Philadelphia Construction Law Blog

Design Professionals’ Contracts

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Apr 14, 2017.

Design professionals’ contracts often contain indemnity clauses, and such clauses can impose liability not covered by the design professional’s insurance.  This article provides useful advise about the risks of such clauses: http://www.structuremag.org/?p=10874

Current Code: Upgrade Required?

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Defect on Apr 13, 2017.

When an existing building is damaged and needs repair, the question often arises as to whether the building must be upgraded to the current code standards.  This article explores and explains the code sections dealing with this issue:  http://www.structuremag.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/C-CodesStand-Martin-Feb17-1.pdf

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Silica Rule Enforcement Delay

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Safety on Apr 7, 2017.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Thursday, April 7 that it will delay enforcement of its silica rule for the construction industry for 90 days, from the initial date of June 23 to the new deadline of Sept. 23. The reason for the delay, according to OSHA, is to secure additional guidance for the rule “due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard.” http://www.constructiondive.com/news/osha-delays-enforcement-of-silica-rule-for-90-days/439957/

Philadelphia Constructed the Most 1 Million-Sq.-Ft. Facilities in the Country Between 2010 and 2016

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Feb 7, 2017.

via:www.cbre.us Philadelphia – February 6, 2017 – The rapid growth of e-commerce has created a big trend in U.S. industrial markets: a proliferation of warehouses spanning 1 million sq. ft. or larger. The massive warehouses and distribution centers have sprouted from Southern California to Philadelphia, clustering around metro areas that provide the mix of road, rail and sea access that e-commerce users covet, according to a new report from CBRE Group, Inc. All told, 117 such facilities were built across the U.S. from 2010 to 2016 for a total of 141.2 million sq. ft., which shows an increase from the 99 facilities built between 2003 and 2009, according to CBRE. The markets in which the most big-box construction occurred in the 2010-2016 timeframe are led by Philadelphia, California’s Inland Empire and Dallas/Fort Worth. Top Markets For 1 Million-Sq.-Ft. Warehouses Built 2010-2016:   Rank Market Number of Buildings Total Sq. Ft. (millions) 1 Philadelphia 16 19.7 2 Inland Empire 13 15.4 3 Dallas/Fort Worth 13 14.7 4 Atlanta 12 13.8 5 Chicago 9 11.7 6 Memphis 3 4.1 7 Columbus 3 3.4 8 Cincinnati 2 3.3 9 Indianapolis 2 2.2 10 Phoenix 1 1.2 Looking ahead, the busiest markets for on-going construction of 1 million-sq.-ft. warehouses are led by the Inland Empire, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Across the 10 busiest U.S. markets for this type of construction, 29 such facilities are underway. “The Eastern Pennsylvania market is poised to see continued demand for large 1 million-sq.-ft. warehouses along the I78/I81 corridor,” […]

OSHA new regulations for electronic reporting and tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses are now in effect.

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Safety on Feb 1, 2017.

OSHA new regulations for electronic reporting and tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses are now in effect.  These regulations apply  to employers with 20-249 employees in high risk industries and employers with over 250 employees in all industries.  Click on the below link for details of OHSA’s new regulations: http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/how-to/growth-strategies/2017/02/what-you-need-to-know-about-osha-s-new.html

Report: Philly saw 20 percent increase in new construction in 2016

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Projects on Jan 30, 2017.

byMelissa Romero via philly.curbed.com Last year, Philly experienced a building boom, with more than 1,200 building permits issued for new construction. That’s a 20 percent increase from 2015, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down in 2017, according to a new analysis. FixList, a Philly-based online company that provides real estate data for investment opportunities throughout the city, recently compiled a treasure trove of information about new building and zoning permits issued in Philly from 2011 to 2015. The report’s findings reveal which neighborhoods are slowing down or experiencing a construction boom, as well as what kind of projects are being built. A couple of key details from their findings: 91 permits were issued for towers in the last 5 years No surprise here: A lot of high-rises are under construction in Philly (at least 25 by our last count). FixList found that of the 91 permits that were issued for mixed-use towers (zoned CMX4 and CMX5), 31 are still in play. In fact, five more permits have already been issued in the new year. Construction is slowing in Northern Liberties, rising in Strawberry Mansion It’s no surprise that building permits for new construction is on the rise in popular neighborhoods like Fishtown and Kensington. But there are some other neighborhoods where the building boom may not seem so apparent. For example, there were 37 building permits for new construction issued in Strawberry Mansion in 2016—that’s a huge increase given the fact that in 2011 just one […]

On January 4, 2017, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders,

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Projects on Jan 16, 2017.

On January 4, 2017, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and eight other construction industry groups sent a letter to president-elect Donald Trump asking that he rescind President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale projects. In the letter, the coalition of construction industry groups advocate that PLAs raise the cost of public projects by 12%-18% resulting in “fewer infrastructure improvements and reduced construction industry job creation.” The coalition further state that a PLA “stifles competition and prevents taxpayers from receiving the best possible construction product at the best possible price.” In the letter, the coalition insinuate that rescinding the mandate will increase infrastructure improvements and job creation. The building trades union have advocated the use of PLAs on public projects, so it remains to be seen whether they would reach out to president-elect Donald Trump prior to his inauguration asking that he save Executive Order 13502.

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH CHANGES TO THE LIEN LAW AND THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA MECHANIC’S LIEN DIRECTORY

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Mechanic's Liens on Jan 3, 2017.

The Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law (“Lien Law”) was amended to establish a searchable construction project and mechanic’s lien directory which can affect the mechanic’s lien rights of Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors.  The amendments apply to projects having a cost estimate of $1.5 million or more, and they become operable on December 31, 2016. Finding and Using the Directory Under the Lien Law amendments, the Commonwealth Department of General Services (“DGS”) is required to set up and operate the searchable directory. This directory (the “State Construction Notices Directory”) is to be a standalone internet website that will likely be linked through the DGS webpage (https://www.dgs.pa.gov). The link to the directory can be found at www.scnd.pa.gov/.  This link provides an instructional video explaining how the directory functions and allows a user to create an account to file notices.  DGS is required to inform the public about the directory and instructions on its use within 120 days of operation by publishing information about it in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Function of the Notices So, what are the notice requirements under the amended Lien Law? There are four types of notices referenced in the amendments, two of which can be filed by or on behalf of a searchable project Owner, and two by a Subcontractor (as defined in the Lien Law, a subcontractor has a contract to supply labor or material to a prime contractor, or to another subcontractor).  The Owner notices are: (1) Notice of Commencement and (2) Notice of Completion. They are […]

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