The Skyscrapers of the Future Will Be Made of Wood

David J. Petersen | Tonkon Torp. | September 6, 2018

On August 8, the Oregon Building Codes Division approved a new state building code called a Statewide Alternate Method. The new code authorizes the construction of wood buildings taller than six stories, which was the previous limit. Taller wood buildings have been made possible by technological advances with cross-laminated timber. CLT, as it is known, is constructed by layering perpendicular sheets of solid lumber and adhering them together. It is similar to plywood, but much thicker, creating the necessary structural support for a high rise building. 

CLT has numerous advantages over steel, masonry and concrete. It is lighter and more flexible, which provides excellent seismic resilience, reduces the need for deep foundations and shortens construction time. The base material is easily adaptable to different uses by adding or removing layers to create the desired thickness and strength. As a wood product it sequesters carbon and can be sourced from a renewable, sustainable resource. Materials can be prefabricated off site, potentially lowering construction costs. Disadvantages include current higher production costs and weak sound insulation properties. While an increased risk of fire may seem logical, in fact CLT has been shown to have equal or better fire resistance than other non-carbon based construction materials.

CLT is in common use in Europe, and the largest CLT building currently in existence is Dalston Lane, a mixed use complex in Hackney in the U.K., with towers as tall as 10 stories. The Framework Building, a mixed retail, office, and residential tower to be constructed in Portland’s Pearl District, would have topped Dalston Lane at 12 stories, but due to development challenges the project is currently on hold. Portland also hosts the USA’s first CLT building, the four-story Albina Yard.

Despite the temporary setback of the Framework project and the manufacturing defects recently found in CLT used in a project at Oregon State University, CLT has loads of promise as the high-rise construction material of the future. By using sustainably-sourced wood or wood that would otherwise go to waste (much CLT in the market today is made from pine beetle-infested trees), the carbon footprint of new high-rises can be reduced significantly. As costs come down, as they do with all successful new technologies, expect to see CLT structures rise near you.

Before skyscrapers first touched the sky in New York and other cities over 100 years ago, most buildings were built of wood. The structural limitations and fire risk of wood kept buildings short, to perhaps five or six stories at most. Steel and concrete allowed architects to blow past those limitations. Now, with the advances made possible by CLT, our built environment is on the verge of completing a full circle to the space age wood structure of the future.

Compliance with Building Code Included in Property Damage

Tred R. Eyerly | Insurance Law Hawaii | February 5, 2018

A Circuit Court in Florida issued a final judgment determining that the insured’s obligation to comply with building code provisions was included in the property damage experienced. Pin-Pon Corp. v. Landmark, Am. Ins. Co., No. 312009CA012244 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Dec. 28, 2017). The decision is here.

At trial, the plaintiff’s architect testified that the total pricing for the code upgrades was $6.2 million. On appeal, the appellate court ruled that plaintiff’s Exhibit 98, an Upgrade Insurance Claim, was improperly admitted as a business record. The appellate court stated that the jury may have considered Exhibit 98 in determining the amount of code upgrade damages. Therefore, the verdict was reversed and remanded for a trial on the code upgrade damages only.

On remand, the plaintiff presented testimony from its architect that the code upgrades were required by the 2004 Florida Building Code because the storm damaged more than 50% of the aggregate area of the building. Another witness testified that the amount of code upgrade damages sustained by the plaintiff and submitted to Landmark was $6.2 million. The testimony and documentary evidence submitted by the plaintiff showed that the cost analysis and methodology used in preparing it was accurate.

Landmark did not present any testimony regarding the scope of code upgrade repairs required by the building code. Nor did Landmark present any testimony establishing that plaintiff’s claimed damages were unreasonable or unnecessary. Therefore, Pin-Pon was allowed to recover from Landmark the amount of $5,644,668.79, together with statutory interest.

Utah’s Portable Classrooms Put Kids at Risk, Engineering Experts Say

Benjamin Wood | Salt Lake Tribune | January 24, 2018

Civil engineering and architectural groups urge tougher building standards on 100s of units, saying Utah lacks clear rules for anchoring modular classrooms to the ground, potentially putting thousands of students in danger.

Each school day, tens of thousands of Utah children make their way into stand-alone classrooms a stone’s throw from the main campus buildings where their peers study.

Commonly known as “portables,” these modular structures occasionally get moved around, or they remain in place for decades as a low-cost alternative to constructing newer and bigger schools to relieve overcrowding.

