Thursday, November 29, 2007

Minority Business Awards

I attended the 9th annual UW minority business of the year awards dinner tonight. Sponsored by the UW's Business and Economic Development Center, the awards recognized a variety of businesses including Apollo (minority business of the year award), Marpac Construction (distinguished business achievement award), Synergy Systems (emerging business award), Warrior Electric (rising star award), Woodburn Co. (business of tomorrow award).

For more information about the UW Business and Economic Development Center, visit their website at:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Managing Construction Projects - Training

Managing Construction Projects - training

December 11, 2007
Holiday Inn Seattle Center, 211 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle
$369 per person

For more information and registration:

To maintain control and minimize the risks inherent in the construction process, you must stay current on construction issues and trends. Whether you're new to the profession or very experienced, this seminar will provide you with the critical information and updates you need to succeed on your next project.

In One Day, You'll Learn To:

  • Recognize the top 10 key contract provisions
  • Handle project closeout and warranty issues
  • Design a recordkeeping system to record the project history
  • Resolve project disputes and claims
  • Create change in turning the job around

Washington State Chapter NIGP - Annual Meeting and Training

Annual Business Meeting, Training, Honors and Awards for the Washington State Chapter of NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing).

January 23, 2008

Seattle City Hall, 600 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA

$40 per person

Training sessions on:

1. Prevailing Wages for Maintenance, Repairs, and Service Contracts
2. Sustainability

Register online at
Deadline for registration: January 16, 2008

Training - Building Codes in Washington

Building Codes in Washington training on February 13, 2008
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Holiday Inn Seattle Center, 211 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle
$359 per person
Lorman Education Services

Topics include:
Structural Provisions
Interaction with the Mechanical Codes from the Perspective of Design
Significant Impacts of the Current Ventilation Code
Significant Impacts of the Current Energy Code
Fire Life Safety Issues from an HVAC Perspective
Working Better with your local Building Department
Liability from Noncompliance

Monday, November 26, 2007

Green Building Seminar in February

Green Building: Benefits and Opportunities for Developers and Communities
February 5, 2008, Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle, WA,

For more information, visit:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Construction Defects Seminar

"Construction Defects: Water Intrusion & Other Calamities" Seminar
December 13, 2007, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Washington State Convention & Trade Center - Seattle, WA

. Owner's Perspective on Construction Defects
. Contractor's Perspective on Construction Defects
. Current Insurance Products and Strategies
. On-Site Inspectors
. Pursuing Insurance Coverage
. Defending the Developer/Contractor Under an Insurer Reservation of Rights
. Making or Breaking Your Defect Case

For more information:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

APWA Forum: Going Green - Understanding the Complexities

Going Green - Understanding the Complexities

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
4:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Rock Salt on Latitude 47
1232 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle

A presentation on how Sustainable Design is actually being implemented in the Northwest and the complexities of going green. Our discussion will explore questions such as:

How can agencies respond to the market while protecting Public safety and the environment?

What of leadership strategies are needed to assist smaller groups managing volunteer projects?

How to effectively review green projects and why it’s not business-as-usual.
How do we consider life-cycle costs vs. capital costs on sustainable projects?

Can we use multiple scenarios during project selection to identify potential weaknesses in plans?

The speakers will draw from project and professional experience to discuss these topics, with an emphasis on storm water management and lessons learned. They will discuss present and future green drainage design guidance, associated regulatory framework, relationships between agencies and private partners, retrofitting of existing facilities with green features, and components for successfully completing a Low Impact Development (LID) project from planning through the operations and maintenance phases.

Peg Staehili, president SvR Design Company

Christopher W. May, Ph.D, Seattle Public Utilities

Registration Fee (includes dinner): $37.00

Please register by Wednesday, December 5, 2007.
Refunds: No refunds for cancellations after noon on Monday, December 10, 2007. “No shows” that have not pre-paid will be billed.

Register and pay by mail at or online at and follow the direction for registration and prepayment.

