Spotlight on Construction

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Insights: Spotlight on Construction

Construction_SeminarSysnergy at its best. Collaboration is definitely the highlight of this month. As the year kicks off, Snag & Inspect has partnered with one of the oldest law firms in the United Arab Emirates, Afridi & Angell, to spearhead a seminar/presentation titled Spotlight on Construction: Challenges and Fiduciary Duties. This seminar aims to inculcate awareness on common construction defects and the legal capabilities of all the parties concerned such as the contractors, architects and developers.

On this issue, Snag & Inspect brings you the valuable insights and notable lessons learned from this benificial even that would allow valued clients and interest groups members who were unable to attend the activity to have a road map and clear understanding on construction and legal issues typically experienced in the region.

Apart from the seminar highlights, this issue would also highlight the newest service that Snag & Inspect offers which is a more holistic and advanced version of the Disability Access & Facilities Review launched last year.

Spotlight on Construction: Challenges and Fiduciary Duties

The seminar entitled Spotlight on Construction: Challenges and Fiduciary Duties, hosted by Snag & Inspect and Afridi & Angell Legal Consultants held on January 21, 2014 at the Emirates Hotel, Level 1 Congress 3, concluded successfully. Attended by directors of construction and investment companies, real estate companies, owners association management companies, media partners and colleagues from top law firms and other key players in the construction ecosystem, the seminar highlighted crucial issues in the construction industry in terms of common construction defects in the region and legal liabilities of all parties involved in construction projects. The event was also successful in bringing together a strong panel of speakers that facilitated constructive decisions and encouraged knowledge-exchange.

Lessons Learned

Over the past two years, the UAE construction industry has been under turbulence as an offshoot of the global economic meltdown, but with the continued boom of the UAE market through its real estate and infrastructure investments, it has once again proved itself as the nexus of growth of the world’s construction industry overtaking Saudi Arabia as the biggest construction market in the Middle East Region.

Dispute_ResolutionThe expert panel of speakers, Douglas Ralph (Snag & Inspect) and Shahram Safai (Afridi & Angell) presented a definite view of the common construction issues, the legal intricacies on liabilities of parties involved in construction projects and schemes of prevention. Douglas affirms that construction issues do affect everyone and could lead up to compromising fire & life safety, maintenance & maintainability, energy consumption, structural integrity and operational impact. Various photos documented by Snag & Inspect in their various inspections across the region depict these usual common defects which are commonly gone unnoticed in several properties, not unless an independent inspection gone unnoticed in several properties, not unless an independent inspection company comes in to thoroughly check the said property. Defects as Shahram defined could either be a patent or latent. Patent defects are those defects that are palpable and capable of immediate discovery after the building is handed over completely. On the other hand, a latent defect is a hidden flaw which can be of structural or nonstructural in nature and cannot be observed by an external inspection and which could not be discovered by any person other than an expert or could only be apparent upon testing (Article 544 of the UAE Civil Code).

Common construction defects vary from its severity and effects. From simple to complex code violations, from latent to patent defects, Douglas enumerated several issues like unprotected opening in fire separations in a firestopping system could cancel out fire-resistance ratings of fire separations, allowing the spread of fire; foundation waterproofing failures that are very common in the region and this may eventually compromise safety and stability of the structure; water intrusion and damage which could lead to mold growth; poor anchoring attachments and a vertical vortex