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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Lawsuit: Bungling UH Construction Management Behind Delays, Change Orders, Cost Overruns
By News Release @ 7:10 PM :: 5030 Views :: Higher Education

UH Campus Center and UH Hale Aloha

News Release from Honolulu Builders LLC, April 29, 2014

Local contractor, Honolulu Builders LLC, has had to file two lawsuits totaling over $4.6 million within the last month against the University of Hawaii for its involvement in the UH Manoa Campus Center project ($2.77M) and Hawaii Community College Hale Aloha Building Renovation Project ($1.859M). Honolulu Builders regrets that it has come to this as it did everything possible to avoid a lawsuit, but the University’s Office of Procurement and the Office of Capital Improvements have not responded to the outstanding change proposals, requests for time extensions and various impacts and delays which Honolulu Builders encountered on both Projects.

On the Campus Center Project, originally contracted for $27.3 M, Honolulu Builders was instructed to perform over $6 million of added work due to unidentified utilities, design changes and added work scope but the University has not awarded them any added days or time-related cost associated with the cost to perform this work. In their claim, Honolulu Builders stated that the University and its design team were repeatedly late in responses to critical decisions, change proposals and were non-responsive to Honolulu Builders attempts to negotiate or resolve claims. The Contractor and subcontractor team were forced to work with partially completed drawings which led to numerous late changes and design decisions and eventually over 220 Change Order Proposals. These late design changes and added scope added hundreds of man-days of labor and forced acceleration due to the failure of the University to grant any reasonable extensions of time. Additionally, differing site conditions and the University’s failure to either mark utilities or to disclose available utility as-built drawings led to utility breaks and loss of productivity. This was all further impacted by the departure of UH’s third party construction manager during the later portion of the project. Honolulu Builders stated that had decisions and claims been addressed in a responsible and timely manner, this lawsuit and sizeable claim could have been avoided.

Honolulu Builders experienced similar problems on its Hawaii Community College Renovations to Hale Aloha Project which had an original contract value of $7.62M based on the bid provided in 2010. Delays and design problems caused Honolulu Builders to submit claims for added time and costs totaling more than $1.85 million to the University of Hawaii Director of Procurement, who made no effort to resolve these issues. Unfortunately, the only avenue left to Honolulu Builders for redress is through the judicial process. The Hale Aloha Project was faced with a 479-day delay to the project start compounded by an additional 279-day delay by UH in obtaining building permits, an incomplete design; a lack of a geotechnical report, no civil engineer, no landscape architect, added work scope; and hundreds of days in additional delays due to design errors and the incomplete design.

Honolulu Builders sought to resolve both lawsuits out of court and has reluctantly filed these complaints against UH as a means of last resort.

PDF: Campus Center Suit

PDF: Hale Aloha Suit

Related: Mitsunaga Names Names, Slams UH for Favoritism Towards Kobayashi

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