® Headquarters USA
37 North Valley Road
3 Station Square, Suite 100
Paoli, PA 19301
Ph: 610.640.9600
Toll Free: 1.888.MDC.9977
Fax: 610.640.9609

MDCSystems® International
3 Amberdeen Avenue
London, England UK N3 3BJ
Ph: 44 (0) 20 8346 8455
Fax: 44 (0) 20 8371 8635
Robert C. McCue
E. Mitchell Swann
Alicia Bressler
"No Damage for Delay" Clauses – An Update
Stephen Michael Rymal, P.E., Esq.
Consulting Engineer

"No damage for delay" clauses continue to divide the country and the courts on their application and interpretation. Although owners and prime contractors insist on enforceability, the net result typically shifts the risk onto the party least likely to negotiate fair limits, to control events on the jobsite and absorb the ultimate cost. Nevertheless, these clauses are found in most construction contracts in some form or another.

Despite the fact that a majority of jurisdictions have recognized and enforced these clauses, courts strictly construe exculpatory clauses such as the "No damage for delay" clause against the drafter in order to avoid a forfeiture or inequity because it shifts risk onto less fortunately situated parties. As a result of this strict interpretation approach, courts have carved out several exceptions depending upon the jurisdiction: »

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MDCSystems®  Headquarters USA
37 North Valley Road, 3 Station Square, Suite 100, Paoli, PA 19301
Ph: 610.640.9600 | Fax: 610.640.9609 | Toll Free: 1.888.MDC.9977
MDCSystems®  International Headquarters
3 Amberdeen Avenue, London, England UK N3 3BJ
Ph: 44 (0) 20 8346 8455 | Fax: 44 (0) 20 8371 8635

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