With about 90% of buildings and construction sites presenting potential toxic material problems, it's important for the commercial real estate community to heed the 10 commandments of construction site abatement, advises Frank Goss, president of Diagnostic Engineering Inc., Sierra Madre.
Calling for a "systematic, closely monitored program of abatement" to avoid astronomical costs and legal liability down the road, Goss said the worst thing property owners, developers, contractors or brokers can do is to ignore the question. He spoke at the recent Southern California Construction Expo and Conference in Los Angeles.
Goss's 10 commandments are: 1) Treat hazardous material problems as you would any other construction trade requirement; 2) Develop a good specification for clean-up control; 3) Understand which union subcontractor is best qualified to perform various aspects of abatement work; 4) Have weekly control meetings throughout the course of the abatement project; 5) Limit workers to 10-hour days and five-day weeks in order to maintain a high level of abatement performance.
Also: 6) Establish realistic construction schedules for abatement; 7) Have an experienced monitoring firm oversee the work; 8) Define realistic liquidated damages--schedule overrun penalties--and bonuses for early completion; 9) Have job supervisor change-out identified in job specifications and 10) Set up clearly defined termination procedures.