But what, beyond gravity, secures these buildings to the ground?

That question lacks a clear answer in Utah, with a decentralized network of boards for 132 school districts and 127 charter schools in charge of overseeing structural planning.

And while most of the hundreds of portable school buildings in use in Utah are similar in construction, minimum architectural and engineering requirements that cover them are loosely defined, beyond rules that seismic and soil conditions where they are located be studied.

“They’re not required to be on a permanent foundation,” said Natalie Grange, an assistant state superintendent for the Utah Board of Education. “When they’re installed, they are hooked to the ground in some way that satisfies safety and seismic requirements.”

On Wednesday, leaders of Utah civil and structural engineering groups issued a joint statement urging new, more stringent standards on modular buildings, including portable classrooms and offices.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Students at recess at Butterfield Canyon Elementary in Herriman, which has 14 portable classrooms. On Wednesday, several Utah civil and architectural engineering groups called for more stringent building standards on the hundreds of portable classrooms in use across the state, saying current rules may be putting students at risk.
(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Students at recess at Butterfield Canyon Elementary in Herriman, which has 14 portable classrooms. On Wednesday, several Utah civil and architectural engineering groups called for more stringent building standards on the hundreds of portable classrooms in use across the state, saying current rules may be putting students at risk.

When these modulars are used for more than 180 days — virtually all portable classrooms in Utah are used beyond that timeline — they should be considered “permanent” structures and subject to more rigorous structural codes, the professional groups said.

“Unanchored and/or unbraced structures intended for occupancy do not meet the provisions of the building code and present a risk to the health and safety of the occupants,” said the statement.

Issued Wednesday, the statement is signed by Anthony Schmid, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Utah Section; Conrad Guymon, chairman of the Utah Section’s Structural Engineering Institute; and Troy Dye, president of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah.

Matt Roblez, a past president of the the American Society of Civil Engineers Utah Section, said he became concerned about the regulatory ambiguity surrounding construction of portables after inspecting a series of modular units intended for use at Utah schools.

Building codes did not appear to be enforced, Roblez said, but unlike some states, Utah does not have clearly defined requirements or guidance for prefabricated classrooms.

“At the minimum, Utah schools should adhere to the code more strictly by securing portable classrooms to the ground with use of a permanent footing and foundational system,” Roblez said. “Until this code can be properly enforced, Utah should write an adopted standard for schools to follow.”

Supply and demand

Salt Lake County’s five school districts operate a combined 604 portable classrooms, according to district spokespeople. The numbers range from a high of 250 portables in the fast-growing Jordan School District to six portables in the comparably small Murray City School District.

Utah’s two largest school districts, Alpine and Davis, operate 363 and 347 portable classrooms, respectively.

The state’s average student-to-teacher ratio is 21.8, according to the most recent data from the state Board of Education. By that math, portable classrooms in north-Utah County, Davis County and Salt Lake County house roughly 30,000 children.

Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams described the modular units as a necessary evil. School construction often lags behind swings in student population trends, and modular classrooms allow districts to adjust more quickly to those trends.

When the Davis district last sought voter approval for a bond, written materials on the measure noted that if all the district’s portables were stacked vertically, they would form the tallest building on Earth.

“We wish we could get away from them, but as you see from the numbers, 347 of them, we use them quite a bit,” Williams said. “We definitely make sure that it’s safe for people to occupy them.”

For its portables, Davis relies on a typical system of placing the buildings on rails and tying them to bars that extend 2 to 3 feet into the soil beneath. That setup, Williams said, allows portables to absorb wind or seismic activity without sustaining damage.

In case of a major disaster, classrooms anchored in this way might be shaken off their base rails, Williams said, but would likely remain otherwise intact.

“They’re made so that they can kind of sway back and forth,” he said. “If they fall, they’re going to fall a few feet.”

He said Davis School District’s portables are all on top of soil, without a foundation or hard surface beneath them.

“Our portables are placed on the grass or on dirt,” Williams said. “We do not lay a cement pad down or asphalt to go underneath them.”

Roblez said Davis School District’s approach — while typical for districts across the state — fall short of safety standards.

“Ground stakes, the tool that many modular units use for stability, do not meet the provisions of the current code for permanent foundations,” he said. “Per the code for a permanent structure, buildings require a footing and foundational system that is required to withstand gravity loads, wind and seismic events and be placed at frost depth.”

