There are a number of important construction law and economic developments that I want to pass along to our readers. Given timing and the plethora of topics to address, I wanted to share these developments in a more rapid fire format so these updates remained timely.
You should be on the lookout for more information on these topics in the future. We may expand on some of these threads in the future here as well:
- The Supreme Court of Virginia will hear the appeal in AMEC Civil LLC v. VDOT. This case is a very important case involving what is required for notice of claims on construction projects; any person or entity involved in Virginia construction needs to keep an eye on this case as it could have a major impact on future Virginia construction litigation
- As reported by our friend Chris Cheatham, the District of Columbia has attempted to fix their green building ordinance by no longer requiring a “performance bond” guaranteeing verification of green construction … they will instead just require a “bond” guaranteeing verification of green construction. Count me as a skeptic that this editorial change is meaningful or will fix the problem of lack of available bonds in the markets to cover this risk.
- The economy is sending some mixed messages. Overall unemployment dropped from 10.0% to 9.7% in January according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report
- Unfortunately, that improvement did not translate to the construction industry. ENR reports a significant continued rise in construction unemployment, jumping from 22.7% in December to 24.7% in January. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the construction sector lost 75,000 jobs in January bringing the total to 1.9 million since December 2007
- Associated Builders and Contractors released their latest Construction Economic Update. The skinny: private non-residential construction spending rose 0.2% in December, but was down almost 18% year over year.
The continuing sluggish economy continues to place significant bidding pressure on the construction industry. I still stand by my post last October that this bidding pressure will translate to serious claims issues over the next couple years. Put on your seat belts, it will be a rocky ride here for a while.
Image by Ian Britton courtesy of Freefoto.com