News

BNi Publishes Porter Book on Construction Business

In November 2012, BNi Books released for sale a 408-page brand-new book authored by Tom Porter.  The title is Profit, Risk & Leadership:  The Business of Construction & Design-Build.  The book takes the reader on a clear path through the maze of running a construction business:  how to make money, how to manage risk, and how to plan, organize, and lead toward the achievement of your goals.  The book is available on-line at www.bnibooks.com.

 

DBIA Releases Online Course on Bridging Design-Build

As part of its new online learning program, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has released a course titled Bridging Documents:  Benefits, Risks, and Effects on Liability.  This one-hour video-format class, taught by Tom Porter, explains the bridging methodology, plus its advantages and disadvantages.  After explaining how bridging alters the contractual allocation of risk, Porter's presentation offers best practices about if, when, and how to use bridging.  For more information about the online course, go to www.dbia.org/development/Online+Learning/.

 

Porter Speaks on Design-Build Best Practices

The Michigan Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) held its Spring Forum in Lansing on April 20, 2012.  The program was centered on MDOT highway design-build projects.  Tom Porter, Immediate Past President of the Chapter, was one of the featured speakers.  His remarks, in collaboration with Chapter President John Raimondo, addressed recent research on design-build advantages as well as best practices for successful project outcomes.

 

LeChase Construction Hires Porter as General Counsel

Effective March 12, 2012, LeChase Construction Services, LLC, of Rochester, New York, has hired Tom Porter as its General Counsel.  LeChase is an ENR top-100 contractor and the largest builder in the state headquartered outside New York City.  Over its nearly 70-year history, the firm has expanded to nine offices in three states:  New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

LeChase’s niche specialties include healthcare, education, industrial, scientific, and commercial building projects.   Its expertise is in construction management, general contracting (including self- performed trades), facilities management, and design-build.  Representative clients include Cornell University, Duke University, Time Warner, Xerox Corp., and the Albany City School District; the firm is also notable for its expertise in green construction and Building Information Modeling (BIM).

The company promotes its key values of safety, integrity, and quality.  "The LeChase Way" is to "Do the Right Thing."   LeChase's mission statement defines a commitment to building strong partnerships with customers, employees, and the community.

Given the new full-time position, Porter will wind down most aspects of the Tom Porter Services consulting business.   He is completing this spring his commitment to teach a masters course at Lawrence Technological University on the subject of construction accounting and financial management.   He also intends to finish this year a book on the business of construction and design-build, to be published by BNi.  For the near term, Tom will maintain residences in both Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and Rochester, New York.

Porter commented on the change of situation as follows:  "I am very excited about the new opportunity at a wonderful company.  As I look back over the past several years, I am grateful for the support offered to my consulting venture by so many clients, mentors, advisors, association colleagues, networking partners, and other friends.  I hope to stay connected with many of them as I enter the next phase of my law/construction career."

  

Lean Construction in Design-Build is Porter Topic for AGC-Michigan Program

The Associated General Contractors of Michigan held its annual Professional Development Day program in Lansing on Thursday, February 23.  One track of the program focused on lean construction delivery.  Tom Porter presented on how lean construction methods can be incorporated successfully into design-build projects.  The morning sessions in the same track included Tariq Abdelhamid and Amr Abdel-Azim, both of Michigan State University, outlining general approaches to lean construction and the use of lean techniques in a current Integrated Project Delivery job at MSU.

 

New Publications by Tom Porter Released

Two new articles authored by Tom Porter have recently gone to press.  One is a Feature Article in the December 2011 issue of Construction Law International, published by the International Bar Association.  The article is titled "Top 10 Features to Understand About Construction Project Delivery in China."  Porter discusses his observations resulting from the Project Delivery Delegation that he led to China in December 2010.  The other recent article is a Legal Update column in the Winter 2011 issue of Integration Quarterly, published by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).  Titled "Mixed Results from State Court Challenges to Best-Value Procurement," this column compares court decisions in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.  The former has validated the state DOT's use of best-value procurement; the latter has precluded its use for transportation and correctional projects.  See the Integration Quarterly article at this link.   