Quick fix for overcrowding

In Granite School District, all portables installed within the past six years have been placed on hard surfaces, spokesman Ben Horsley said.

“It’s more secure, clearly, having it on concrete or asphalt,” Horsley said. “You will find some [on soil], even within Granite District. That’s not to say they’re not safe and secure.”

Like portables in the Davis district, Granite’s classrooms are tied to pairs of stakes that extend into the ground. The district has also moved to using steel frames, instead of wood, over the past decade and bolts the portables’ base siding into the asphalt or concrete beneath them, adding an extra level of anchoring, according to Steve Hogan, the district’s director of planning and boundaries.

Hogan said the district chooses flat areas to place portables — to avoid issues such as rain erosion or shifting soil — and keeps the buildings as low to the ground as possible for accessibility and to lessen the distance a building would drop if it fell off its footings.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The footing under a portable classroom at Stansbury Elementary in West Valley City, Friday December 8, 2017.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The footing under a portable classroom at Stansbury Elementary in West Valley City, Friday December 8, 2017.

Because building codes for portable classrooms are not spelled out in detail, Horsley said the district looks to residential mobile homes as a standard for its modular buildings. He declined to comment on the design and anchoring of other districts’ portables, but noted that he’s unaware of any safety incident in Utah related to the structural integrity of modular buildings.

“We’ve tried to go above and beyond what those [mobile home] requirements are,” Horsley said. “I think we’re about as prepared as we can be and we’ll continue to upgrade. If we see other logical, reasonable ways that we can make these safe, we’re happy to look into that.”

Ross Wentworth, an architect with the Salt Lake City-based firm Naylor Wentworth Lund, has designed portable classrooms for several school districts, most recently Jordan School District.

Wentworth said most districts use a standard design plan for modular buildings, which is then tailored to specific conditions. And because portables are lightweight, detached from and typically newer than other district structures, Wentworth said they’re preferable to other buildings children could find themselves in during an earthquake.

“If I had to choose a place for a son or daughter to be, with respect to seismic activity, it would be in a relocatable,” he said.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Portable classrooms at Stansbury Elementary in West Valley City, Friday December 8, 2017.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Portable classrooms at Stansbury Elementary in West Valley City, Friday December 8, 2017.

Jenefer Youngfield, school construction and safety specialist for the state Board of Education, also referred to residential mobile-home design standards as a guide for the structural requirements of portable classrooms. Like mobile homes, she said, portables do not need be secured to a fixed foundation — unless the designing architect decides that site conditions require it.

Building plans for portable classrooms must approved by a certified examiner, she noted, and public concerns regarding safety can be submitted to the state Board of Education for review.

“The long and short of it,” Youngfield said, “is it’s up to the architect or engineer.”

‘Good, durable facilities’

Wentworth said if there is a regulatory gap in standards for portables, it rests with how they are connected to the ground. Like Williams and Horsley, the school architect speculated that a worst-case scenario could shake these classrooms loose of their footings, causing them to fall 1 or 2 feet to the ground.

But Wentworth emphasized that the structures remain safe when adequate attention goes into their design and installation. And while many spend their useful life at a single location, the buildings are built to be moved, he said, helping administrators respond to shifting enrollment.

“Our experience is that they’ve been pretty good, durable facilities,” Wentworth said. “They certainly solve a unique problem for the number of students we deal with in Utah.”

But Roblez said the lack of clear regulations and minimum standards is only adding to the potential for structural damage.

He urged that more be done to mitigate the risks, with sufficient foundations being the first line of defense against earthquakes and major weather events. Roblez also called for wider public awareness on the issue.

“Parents should ask questions of school facilities managers to understand how schools are adhering to the building code,” he said.

Horsley said Granite School District welcomes feedback from community groups on structural safety, acknowledging that modular classrooms are “the next best option” to a traditional schoolhouse.

“Our preference,” he said, “would obviously be a seismically sound, permanent facility.”

What are the different types of solar flashing?

Kelly Pickerel | Solar Power World | December 18, 2017

Without flashing, a residential roof with solar might become a leaky mess. When holes are made in a roof—for vent pipes or solar mounts—flashing is the material used to stop water from leaking into the roof. The most common type of flashing is made of aluminum, but there have been advances in this area of the roofing market, as SolarRoofHook‘s marketing director Samantha Dalton explained during a recent Solar Power World webinar. Below you’ll find more information on the main types of flashing used on asphalt shingle roofs.

