Business Law Advisory

February 2007

Protecting an Owner's Interest With Design-Build Projects
Unless a corporation has experience in real estate development, it usually relies on an architect to assist in the design of a building.  The owner and architect will generally form an alliance, create the design and functionality of the project, and hire a contractor to make it happen.  Recently, however, alliances have shifted with the renewed interest in design-build projects.  The new alliance between the architect and contractor, now referred to as the design builder, puts the owner at a disadvantage leaving the owner alone to (i) determine the design, functionality and performance objectives for the project, (ii) manage the cost for design and construction, (iii) ensure adherence to the schedule, and (iv) address responsibility for defects between the “design” and “construction” of the project.  While these tasks were (and may still be) managed by the design builder, the question arises as to whose interests the architect (or design professional) is now representing?  In light of this, the AIA has created the AIA B142, a companion document to the AIA A141-2004, which introduces the concept of a consultant for the owner.  Rather than the owner relying on the design builder to determine the scope of the project, the owner should consider the use of a consultant to assist with the upfront services such as establishing the project criteria.  By the owner and consultant working cooperatively toward discovering the owner’s true goals, the resulting project criteria will lead to a more efficient design of the project by the design builder and construction of a building which accurately represents what the owner intended.

For further information, please contact Kevin K. Malof at 513.651.6431 or kmalof@fbtlaw.com.


OSHA Reporting Requirements; Change in Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Reporting Requirements
Federal OSHA requirements mandate that employers report all work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees to OSHA (or the corresponding state agency) within eight hours of the incident.  These reports must be made orally to the OSHA office nearest to the location where the incident occurred, or if that office cannot be reached, by calling the toll-free telephone number 1-800-321-OSHA.  Kentucky, has gone a step further with this reporting requirement.  As of November 1, 2006, Kentucky employers also are required to orally report work-related incidents that result in an amputation or the hospitalization of less than three employees within seventy-two hours of the incident.  For further information, please contact Bob Dimling at bdimling@fbtlaw.com or Andy Kaake at akaake@fbtlaw.com.

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