 

Governors' Panel Includes Porter Input on Design-Build and P3

A panel discussion at the Democratic Governors Association meeting on January 27 featured four sitting governors, a former US Secretary of Transportation, and other industry leaders.  Representing the Design-Build Institute of America, panelist Tom Porter commented on the competitive process for design-build plus notable project successes in the northeast.  The governors participating were Andrew Cuomo of New York, Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Martin O'Malley of Maryland, and Jay Nixon of Missouri.  Rodney Slater, a Secretary of Transportation in the Clinton administration, served as moderator.  Read more at this link.

 

Porter Appointed as Adjunct Faculty at Lawrence Tech for Accounting & Finance

Lawrence Technological University's Department of Civil Engineering has appointed Tom Porter as adjunct faculty for the term beginning in January 2012.  He is teaching a semester-long course for master's level students titled Fundamentals of Construction Accounting & Finance.  This is a core requirement for students pursuing a graduate degree in Construction Engineering and Management.

 

Lean Construction Institute Hears Integrated Design-Build Presentation

The Michigan Chapter of the Lean Construction Institute invited Tom Porter to speak on December 2, 2011, in Ann Arbor.  Addressing the topic of Integrated Lean Design-Build, Tom reviewed the potential for lean techniques to be incorporated into design-build projects.  He then offered examples of projects where this has been done successfully.  The presentation concluded with a discussion of contract provisions that can help assure lean techniques will be used to promote efficiency and collaboration. 

 

DBIA Includes Porter Panel at National Conference

The 2011 Annual Conference of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) included a panel discussion moderated by Tom Porter.  The title of the session was "Successful Teaming:  Turning Sticks and Stones into Bricks and Mortar."  The discussion presented best practices for teaming and teaming agreements, including risk allocation.  The panel of nationally recognized design-build leaders comprised owner's consultant Craig Unger and attorneys Robynne Parkinson, Simon Santiago, and Patrick Miller.  The session was held in Orlando on October 21 during the DBIA Annual Conference.

 

Analysis of Utah CORE Bid Protest in Latest IQ

The fall issue of Integration Quarterly, published by the Design-Build Institute of America, includes an article by Tom Porter on the dispute arising from Utah's massive CORE project.  A protest over the award of this $1.1 billion transportation project was settled by paying the runner-up team $13 million, its cost of pursuit.  Porter's commentary addresses the lessons learned from this fascinating case.  The publication is available at this link.

 

DBIA Michigan Chapter Holds Fall Forum

The Michigan Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America held a Fall Forum event at Lawrence Tech on Thursday, September 15.  The theme of the program was specialty contractor involvement in design-build projects.  Presentations featured the work of specialty contractors on a design-build proton beam medical project for McLaren Health in Flint and the design-build Mumford High School project for Detroit Public Schools.  A panel discussion included representatives from several specialty contracting and engineering firms.  Chapter President Tom Porter provided an update regarding national and regional DBIA developments.  See this link for a more full report.

  

Bridging Presentation Draws Solid Attendance at DBIA/SAME Federal Symposium

The Design-Build Institute of America and the Society of American Military Engineers held a joint Federal Symposium on August 9-11, 2011, in Arlington, Virginia.  Tom Porter, together with Bennett Greenberg of the Seyfarth Shaw law firm, delivered a session on the use of "bridging" documents in the design-build process.  Over 100 conference attendees were present.  Although full design-build relies on performance specifications to define the owner's project criteria, bridging documents represent a partial prescriptive design, which the design-build team is expected to use and rely on in completing the design.  Porter and Greenberg reviewed use of bridging in the federal sector, summarized the pros and cons of bridging, outlined the effects on legal liability, and offered best practices for when and how to incorporate bridging in design-build projects.


IQ Magazine Again Carries Porter Column

The Summer 2011 issue of Integration Quarterly, again features a column authored by Tom Porter.  This time the subject is labor relations in a design-build project.  Porter explains that design-build is labor neutral, giving both union and open-shop advocates the chance to demonstrate that their approach can offer better value, including safety, quality, and productivity.  Although a California public employee union opposes design-build, research has established that a public agency's reliance on design-build does not shift jobs away from the public sector. 

  

AIA/AGC Conference Features IPD Panel

The Michigan Chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the Associated General Contractors held a joint conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, August 4-6.  Featured in the program was a panel discussion on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), moderated by Tom Porter.  The panelists represented the roles of owner, designer, and builder.  The owner's representative, Amr Abdel-Azim, is currently handling the Shaw Hall project for Michigan State University, perhaps the only true IPD project in the US public sector.  Jeff Hausman of SmithGroup and Alex Ivanikiw of Barton Malow offered comments from the A/E and contractor perspectives.