Aluminum Flashing

Aluminum flashing is the most recognized flashing type. A large square-ish size of aluminum redirects water runoff away from the roof penetration. Aluminum flashing is installed by lifting the shingles and inserting the flashing underneath. It secures to the roof by the weight of the roofing material or by nails.

“Aluminum flashing has been in the industry so long, that many people have used it since they began installing solar,” Dalton said. “Aluminum flashing is malleable and lightweight, [and] is also a low-cost flashing option.”

One drawback of the popular aluminum flashing method is that shingle nails have to be removed, leaving more holes in the roof. And if the flashing has to be nailed down, that makes even more holes. Although lightweight, the large size of aluminum flashing pieces can be bulky to ship and handle.

Galvanized Flashing

Galvanized flashing uses galvanized steel, making it more rigid than aluminum flashing. Galvanized flashing also redirects water runoff away from roof penetrations and is installed under roof shingles.

“Because of its rigidity, galvanized flashing improved upon the issue aluminum flashing imposed in high wind areas. It won’t bend or misshape in the wind,” Dalton said. “Installers won’t have to worry about keeping it secure at all times while handling it on the roof in order to keep it from blowing away.”

Galvanized has similar problems to aluminum flashing—more penetrations—and is heavier to transport up onto the roof. It’s also more expensive than aluminum flashing.

Rubber Flashing

Rubber/EPDM flashing works alongside a piece of aluminum flashing. A rubber bushing is inserted into the opening of an aluminum flashing where the roof penetration is made. The rubber helps seal the mount from water leaks. Rubber flashing is still installed under shingles and is nailed to the roof.

“Rubber bushed flashing provides a truly watertight seal and does not depend on redirecting water to keep the penetration from leaking,” Dalton said. “However, it still has many of the same downsides as aluminum and galvanized flashing. Rubber bushed flashing is one of the most expensive flashing options in the industry. The flashing is still bulky. Extra penetrations are still made in the roof.”

Elevated Flashing

Elevated flashing is made of aluminum but features a raised section above the roof penetration, preventing water from running directly over the hole. Shingles are still lifted, and the flashing is nailed to the roof.

“Elevated flashing is more water resistant than traditional aluminum flashing. The raised area provides an extra defense against allowing leaks,” Dalton said.

Like rubber flashing, elevated flashing is more expensive because of the improved modifications.


Microflashing, which SolarRoofHook uses with its QuickBOLT product, is much smaller than traditional flashing, at 3 to 4 in. in diameter. A stainless-steel compression washer with EPDM on the bottom is placed directly over the shingle and a bolt is driven into the roof. Solar mounts then connect to that exposed bolt. No shingles are lifted or removed, and the smaller size is easy to ship and assemble.

“Because it compresses and chemically bonds with the roof, Microflashing is able to create a 100% leak proof seal,” Dalton said. “Because Microflashing is not a big, bulky piece of aluminum, the traditionalists of the industry have been hesitant in the past to accept it as a flashing system. However, not only is Microflashing a viable flashing method, it is the most innovative and reliable flashing method available.”

Microflashing is the newest type of flashing to enter the roofing market, and it upends the thought of traditional flashing options.

No matter what flashing type is chosen for a solar project, it’s important to ensure the installation adheres to all appropriate building codes. Often, flashing must be applied in accordance with the asphalt shingle manufacturer’s printed instructions, following best practices from various roofing associations. Choosing the right flashing is an important step, but making sure it’s installed correctly ensures a waterproof solar project.

Future 2018 IBC Amendments Made Early Due to the Library Gardens Apartment Tragedy

Remi Kern | Quality Built | October 31, 2017

On June 16, 2015, a balcony collapsed at the Library Gardens apartment’s in Berkeley, CA, resulting in six dead and seven injured. Allegations included design defects, installation defects, failure to follow material specifications, inappropriate use of balcony, and lack of maintenance. The end-game of faulty construction can have far-reaching consequences beyond simple financial culpability for property damage and loss of brand reputation. Fortunately, in this instance, the victims did not die in vain; the lessons learned have resulted in a comprehensive review of code and inspection protocols which take effect immediately in the State of California, and will carry over into the upcoming changes to the 2018 International Building Code.

