A Material World

Liability claims based on choice of construction material

Spring 2017 By Steven. M. Crawford
DRI In-House Defense Quarterly

Construction materials are generally selected based on structural capability, durability, reduced energy demand, ease of construction, availability and cost considerations, among other factors. State and compatibility with the intended use of the structure. The purpose of this article is to discuss generally the claims that may arise from fires/explosions caused by alleged substandard or inappropriate construction materials with an emphasis on considerations arising from the intended use of the building. Certain materials that may be perfectly acceptable for use in one application may create or contribute to fire/explosion hazards under different circumstances. Whether it is an existing manufacturing facility that is being used for a new purpose, or brand new construction, we live in a world where the “suitability” of materials used in construction must be considered in light of the intended use of the facility and potential hazards arising from that specific use. 

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