What Does the Case Law Say? Geotechnical Risk on Design-Build Projects

by Michael C. Loulakis, (A.M.ASCE), President, CEO; Reston, VA, mloulakis@cp-strategies.com,
Nancy C. Smith, Partner; Los Angeles, CA, nsmith@nossaman.com,
Douglas D. Gransberg, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), President, CEO; Norman, OK, dgransberg@gransberg.com,

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2016, Vol. 20, Issue 4, Pg. 38-43

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The growth of design-build (DB) contracting, particularly on public-sector civil projects, has generated a great deal of industry discussion over the age-old question of who should bear the risk of unforeseen conditions. Fortunately for the architect/engineer/consttruction (AEC) industry—and unfortunately for the parties that had to bear the cost and risk of litigation—there are a number of recent cases that help answer this question. As will be discussed in this article, some DC cases specifically address the enforceability of the agency's disclaimer of liability for the geotechnical information contained in the project's Request for Proposal (RFP). Others arise in the context of alleged differing site conditions (DSC) claims asserted by the design-builder. Yet others address conflicts encountered during the design development process for foundations and other geotechnical matters.

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