Exhibit 1: Overview of the Library Gardens Apartments in Berkeley, CA.

Within a month of the collapse, the Berkeley City Council passed an ordinance requiring all existing “Exterior Elevated Elements” (EEE), on all existing buildings within the city, to be inspected within six months, and then once every three years for the life of the building, while using the following standards:

  • Protecting the public from harm related to improper construction.
  • Identifying EEEs that may be subject to rot or corrosion leading to potential failure.
  • Requirements for plans to provide more details indicating proper waterproofing of the structure.
  • Stricter requirements on the use of materials.
  • Ventilation of framing.

Within the first six months following the decree, nearly 2,200 properties were inspected. The findings of these inspections indicated that almost 400 (or at least one in every six inspected) required some form of repair or work. In response to these findings, the State of California quickly followed suit and made the following changes to their building codes.

Both houses of the California State Legislature “chaptered” (made law) SB-465 Chapter 372 on September 15, 2016. This bill added:

  • Section 7021 – Created interagency communication for the reporting of information.
  • Section 7071.18 – Required self-reporting by licensees of convictions for felonies or other criminal activity committed by the licensee, as well as any judgments, settlements, and arbitration awards also related to the construction industry.
  • Section 18924.5 – Authorized a working group to study the EEE collapses and recommended changes/revisions to statutes or building standards by January 2018. The working group may submit recommended changes earlier than 2018 if deemed necessary to protect the public.

The Building Standards Pursuant to Section 18924.5 and other codified emergency regulations:

  • The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) issued an emergency amendment for EEEs to the California Building Standards Code. Though originally temporarily enacted as of January 30, 2017, the EEE amendment became permanent in the appropriate sections of the 2016 CBC and the 2016 California Existing Building Code (Cal. Code of Regs, Tit. 24, Parts 2 and 10) after the last adoption ends on January 26, 2018.

The following sections outline the implications these code changes will have on the industry both today in California and starting in 2018 in many other states, as well as enacting other preventive measures to minimize the potential for such calamities in the future.

2016 CBC (2018 IBC) Elevated Exterior Elements (EEE) Code Changes

The following amendments are all currently in emergency effect in California under the 2016 CBC, with other state agencies such as the Department of the State Architect (DSA) adopting similar variations for their own related code sections. Other states are going to adopt similar code changes under the updated International Building Code in 2018. The following is a quick synopsis of what these amendments will entail:

“107.2.7 Exterior balcony and elevated walking surfaces. (2018 IBC 107.2.5) Where balcony or other elevated walking surfaces are exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow, or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, the construction documents shall include details for all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system. The construction documents shall include manufacturer’s installation instructions.”

“107.2.7: Both the requirement of comprehensive details, and implying specific product designation based on the requirement of manufacturer-specific details to be included in the construction documents, are major changes to the code. These are recommendations that Quality Built, LLC always includes in our Technical Plan Review™ (TPR) when details are not included or are incomplete, and when the waterproofing brand is not clearly indicated.  Removing vague and overly-generalized detail drawings and notes that are open to interpretation goes a long way in providing signposts on the road to building a safer product.

Exhibit 2: A plan detail of the collapsed deck. Ambiguous language on the detail may have played a part in the contractor’s determination to utilize multiple layers of OSB, a material specifically not approved for exterior decking, although notes elsewhere in the plans specified 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood be utilized. Though the design was deemed adequate, the implementation was not.
“ Weather exposed balcony and walking surface waterproofing
Where balcony or other elevated walking surfaces are exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow, or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system shall not be concealed until inspected and approved. 
Exception: Where special inspections are provided in accordance with Section 1705.1.1, Item 3.”

“ Providing both verification of the installation details implemented, and the materials specified to be utilized is tantamount to providing a safe product for consumer use in the long term. Due to the lack of requirement to observe these critical components, EEE components were often neglected not only by construction personnel, but by jurisdictions, as well.

Third-Party and Internal Quality Assurance Programs with effective documentation and document retention protocols would help minimize the potential for overlooked items and provide a database for gauging trade compliance with following project documents and manufacturer specifications.

Exhibit 3: Deviations from plan and manufacturer specifications, as well as negligent maintenance of the property were ruled to have been the cause of the material failure and eventual collapse at Liberty Gardens, Unit 405. An effective third-party quality assurance program would have documented and provided the concerned parties the information needed to catch and correct this situation in the very beginning stages.
“Table 1607.1 [BSC] (Both CBC and IBC) – Minimum live loads for balconies and decks are increased from being the same as the occupancy served, to 1.5 times the load for the occupancy served, but need not exceed 100 psf.”