Payment and Performance Bonds

Public agencies in the State of Washington contracting for public works projects are required by RCW 39.08 to obtain a payment and performance bond, usually in the amount of 100% of the contract amount. There are three exceptions to obtaining a payment and performance bond:

1) Cities and towns may, by ordinance, require a lower percentage bond, but not less than 25% of the contract amount. The public agency picks up additional liability in doing so, but it may be helpful in encouraging smaller businesses to bid on the project.

2) For a public works contract less than $35,000, upon the contactor's request, a public agency does not have to require a payment and performance bond. Under such a situation, the public agency is then required to retain 50% of the contract amount for a) 30 days after the date of final acceptance, b) or until receipt of all releases from the Department of Revenue, prevailing wage forms approved by the Department of Labor and Industries, and settlement of any claims filed against the bond, whichever is later.

3) For a public works contract less than $35,000 using the "limited public works process" under the Small Works Roster requirements of RCW 39.04.155, the public agency may waive the requirement for the payment and performance bond. Under such a situation, the public agency assumes liability for non-payment of workers, subcontractors, and suppliers with valid claims.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a holiday tradition with deep roots in our country - starting with the early Thanksgiving celebrations by colonists in Massachusetts and Virginia. In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued a presidential proclamation declaring a national day of thanksgiving, a tradition that presidents since then have followed.

As 2007 begins to wind down, we pause during this season of the year to remember the many gifts in our lives during the year. Despite the bumps and struggles we all face in life, we do indeed have much to be thankful for - family, friends, housing, food, jobs, peace, safety, health. The list could go on.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday with family and friends, I want to wish you the very best. May it be a time of rest, joy, satisfaction, and reflection on the many things we have to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Insurance Documentation

When you contract for either construction or consultant services, it's very important to make sure that you have your agency named as an additional insured. But what kind of documentation should you accept as evidence that your agency has been named as an additional insured?

Many insurance brokers will routinely only provide you with a certificate of insurance that will state that your agency is named as an additional insured. But such evidence does not really protect you. The most common form used for a certificate of insurance is called an "Acord" form. If you read the language in the upper right hand corner of the certificate, it states that "This certificate is issued as a matter of information only and confers no rights on the certificate holder."

As the certificate holder you want rights. In fact, you want to be named as an additional insured, because if there is a property damage or personal injury claim on the project and you are sued, you want to make sure that the contractor's or consultant's insurance policy will cover you - that you are an additional insured, in addition to the contractor or consultant being covered. Without being an additional insured, you have no protection.

So how do you ensure that you are, in fact, an additional insured? You should insist of receiving an endorsement issued by the contractor's or consultant's insurance broker. An endorsement, by definition, is an amendment to the insurance policy. The endorsement is the only proof that your agency has been named as an additional insured.

There are two types of additional insured endorsements. First, there is a blanket additional insured endorsement. In this type, the endorsement states that anyone that the contractor or consultant contracts with who requires by contract that they be named as an additional insured is automatically named as an additional insured. Second, there is a specific additional insured endorsement. In this type, the endorsement will specifically name your agency and state that you are an additional insured.

Review your contracts to make sure you have language requiring your contractors and consultants to name your agency as an additional insured. Then establish a procedure so that you collect an additional insured endorsement, in addition to a certificate of insurance.

Being named as an additional insured does not apply to professional liability insurance policies (also known as errors and omissions) generally issued to cover the work of architects and engineers and similar professions.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The State of Washington has an office dedicated to helping encourage public agencies in the state to use minority and women owned businesses on their contracts. The Office of Women and Minority Business Enterprises (OMWBE) certifies businesses as being owned and controlled by women and/or minorities. There are a number of categories they certify businesses in, as noted below:

MBE: Minority Business Enterprise. Owned and controlled 51% by a minority or minorities.

WBE: Women's Business Enterprise. Owned and controlled 51% by a woman or women.

MWBE: Minority Women's Business Enterprise. Owned and controlled 51% by a minority woman.

CBE: Combination Business Enterprise. Owned and controlled 50% by a non-minority woman and 50% by a minority male. There are only a handful of such businesses certified in the state.

DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. A certification category based on social and economic disadvantages and used primarily on contracts through the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Programs to encourage the use of such firms are generally referred to collectively as MWBE programs or WMBE programs.

OMWBE also publishes an online search engine of the businesses it has certified.