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

Dave Strzempko

Dave Strzempko, ARM, CPCU

Vice President, Loss Control

Dave 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. 

News

VERTEX Awarded ENR Mountain States Best Small Project of 2019 for SugarSquare

October 17, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be part of the ENR Mountain States 2019 Best Small Project winning team as the structural engineering consultant on the SugarSquare project in Downtown Denver, CO. Congratulations to Urban Villages, Semple Brown Design, P.C., Jordy Construction and IMEG Corp. (formerly MKK Engineers). SugarSquare is a four-story, 11,400-sq-ft building in Denver’s LoDo…

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VERTEX Acquires Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI)

October 1, 2019

Michael Plainte, VERTEX, and Archie Barrett, CEI (October 2019) The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI). The agreement was signed in the presence of senior leadership of both organizations including Archie Barrett, President and Owner of CEI; Jaron Frieden, Managing Director of VERTEX; Michael Plainte,…

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VERTEX's CEO Bill McConnell Featured in Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine

September 12, 2019

As VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, states, “Education has no finish line.” Bill has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a J.D. degree from the University of Denver, a M.S. degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. He also completed…

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VERTEX Wins 2019 WebAward

September 10, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be named the 2019 Best Environmental Website by Web Marketing Association. Now in its 17th year, the WebAward program is the longest running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development. The WebAwards are recognized as the…

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VERTEX's Bill McConnell and Mark Degenaars to Present at Pearlman 2019

September 3, 2019

VERTEX’s Bill McConnell, CEO, and Mark Degenaars, Managing Director of Construction Services, are presenting at the 26th Annual Pearlman Conference in Woodinville, WA on September 5th, 2019. Bill will be presenting on “Privilege Issues in the Surety’s Initial Claim Investigation” and Mark will be presenting on “Thinking Outside the Box: Utilizing a Surety’s Own Account…

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Blog

The Challenge of Proving Causation in Construction Productivity Claims

September 20, 2018

What are construction productivity claims?  Construction productivity claims usually involve a contractor’s argument that the actions or inactions of a project party have adversely affected its productivity rate. A claim analyst must gain a thorough understanding of the consequences of those actions or inactions as well as insight into the circumstances under which the claim…

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Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination: Part 3

April 12, 2018

So far, we have covered how to determine if completion costs are reasonable and which completion costs should be considered reasonable. As we conclude our series, we will discuss which completion costs should not be considered reasonable. What Costs are Not Reasonable for Recovery? Costs may have been incurred in the completion of the work that are…

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Ladder Safety Training Video

April 11, 2018

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), over 500,000 people are treated each year for ladder related falls. Whether you use a ladder out in the field, in your workplace or at home, safety should always be your number one priority.  At VERTEX, safety is part of our culture. We recently hosted…

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Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination: Part 2

April 2, 2018

Last week, we discussed how to determine if completion costs are reasonable. As we continue the series, we will discuss which construction completion costs should be considered reasonable. When Are Costs Deemed Reasonable? Reasonableness can be a subjective determination. In cases of construction contracts under federal contracting guidelines, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contemplates that…

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Occupational Health & Safety Standards in Canada

March 27, 2018

In Canada, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is covered by Acts (legislation) or statutes and other related regulations promulgated under federal, provincial, and/or territorial regulations. Regardless of jurisdiction, the key components of OH&S regulations in Canada are similar across the country. However, the details of the legislation, the mechanism of implementation, and enforcement may vary…

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