“Table 1607.1 [BSC] (Both CBC and IBC): This amendment acknowledges the reality that the typical live load at balconies and other EEEs can exceed the interior service capacity due to the nature of usage as a point of congregation.

“2304.12.2.5 Supporting members for permeable floors and roofs (Both CBC and IBC, last sentence added). Wood structural members that support moisture-permeable floors or roofs that are exposed to the weather, such as concrete or masonry slabs, shall be of naturally-durable or preservative-treated wood unless separated from such floors or roofs by an impervious moisture barrier. [BSC] The impervious moisture barrier system protecting the structure supporting floors shall provide positive drainage of water that infiltrates the moisture-permeable floor topping.”

“2304.12.2.5: Of equal importance is the need for horizontal surfaces to provide ample slope to effectively drain away from the structure. The 2016 CBC in Chapter 2 defines “Positive (Roof) Drainage” as, “The drainage condition in which consideration has been made for all loading deflections of the roof deck, and additional slope has been provided to ensure drainage of the roof within 48 hours of precipitation.” This minimum slope is mentioned multiple times in Chapter 15 as “one-fourth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2% slope) for drainage.” This needs to be incorporated into the substrate (joists, beams, decking, etc.) to allow the moisture barrier above to have sufficient positive drainage, without ponding.

“2304.12.2.6 Ventilation required beneath balcony or elevated walking surfaces. Enclosed framing in exterior balconies and elevated walking surfaces that are exposed to rain, snow, or drainage from irrigation, shall be provided with openings that provide a net free cross ventilation area not less than 1/150 of the area of each separate space.”

“2304.12.2.6: Due to the possibility that some moisture may find its way into the enclosed system, cross-ventilation will allow for the moisture not to be trapped by the weatherization beneath the EEE systems. This “breathability” will create a condition which encourages evaporation to occur.

Proactive Considerations

Although California is already implementing these new standards, much of the nation will not be doing so until they adopt the 2018 International Building Code. For some regions, that may be well into the next decade, as a few jurisdictions are still under the 2006 IBC with plans only to adopt the 2012 IBC in the near future. A big mistake made by too many contractors, and even some project managers, is to believe, “I am building to the current code, it passed inspection, therefore I am covered.” Following the established code does not protect those involved in a project from liability due to errant practices such as not following manufacturer installation instructions or avoiding practices and materials known to have litigation decisions found against them.

Building code is the minimum standard, nothing more. Additionally, jurisdictions (other than CA) currently aren’t required to, and rarely do, inspect the weather-resistant/waterproof assemblies to any significant degree other than vertical, exterior gypsum and lath fastening application (a required inspection per sub-section 110.3.5 of the both the 2015 IBC/2016 CBC). Exterior, horizontal walking surfaces, one of the most litigation-prone and problematic aspects of construction, has not (until just recently in California) been inspected for efficacy! Even in California this is still an issue, as there is no standard of adequate training of jurisdictional personnel to be able to perform waterproofing inspections.

A good place to start mitigating risk is before construction begins. A technical review of your construction documents for recurring “hot spots,” constructability, and performance issues is a highly recommended first step. Quality Built’s Technical Plan Review can provide you with a comprehensive analysis; looking for errors, completeness of specifications, conflicting and or missing details and much more. Additionally, HOA Maintenance Manuals and Homeowner manuals that contain load-capacity weight with warnings to include weight of inanimate objects and not just people is highly effective. HOA Turnover and HOA Annual Inspections to ensure maintenance concerns and document homeowner misuse are also a readily available service. We can also provide a “big picture” overview of individual projects and regions with our Risk Assessment program, and our Forensics team can provide onsite analysis of conditions creating concern.

Another effective solution to these issues is to develop a checkpoint-based and documented quality assurance program, utilizing both internal and independent sources of verification. Quality Built has been an industry leader in providing quality assurance consultation and inspections to many of the leading companies in the construction industry for over two decades. Quality Built utilizes its proprietary, data-driven and customizable checkpoint systems based on code, manufacturer and industry standards guidelines, as well as “best practice” checkpoints based on analysis of litigation findings to assist clients in minimizing their exposure.