Beacon News

Beacon President's Message August 2020

I hope your summer is going well. We are keeping busy here at Beacon, assisting our clients on a wide range of projects, including consulting on a number of construction projects delayed by Covid-19 and finding ways to help get them back on schedule asap. The construction industry is adjusting to the "new normal," which includes dealing with many postponed / delayed projects, managing construction sites differently to protect workers, and, for some GCs and Subcontractors, finding ways to survive through a period of economic uncertainty. In this month's E-News, we highlight some of the consulting services Beacon provides which help sureties, insurers, and construction companies during this challenging period. In particular, we have been very active in recent months working on Subcontractor Default Insurance (SDI) consulting assignments.

Beacon Staff Profile: Kieran O'Connor, Senior Project Manager

Kieran O’Connor is a key member of Beacon's management and construction consulting team. He has extensive experience providing Surety Consulting & Construction Project Management on projects across the U.S. Kieran is a tenacious, detail-oriented professional who serves Beacon’s clients with a very high level of professionalism and proficiency across a wide range of consulting areas. Since joining Beacon in 2011, Kieran has taken a lead role on numerous construction consulting assignments.

Beacon Service Highlight: Subcontractor Default Insurance (SDI) Consulting

Subcontractor Default Insurance (SDI) is an insurance product which can be very useful for construction companies seeking to reduce their risk related to subcontractors who might default on a project. SDI protects general contractors (GCs) with insurance coverage for direct and certain indirect costs in the case of a subcontractor default. Beacon provides a wide range of services to insurance companies to mitigate their risk both in underwriting an account or adjusting a claim related to Subcontractor Default Insurance.

Beacon Project Profile: Construction Defects Assessment at Residential Apartment Complex

Beacon Consulting Group has extensive experience undertaking construction defects assessments for insurance companies and sureties. One example of our experience in this area is a project we did for an insurance client which entailed claims review, construction defects assessment, and other construction consulting services related to structural issues found at a student housing / apartment complex located in Charlotte, NC. The associated project consisted of the construction of five new buildings containing a total of 189 apartments. These apartments are used primarily for student housing. During a large party in one of the units, the ceiling began to sag. As a result, it was discovered there were deficiencies in the wooden structural trusses.

Beacon Supports Philabundance & Other Charities To Help Fight Hunger During Covid-19 Pandemic

In early June, Beacon Consulting Group joined with other members of the Philadelphia Surety Claims Association (PSCA) to contribute $10,000 to Philabundance, a charity committed to fighting hunger in the greater Philadelphia area. The PSCA donation will help to provide 20,000 meals to those in need in the Philadelphia area. Founded in 1984, Philabundance is a proud member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks leading the fight against hunger in the United States.

Beacon President's Message June 2020

I hope this message finds you well and that things are beginning to feel more normal in your area. As the first half of 2020 comes to a close, we are living in a much different world compared to just 4 months ago. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to drastically change how we live and work. In the construction industry, we saw many job sites close down for weeks or months starting in early March, with re-openings varying on a state by state basis. As we enter the summer, many states have already given the green light for construction projects to restart. In some areas, construction never stopped (unless a project was directly affected by on-site personnel catching the virus). However, the pandemic continues to have a major impact on the industry...

Beacon Staff Profile: Mike Kinahan, Project Manager / Surety Consultant

Mike Kinahan joined Beacon's team in 2008, starting as a Project Engineer in Beacon's Medford, MA office. Over the past 12 years, Mike has developed into a highly seasoned construction consultant and a valuable member of Beacon's team. His experience has grown to include a wide range of construction project consulting engagements within the transportation, residential, commercial, education, recreation, government, municipal, and infrastructure sectors. Mike has extensive experience helping Surety companies with bond-default-related matters, including project assessments, bond claim analysis, project re-lets, and construction completion management...

Beacon Provides Bid Review Services For Battleship North Carolina Hull Repair Project

Beacon was recently hired by a leading Surety company for a very unique bid review project, related to hull repairs on a retired WWII battleship. John Yeung led the bid review project for Beacon, which is described below. The USS North Carolina is a decommissioned World War II battleship which is now a Museum Ship and a National Historic Landmark docked in Wilmington, NC. The battleship, which is more than 728 feet long and has a displacement of 36,000 tons, was built at the New York Naval Shipyard (later renamed The Brooklyn Navy Yard) between 1937 and 1941. After the U.S. was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the ship was activated for the war effort, first in the Atlantic and then in the Pacific, where it engaged in numerous campaigns and even survived a torpedo attack by a Japanese submarine. After Japan surrendered in 1945, the ship helped to transport American troops back to the U.S...

Covid-19 Pandemic Drives Significant Changes at Many Construction Sites Across The U.S.

Although Covid-19 has affected various parts of the country with different levels of severity, it's now critically important to have a Covid-19 action plan at many construction sites—at least until the pandemic subsides or a vaccine is developed. In addition to protecting on-site personnel, helping to stem the spread of the virus, and complying with local, state, and federal directives, it's necessary to have an appropriate Covid-19 policy and action plan for financial and liability reasons. Preventing an outbreak on the job site not only helps to keep workers safe, but can help prevent a construction project from being shutdown by local authorities. Beacon's team can help developers, contractors, Surety companies and other stakeholders by reviewing (and/or helping to develop) Covid-19 action / response plans. At a high level, a good Covid-19 policy and action plan consists of all of the following...

Understanding Force Majeure Clauses in Construction Contracts & Whether the Covid-19 Pandemic Constitutes A Force Majeure Event

Like many industries, the construction industry has been significantly affected by the current pandemic. In some areas, construction projects were shutdown for weeks or months, leading to significant delays and the push-back of project milestones and completion dates. In addition, slowdowns in material deliveries, new job site procedures, and personnel exposure to the virus have further impacted schedules. All of these factors can put financial strains on developers, GCs, and subcontractors and can potentially lead to disputes with project owners who may seek liquidated damages or other contract-specified penalties for late completion of a construction project...