Articles & White Papers

CMAA's editorial staff is dedicated to the examination of timely issues confronting the architectural, engineering, and construction communities. Resources included present the multiplicity of views that exist within the CMAA membership and all involved in the construction process. If you have an article, blog, white paper, infographic, or video you'd like to submit for consideration here, in MCX distribution, or in CM HQ - CMAA's app, please email us!

Claims & Arbitration

Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | Construction projects over the past few decades have become increasingly complex. As a result disputes have grown in direct relation to the size and complexity of projects. One key to delivering a dispute free project is the early identification of potential claims and disputes.
Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | Many legitimate construction claims and disputes are abandoned because one or more of the parties involved are unable to afford the legal process. Third party construction mediation, arbitration or litigation funding in the U.S. is emerging to alleviate this situation.
Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | Partnering is a process, not a single act. As such, partnering is hard to define. In its simplest form successful partnering is the establishment of a team approach for a mutually beneficial resolution of the ongoing challenges and problems that typically arise on a construction project.
Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | Hot Tubbing, also known as Concurrent Evidence, the Tandem Expert Process, or Dueling Experts, originated in Australia in the 1970s and has been exported to Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the U.K., and more recently, to the U.S. While hot tubbing has primarily been used in arbitration it is now being imported to courtrooms.
Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP, and Peter V. Badala | Virtually all construction contracts provide for changes to the Time of Performance of the work of the contract. Each contract provides for a number of types of delay which may or may not qualify for a time extension.
Written by: James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | Change is the norm on construction projects. Change is, at times, beneficial for both owners and contractors. Owners can modify the project after contract award, if needed, while contractors can increase their scope of work and project profitability without needing to compete for additional work.

Cost Estimating

Written by: Piero Anticona | It is well known that indistinctly, private or public projects finish with cost overruns. Causes for cost overruns have been listed by many authors who have done research in different sectors and different project sizes, founding justification on bad estimates, poor tracking and analysis, bad forecast, bad contracts, poor project definition, etc.

Delivery Systems

Written by: Joseph W. Delaney, PE, and Dr. Satish Mohan | The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and an increasing number of State Department of Transportation, view Design-Build (D-B) as an acceptable alternative to the traditional Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B) method for public transportation projects.

Project Case Studies

Written by: Bruce E. Hallock and James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | The construction project delivery environment has undergone dramatic changes due to globalization and growth in both project size and complexity. In the past three decades we have seen the rise of the mega project, large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost over a billion dollars; take many years to develop and construct; and involve multiple public and private stakeholders.

Risk Management

Written by: Chris Carson, CCM, PMP, Director of Program and Project Controls, Arcadis | Maximum and most effective control of Owner’s project risk requires a risk planning and management culture integral to the project controls disciplines of cost and time management. There is no simple one-step process, but rather a proactive and planned effort.
Written by: Misbah Uddin and James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, PMP | P3 projects are not new, nor was this project delivery method created in the U.S. It has been reported that the first “concession” project was granted in 1782 to Perrier in France.
Written by: Stephen D. Lisse, P.E., DC Clean Rivers Project Commercial Manager, McKissack and McKissack, Inc. | Risk management is essential for any organization designing and constructing complex multi-million dollar civil infrastructure projects. The DC Clean Rivers Project risk management plan uses the risk register to identify, track, and manage risks.
Written by: Philios Angelides, P.E., President, The Angelides Group, LLC | Risk is defined as a situation, event, or condition that, when it occurs, brings exposure to danger, harm, loss, or inability to achieve one’s objectives.

Scheduling

Written by: Chris Carson, CCM, PMP, and Noah Jones | When transportation projects fall behind, it can be very difficult to regain the lost time, and even harder without increased costs. This paper walks through the resolution of a schedule recovery need for a transportation project which suffered significant production losses by analyzing the project, identifying specific opportunities for acceleration, hosting a recovery workshop, and implementing the solutions.

Technology

Written by: Nick Grandy, Construction and Real Estate Senior Analyst, RSM US LLP | Last year, businesses across industries grappled with new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly overnight, construction companies were forced to adapt to an unpredictable reality, navigating state and local ordinances for stay-at-home orders and interpreting government classifications for what were considered essential businesses. These challenges pushed contractors to look for solutions outside of their normal toolbox, with many companies engaging in digital transformation.
Written by: Laura Stagner, Dennis Ryan, Sergio Aranda, and Marty Turner (CMAA Emerging Technologies Committee Initiative) | Data is essential to life. Data shapes our understanding and helps us make decisions. Data helps us convey our ideas. We have relied on data throughout human history. Now, this dependence is deeper than ever.
Written by: Erin Rotz, Head of Inland Marine & Builders Risk, The Hartford, and Toby Cushing, Head of Construction for Middle & Large Commercial, The Hartford | The construction industry faces significant risk management hurdles from on-the-job injuries and physical damage to their own work and to third parties, caused by human error and natural disasters. These risks are going to be especially concerning as the number or construction projects increase, causing strain on owners and construction staffing, and project managers and safety managers that may be stretched thin.
Written by: Sergio Aranda and Marty Turner (CMAA Emerging Technologies Committee Initiative) | Television programming abounds with commercials promoting the virtues of Business Intelligence (BI). You have all seen the ads telling of “a new way to work.” Sounds great, but were you left wondering if Business Intelligence was really needed in the world of construction management or if the promises of mining Big Data had any useful applications in helping you run your project, your region, or your business operations?
Written by: Tyler Davey, Chief Executive Officer, Alcumus North America | In the past 250 years, the world has experienced four industrial revolutions. Today, unfolding before us, is the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution: the Internet and the Digital Industry.
Written by: Karuna Ammireddy, Senior Director of Research and Development, Autodesk Construction Solutions | Construction firms have increasingly been breaking free of the “way it’s always been done” mentality by embracing new technology. And technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning bring unique opportunities to the construction industry.
Written by: Navigant Construction Forum | Technology has transformed the world radically over the last decades. Computers, the internet, the internet of things (“IoT”), solar and wind power generation, and much more have made substantive changes in our personal and professional lives, as well as in the overall economy. Likewise, there have been a number of technology changes impacting construction.

Business Development

Written by: Bob Prieto, National Academy of Construction | Effective listening is an essential element of effective business and project performance. One of the keys to strong client relationships, starting with marketing and selling and continuing throughout the project life cycle, is having a clear understanding of the client's wants and needs.
Written by: Jenn Donahue, President and Owner, JL Donahue Engineering | Today, baby boomers are leaving the workforce at a staggering rate. According to the Pew Research Center, on average, 2 million boomers have retired each year since 2011. That number rose dramatically in 2020 to 3.2 million. Within 2 years, millennials and Gen Z will make up over 52% of the workforce.

Contracting

Written by: Dago Garcia, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Hearth | When business is booming and the workday feels never ending, the last thing a contractor wants to worry about is keeping track of paperwork — losing hours of the day to administrative tasks that could be done with the click of a button. The digital economy is moving faster than ever; however, according to a survey from Hearth, 48% of contractors are still using paper invoices.

Project Management/Construction Management

Written by: Ron May, National Academy of Construction | The project charter is a true reflection of what leadership believes will be the project characteristics. It is where the executive and senior leadership of the organization can set the background as to why this project is being accomplished.
Written by: Katie Kuehner-Hebert for Constructor Magazine | A new day, a new technological feat: digital twin. What does it mean and how can it impact your construction project?