Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

to produce new and more complex materials and construction methods to provide maximum energy efficiency, and we see no end to this advancement in sight. One of the biggest challenges in our industry has been communication technology. To be able to speak to a person on the jobsite with live video is incredible and the ability to mitigate issues or details in real time and report to all parties so quickly is a game changer. One negative factor we have noticed is the lack of younger tradespersons entering the construction field. This remains a continuing challenge. What are the key problems you currently see in the construction sector in your jurisdiction? The construction sector has numerous challenges both today and moving forward. I believe the largest impact is the retirement of older skilled personnel and the lack of younger persons entering the construction workforce, especially in the skilled trades. This also exists in the architecture and engineering fields. The quality and completeness of construction documents provided to builders is at times, to put it bluntly, simply atrocious. This puts the onus on the individual trade contractor to do much of the design work for their trade – or even worse, assume or guess at what was intended. There is also a severe lack of adequate training for installation crews. We constantly hear the phrase: “Well, that’s the way I’ve always done it”, and this can be detrimental to the integrity of the end product. Training is improving in some sectors but continues to lag behind what is necessary. Construction time expectations for delivery of projects are extremely tight and we have observed some buildings being rushed to completion. This can lead to improper sequencing of the building components and their eventual failure. Many of these problems become expensive to correct once the structure is complete. How has the roofing industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? The pandemic’s biggest impact was material shortages, which greatly impaired construction schedules. A fair number of problems arose out of panic to keep the construction schedule on track. Materials that were specified (and unavailable) were switched to ones that were accessible, to the detriment of the design. Many of these may lead to eventual failure. Starts and stops on some projects have also been a challenge. On some projects, different crews within the company 70 LAWYERMONTHLY FEBRUARY 2023 One thing we certainly expect this year and for the next several years is additional litigation from construction failures.

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