Construction Law deals primarily with contract law and encompasses all aspects of the legal process, from the initial bidding on the project, to the negotiation and the formation of the agreements and contracts.
Construction law also governs disputes between the parties involved in the construction process (i.e. builder and homeowner). There are many laws that govern the construction process, and that apply to the various businesses and professions that are a part of and serve the construction industry.
Government contract law is a specific area of construction law. These projects involve the Federal, State and Local Governments, and are governed by very precise government laws, legal principles and legal procedures.
When injuries occur, workers’ compensation law is also a subset of construction law.
In construction law, both the owner and the contractor are required by law to act in good faith in the performance of their contractual obligations. Courts have held that the construction contractor owes the owner a duty to perform services in an appropriate workmanlike manner. This duty requires the contractor to warn the owner if the design or construction specifications may have damaging results. Likewise, courts have held than an owner has a duty to cooperate with contractors. The owner’s duty to cooperate also requires that the owner not interfere with or purposefully delay the contractor’s performance.
Although specialized, construction law can touch on many legal practice areas. If you have issues with your contractor, you might want to speak with an attorney who has expertise in this complex field.
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Articles About Construction Law
- New Legislation Protecting Pennsylvania Highway WorkersLawmakers in Pennsylvania are reviewing multiple provisions to discourage speeding in highway work zones.
- Homeowner Associations Be Aware And Wary Of The Marketable Record Title ActUnder current Florida law, there is a trap that can result in the expiration of the covenants for the community. Under the Marketable Record Title Act, Chapter 712 of Florida Statutes (“MRTA”), residential homeowners’ associations are required to preserve the integrity of the declaration for the entire community to retain the status of the declaration as the source of marketable title with regard to the transfer of a member’s residence.
- Failure to Disclose in California Real Estate TransactionsCalifornia places heavy legal responsibilities on the seller in a real estate transaction to provide “meaningful disclosures” about the property they are attempting to sell. The failure to disclose known defects or issues that affect the “value or desirability” of the property can result in substantial liability to seller and their agent(s), and often result in litigation. It is not appropriate for a seller to simply list a property “as-is.”
- Scaffolding Safety RegulationsA worker was recently left hanging from his safety harness, eight stories up on the side of a building in Wilmington, Delaware for 30 nerve wracking minutes.
- Construction Accidents and Supervisor NegligenceConstruction site accidents happen for many reasons. Poor equipment, poor safety, and the constantly changing landscape mean those who own and run these sites need to be vigilant. Employers regularly have a site supervisor at the construction work zone to monitor dangerous conditions. Many times, the supervisor can prevent construction accidents but even with the best intentions, construction accidents still happen and often cause serious injury.
- Aerial Lift DangersAerial lifts continue to injure construction workers. A common scenario is when a worker is pinned by a lift against an object, either to the side of the lift, or directly above the lift. On May 30, 2015 an aerial lift fatally pinned a 35-year-old Monroeville, Pennsylvania man against the roof of a bridge overpass near Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette.
- California Indoor Air Quality and Sick Building Syndrome Litigation AttorneysLawsuits filed by attorneys in California over Indoor Air Quality or Sick Building Syndrome, are increasing. The WHO estimates that nearly 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide have indoor air quality problems (possibly 20 percent in the U.S., according to one study). In California, dangerous indoor air quality and sick building syndrome are a growing area of law for lawyers in the areas of personal injury, real estate, construction, homeowner associations and business.
- Construction Projects Create Hazards for the PublicPublic works and commercial construction projects are increasingly proliferating throughout the nation as our slow but steady economic recovery continues.
- Fatal Crane AccidentsConstruction workers must contend with a variety of safety hazards on every work shift. Many of these hazards come from the heavy equipment construction workers use on construction sites.
- Scaffolding AccidentsConstruction workers are at an increased risk of injury or death when working above ground level at a jobsite.
- All Real Estate Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Real Estate including: construction law, eminent domain, foreclosure, homeowners association, land use and zoning, landlord and tenant law, property law, property management.
State Construction Laws and Building Codes
Construction Law - US
- ABA - Forum on the Construction Industry
The American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry is the largest organization of construction lawyers in the United States and abroad. Its 6,000 members are drawn from all areas of practice: large law firms, small firms, solo practitioners, government lawyers and corporate in house counsel.
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
The Institute oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more. ANSI is also actively engaged in accrediting programs that assess conformance to standards – including globally-recognized cross-sector programs such as the ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environmental) management systems.
- Building Seismic Safety Council
The Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), established by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), develops and promotes building earthquake risk mitigation regulatory provisions for the nation.
- Construction Specifications Institute
CSI was founded in March 1948 by the specification writers of government agencies who came together to improve the quality of construction specifications. The Institute’s efforts were essential in improving construction specification quality so that it could meet the demands of the post-war construction boom. Development of specifications best practices, promulgating standards/formats, professional education, and certification were cornerstones of the Institute.
- Deceptive Home Improvement Contractors Complaints
HUD insures loans to help people renovate and repair their homes through a program called Title 1. Some deceptive contractors in the program were performing shoddy work, falsifying documents, and overcharging homeowners. This fraud had victimized thousands of families and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, work only with a HUD-approved Title 1 lender. This allows you to select the contractor and helps to prevent inflated estimates that only increase costs.
- Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design Standards for New Federal Buildings
Provides full text of Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program’s energy conversation regulations. Regulations cover new federal commercial and residential buildings, both high-rise and low-rise; energy efficient products; motors; standby energy products.
- EPA - Construction Section
The construction sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings and other structures, heavy construction (except buildings), additions and maintenance and repairs. Establishments engaged in demolition or wrecking of buildings and other structures and sale of materials from demolished structures are also included. This sector also includes those establishments engaged in blasting, test drilling, landfill, leveling, earthmoving and land drainage. The Department of Commerce formerly classified this industry under the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code 15, 16, & 17; the sector is now classified under the 1997 North American Industry Classification System as 23.
- HUD - Fair Housing Act - Design Manual
First published in 1996, the Fair Housing Act Design Manual: A Manual to Assist Designers and Builders in Meeting the Accessibility Requirements of The Fair Housing Act provides clear and helpful guidance about ways to design and construct housing which complies with the Fair Housing Act. The manual explains the accessibility requirements of the Act, which must be incorporated into the design and construction of multifamily housing covered by the Act.
- Implementation of PL 102-522 for Fire Alarm and Automatic Sprinkler Installations
This guide provides both general and detailed information for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) field personnel regarding implementation of Public Law 102-522 pertaining to installation of fire alarm and automatic sprinkler systems.
- National Electrical Code (NEC)
The National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, is a United States standard for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. It is part of the National Fire Codes series published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). While the NEC is not itself a U.S. law, NEC use is commonly mandated by state or local law, as well as in many jurisdictions outside of the United States. The NEC codifies the requirements for safe electrical installations into a single, standardized source.
- National Fire Protection Association - Codes and Standards
NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. Virtually every building, process, service, design, and installation in society today is affected by NFPA documents.
- National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC)
In 1971, the PHCC-National Association published the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC) in order to provide local and state governments, code administrative bodies and industry with a modern code, designed to ensure the proper installation of plumbing sustems. It has been maintained on a yearly basis, following the proven basic principles necessary to protect public health and safety.
- National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)
In recent years, Congress has responded to a growing need to strengthen OMB Circular A-119 and has passed several laws making it clear that federal agencies rely upon private voluntary standards whenever feasible. Foremost among these laws is the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Public Law 104-113). Signed into law in early 1996, this landmark legislation contains key provisions pertaining to standards and conformity assessment.
- Standards Development Organization Advancement Act of 2004
HR 1086 provides qualified standards developers with an opportunity to file for, and obtain, a limited exclusion from antitrust liability for treble damages. This protection is identical to the protection which has been available to joint venturers under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act since 1993, which also remains available to those utilizing a consortium, or other informal process to develop standards.
Organizations Related to Construction Law
- American Subcontractors Association
- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
- Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
- Building Commissioning Association
- Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association
Insulating your home or commercial building saves energy (which saves you money), keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and is one of the best things you can do to protect the environment. But which insulation should you choose? This site is designed to assist you in researching the performance and environmental impact of the insulation choices available to you.
- Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)
The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is “The Source & Resource for Construction Financial Professionals” and the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the construction financial professional. Established in 1981, CFMA’s General Members represent all types of contractors – including generals and subs – as well as developers, construction managers, architects, engineers, principals, and material and equipment suppliers. Associate Members include the accounting, insurance, surety, software, legal, and banking specialists who serve the construction industry.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Energy and Environmental Building Alliance
The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) provides an invaluable platform for insight, collaboration and education. EEBA delivers unique and relevant, multi-platform educational resources with the intention to manifest sustainable and responsible building principles in the design, marketing and execution of the building process.
- Engineered Wood Association
For over seventy years, APA-The Engineered Wood Association has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists at APA’s 42,000 square-foot research center with the knowledge gained from decades of field work, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.
- Gypsum Association
The mission of the Gypsum Association, a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1930, is to promote the use of gypsum while advancing the development growth, and general welfare of the gypsum industry in the United States and Canada on behalf of its member companies.
- Institute for Business and Home Safety
The Institute for Business & Home Safety’s mission is to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other property losses by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.
- Insulation Contractors Association of America
Established in 1977, ICAA is the only national organization promoting professionalism in the residential and commercial insulation contracting industry.
- Modular Building Institute
The Modular Building Institute is the trade association representing companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of commercial factory-built structures. MBI provides services and promotes professionalism through communication, education, and recognition. Dedicated to enhancing the future growth of the industry, MBI encourages innovation and quality among its members.
- National Association of Home Builders
Construction Codes and Standards links to resources on codes, standards, accessibility, energy efficiency, green building, fire protection, indoor environment issues.
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is a not-for-profit education foundation created to develop industry-driven standardized craft training programs with portable credentials and help address the critical workforce shortage facing the construction industry.
- National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards
NCSBCS serves as a forum for the interchange of information and provides technical services, education and training to our members to enhance the public’s social, economic well-being through safe, durable, accessible and efficient buildings.
- Whole Building Design
The goal of 'Whole Building' Design is to create a successful high-performance building by applying an integrated design and team approach to the project during the planning and programming phases.