Anyone ever dealt with hazardous materials on a project?


We know the step by step process to be used when a contractor finds hazardous materials on-site but we wanted to ask the professionals out there if the process is as smooth as they say.

What was your experience when the contractor found hazardous materials on-site? Did it end in a claim being filed and mediation beginning or what?

As a bonus, here is a presentation about a hospital that had to undergo a haz-mat abatement. 


Mar 18, 13 11:53 am

Nice presentation. i like this idea. thanks for sharing.

Mar 18, 13 11:59 am
vado retro

Hazardous Materials [10.3]
A201™—1997 adds protection to both the contractor and architect concerning hazardous materials and broadens the definition to include “a material or substance, including but not limited to asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), encountered on the site” from which arises the risk of “foreseeable bodily injury or death.” The owner must have a licensed laboratory verify the presence or absence of the material or substance, be responsible for rendering the hazard harmless, and indemnify the contractor and architect for any damages to them.

Mar 18, 13 12:16 pm

@Kingston250 glad you liked it and you are welcome.

Mar 20, 13 2:02 pm

@vado retro Any difference in the 2007 version compared to the version you quoted?

Mar 20, 13 2:03 pm
vado retro

this is updated. i forget the date.

Mar 20, 13 5:40 pm

In order of toxicity, the most hazardous materials I've ever had to deal with are developers, luxury residential clients and municipal building agencies. The very worst were developers doing their own luxury houses.

Mar 21, 13 11:40 am

@Miles that is hilarious. What makes developers and luxury res. clients so toxic? Attitude? No respect for the profession? Enlighten us.

Mar 25, 13 6:15 am

After months of negotiations, the developer calls to say he’ll be at my studio in five minutes. He’s had my proposal for four months and has unsuccessfully tried to renegotiate it dozens of times. The project is renovation and addition to a newly purchased (for $9m) 1970’s Timberpeg with a couple of additions on it and badly in need of a gut reno. He bought it for the new wife, he hates it, and doesn’t want to spend more than a million on it.

“I’ve got your check here on my desk but aren’t you double charging me?” So I explain, repeatedly, how I don’t, and how the design fee is actually discounted because I’m supposed to be the CM, too.

“We’ll fix your fee and I’ll buy the materials, so you won’t get a fee on that.” So I explain, repeatedly, that if, for example, you change from subway tile to marble slab the detailing is completely different, which requires work on my part to design in keeping with his (lack of) taste and (utterly unrealistic) expectations.

I tell him I’m with a client, and after it sinks in that yes, I do have other work, he asks when he can come. An hour later he shows up with his toady. It only took two years of sucking up and looking over some half-dozen properties for the guy. All on good will, of course.

Discussion ensues about how can he save money on the renovation by putting the master bath in the attic. I explain the various drawbacks including the steps up to it that would have to be traversed in the middle of the night if he needed to pee. After some back and forth he say, “We’re ready to get started, what do you need?”

I was speechless. I’d given up any idea that this was ever going to happen and had pretty much lost my taste for this guy as a client. I’d made it clear that my fee was non-negotiable, so I assumed that he was accepting my proposal (I don’t do contracts) and said, “I’ll need access so I can prepare as-builts.”

At this point he’s already out of his chair. He tells me how he’ll get me a key as he heads out the studio door. I follow him out, and standing in the driveway ask point blank, “So we’re good with the fee?”

He looks at his feet and says, “You had to bring that up.”

To make a long story short, I walked when he demanded scheme #5 after he stepped on his dick by telling me “we” were going to “fix” my previously agree percentage fee. Then, in order to save a million on the construction of an addition, he bough the adjacent house for $8m.

For reference, he owns seven highrises in Manhattan.

Mar 25, 13 11:31 am

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: