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The construction industry has seen more changes in the past few years than perhaps any other time in recent memory. The downturn in the economy has affected the construction industry as much as any other industry, if not more. The effects have been particularly severe in Southwest Florida, where such a large portion of our employment base is involved in, or connected with, the construction industry.  

At the same time, the past few years have also seen substantial changes in construction techniques, including a shift toward "green" construction, along with comprehensive federal, state, and local environmental regulations. There are also ever-evolving consumer protection laws and more comprehensive building code requirements and legal ruling relating to the nature and scope of insurance coverage. All of these factors combined, not to mention slim delivery margins, make it as challenging as ever to be involved in the construction industry.

In light of these challenges, every person or business affiliated with a construction project should undertake careful planning and project-specific considerations. The nature of the particular involvement, as well as the nature of the project itself, must be carefully evaluated. In each instance, each aspect of the project should be considered and carefully planned. This is no longer a "one size fits all" industry. At the developmental level, consideration must be given to all pertinent factors which will influence the viability and efficiency of the project. This will include considerations as varied and ranging as environmental impact, project safety, zoning laws, permitting, insurance coverage and site conditions.

New delivery methods, including design-build techniques, present opportunities not only to provide a more efficient method for project completion, but also present an opportunity for risk avoidance at all levels of the construction project.  It is critical, however, for all aspects of the project to be appropriately coordinated.  It is also important to understand how evolving laws and industry standards will influence the construction project at all levels.  As these laws and standards change, it is essential to tailor the delivery style and risk avoidance measures to the evolving standards.  It is also essential to recognize that disputes will inevitably arise, and appropriate precautions must be taken.  The precautions will include not only efforts to avoid disputes, or mitigate the effects of disputes, but also to establish the most appropriate method for resolving the dispute.  This may include alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as arbitration or mediation.

Our goal at Henderson Franklin is to provide our clients with a global perspective when it comes to a construction project or development.  We are involved in all aspects of the project, from project zoning, preliminary design, environmental and permitting, financing, contract drafting and administration, all the way through potential dispute resolution processes.  Our clients are involved in all aspects of the construction industry, and we strive to provide each client with guidance, which is not only specifically related to that client's business, but which also takes into consideration the project as a whole.  This is one of the primary benefits that we offer.  We have lawyers involved at all aspects and levels of the development and construction industry so that our representation can provide a comprehensive focus.

For further assistance in this practice area, contact Matthew Belcastro by phone, 239.344.1205 or by email,