Construction Services

An effective construction loss control program helps policyholders reduce construction claims and assists insurance companies to mitigate losses through safety and risk management information and services. VERTEX is instrumental in identifying conditions or situations associated with our clients’ projects, structures, and business operations that present a possibility of loss, whether or not an actual loss occurs. VERTEX’s construction-related services are wide ranging and extend from owner’s representation, to construction claims and construction defect consulting. Unlike most other firms, this experience provides a unique perspective for loss control services through our hands-on comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with construction. In particular, our litigation experience allows us to identify the most common components associated with building failures. By being able to identify potentially problematic conditions early on, we can ensure that conditions are properly managed, designed, and installed during original construction avoiding costly lawsuits.

Pre-Construction Phase Assessment

At pre-construction, VERTEX provides a comprehensive analysis outlining the key facets and contractor attributes of a proposed project. VERTEX researches entities to qualify their capabilities for the proposed project, and verifies that a successful track record exists on similar projects. This would typically include research of the developer, general contractor, and involved design professionals. VERTEX analyzes relevant past claim summary information to help determine the nature of past exposures, such as claim development and magnitude, and allows an accurate assessment of risk going forward. VERTEX provides analysis related to construction considerations specific to the proposed project, such as: Construction costs/time frames and consistency with similar projects. VERTEX provides assessment of the building envelope to determine most susceptible areas of failure that may require special consideration. VERTEX reviews hazards (wind, seismic, flood) that can be expected with the subject parcel/project. Last, VERTEX will assess typical types of challenges (and construction claims) associated with constructing a building of this type.

Construction Phase Assessment

During construction, VERTEX assesses building plans and specifications for problematic conditions. As part of this work, VERTEX identifies areas where plans may be deficient or insufficient and recommend changes where necessary. VERTEX performs routine site visits to monitor progress and quality of the work and provide reports outlining concerns that should be addressed. Inspections can focus on ensuring proper and skilled installation of key building components. VERTEX can also conduct testing of building components. This typically includes water testing of select windows, doors, and vulnerable penetrations in the exterior walls. VERTEX can also assess health & safety practices during construction.

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Key Personnel

VP of Loss Control

Dave Strzempko, ARM, CPCU

Dave Strzempko, ARM, CPCU

Mr. Strzempko is a Vice President and Head of Loss Control. Responsibilities include: internal corporate risk management; management of teams providing private sector Loss Control assistance (underwriting) and Loss Control / Risk Management services on active construction OCIP and CCIP risks; and management of environmental insurance accounts (claims). Mr. Strzempko has 30+ years of experience in the environmental industry with the last 15 years focused on the insurance industry and attendant Loss Control services.  Mr. Strzempko has served as an expert witness providing litigation support and/or actively participating in several environmental insurance legal matters based on his education, training, and extensive experience in the remediation of releases of oil and hazardous materials, understanding of costs for remedial activities, and knowledge of compliance and reporting requirements. Mr. Strzempko’s legal support proceedings have included depositions, interrogatories, mediation, arbitration, and trial testimony.


VERTEX Exhibiting at The Florida Bar Construction Law Institute

March 8, 2018

VERTEX’s Kevin Maxwell and Dan Mondo will be attending and exhibiting at the 11th Annual Florida Bar Construction Law Institute in Orlando, Florida on March 9th and 10th. The purpose of the Institute is to gather leading, experienced and establish construction law practitioners, contractors and other industry professionals for a two-day seminar focused on in-depth, leading…

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VERTEX Sponsors 4th Annual Risk Control Event at Coors Field

March 7, 2018

VERTEX is proud to be the drink sponsor at the 4th Annual Risk Control for Architects, Engineers and Environmental Professionals event at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on April 11th. This year’s topic will be Trends and Strategies for Improved Performance and Profitability. Presentations will be given by legal, insurance and risk control professionals in connection with…

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VERTEX Exhibiting at Joint Civil & DoD CBRN Symposium

March 6, 2018

VERTEX’s Cliff Cooper, Erik Borgesen and Michael Plainte will be attending and exhibiting at the Joint Civil & DoD CBRN Symposium in Alexandria, VA on March 5th and 6th. They will be showcasing our new Air Tracer technology that enables clients to measure an air parcel as it moves through a building. The 6th Annual Joint Civil & DoD…

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Denver Business Journal Awards VERTEX as a Top Engineering Firm

March 2, 2018

Denver Business Journal recently awarded VERTEX as a Top Engineering Firm. Announced on February 16th, VERTEX was ranked in the Top 25. Rankings were based on the number of licensed engineers in Colorado since November of 2017.  Learn more about VERTEX’s work in the mountain west.  

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VERTEX Exhibiting at the Texas Construction Law Conference

March 1, 2018

VERTEX is excited to be attending and exhibiting at the 31st Annual Construction Law Conference at The La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas. The conference will take place on March 1st and 2nd. Stop by our table and say hello to Alan Barnes, Aaren Benson and Lance VanDemark. Looking forward to seeing you there! For…

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Window Flashing 101 - The Proper Way to Flash a Residential Finned Window

January 30, 2018

The most prevalent of all window types is the residential grade window with a nailing fin. While the most prevalent, many engineers, architects, and general contractors lack an understanding of how to properly flash this type of window. Here are some tips and industry standards to watch for in your next residential finned window flashing installation. Window Flashing Basics…

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Concrete Mix Issues - Where to Start Troubleshooting

January 18, 2018

When concrete mix issues arise onsite, it has the potential to delay or halt construction and can quickly turn an otherwise amicable project team into a finger-pointing, litigious environment. Figuring out how the issues arose or who might be liable is a complex process given all the parties involved in concrete construction from designer to supplier…

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Hydraulics & Stormwater - What We've Seen from the Trenches

December 23, 2017

Every day, VERTEX’s Forensics team assists insurance carriers and their counsel with numerous claims on various building and property issues. Two recent homeowners’ insurance claim investigations have concerned drainage from adjacent neighboring houses and developments. These claims serve as excellent reminders to be mindful of the effects of hydraulics, water flow, and stormwater management at…

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Surprising Construction Defect on New Builds - Blocked Plumbing

September 25, 2017

The above images show PVC pipe partially filled with concrete and construction debris. This was photographed on-site at a new construction development. VERTEX served as an expert for this construction defect claim, filed by the property owner claiming faulty plumbing/drainage. Investigation of the plumbing revealed major blockage by construction debris, plaster and dried paint. Plumbing…

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Best Practices - Documenting Costs in Construction Post-Termination

September 19, 2017

Construction is fraught with challenges; following a few best practices will go a long way if terminations occur. If it is worth doing, it is worth documenting Project records are key to identifying and substantiating completion costs. Records will be requested and must be furnished to the defaulted party upon request. Good project records often…

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