Update of AGC Project Delivery Text Released

The new 3rd Edition of the book Project Delivery Systems for Construction is now available for sale.  Mike Kenig of Holder Construction is the lead author of this edition, which is published by the Associated General Contractors of America.  Tom Porter has been one of the contributing editors for this new edition, which includes brand new chapters on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Basis of Reimbursement; discussions on BIM, lean construction, and sustainability; and significant updates to other sections.  The 2nd Edition has been one of the most popular items among the books published by AGC.  See this link for more information.

   

Successful Program on Public-Private Partnerships

The National Council on Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) organized an event that was held May 11 in Lansing.  Titled "Implementing Partnerships for Infrastructure," the workshop featured local and national experts on the subject of public-private partnerships (P3).  Among the speakers were the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan and the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Detroit.  Tom Porter moderated a panel discussion addressing P3 programs that have been successfully carried out in Michigan in the past.  Co-sponsors of the event include DBIA Michigan, AGC Michigan, and SEMCOG, among others.  Follow this link for a more complete report.

 

DBIA Michigan Holds Another Informative Event

The Michigan Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America ("DBIA") held its Spring Forum on April 8.  Almost 40 attendees gathered at the Christman Building in Lansing, which was one of the featured projects.  The design-build redevelopment of that historic structure had earned three LEED Platinum ratings.  Also featured was the LG Chem Battery Manufacturing Plant, a design-build project currently under construction in Holland, Michigan.  Apart from the project presentations, DBIA Michigan President Tom Porter provided an update on chapter, regional, and national events and Vice President Dave Lick spoke on P3 projects in Michigan.

 

CFMA Chapter Programs Address Financial Risks

On April 6, the Construction Financial Management Association ("CFMA") held a program for about 30 of its Detroit-area members.  The speaker was Tom Porter, addressing the risks in dealing with owners or contractors who are insolvent or bankrupt.  The talk outlined strategies for conducting due diligence on your customers and vendors, warning signs of financial distress, and proper management of business dealings with financially distressed parties.  Tom presented a similar program to the Lansing CFMA Chapter on May 26.

 

DBIA Launches New Publication

Integration Quarterly, or "IQ," is a new publication from the Design-Build Institute of America ("DBIA").  The launch issue, for Spring 2011, contains various articles and columns on topics of interest to the industry.  One of these is a Legal Update written by Tom Porter titled "California Decision Highlights Indemnity Risk to Designers."  The item describes a controversial recent case from the California Court of Appeals, UDC-Universal Development, LP v. CH2M Hill.  The case held that a design firm was responsible to indemnify its developer client for attorney fees incurred defending against a negligence claim from the developer's client, even though the design firm had proved in court that its professional work was free from negligence.  The case is currently on appeal to the California Supreme Court.

 

Porter Presents Two Sessions at AGC National Convention

The Associated General Contractors of America selected Tom Porter as a presenter for two separate programs during its 2011 annual convention, held the week of March 21 in Las Vegas.  For one segment, Tom and Anthony Mastrolia, of Marsh USA, jointly presented on the topic Rethinking Joint Ventures.  About 60 attendees heard them discuss the reasons for forming construction joint ventures, plus how to deliver successfully a joint venture project and issues that may arise.  The other program was a panel discussion, moderated by Tom, and evaluating benefits and limitations of the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model.  Panelists from the owner, architect, and builder perspectives exchanged views about whether IPD offers advantages beyond what can be achieved by incorporating collaborative features into other delivery models, such as design-build.  This panel, also with an audience of about 60, was sponsored by the AGC's Project Delivery Forum.

 

Guest Lectures Delivered at Purdue, Cal Poly, and Virginia Tech

Tom Porter recently served as guest lecturer at three universities known for their leadership in construction-related fields.  At the California Polytechnic State University on February 3, Tom taught a 3-hour session to a senior-level class studying Management of the Construction Firm.  Invited by Professor Barbara Jackson, Tom focused his presentation on the strategic challenges of managing human resources.  On February 15, Tom returned to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to speak for a second year at the Transportation Construction Management Institute.  Addressing an audience of owners, engineers, and builders, Tom offered national perspectives on design-build and public-private partnerships (P3).  The Purdue University Building Construction Management faculty invited Tom to speak on Design-Build Contracts and Risk Management.  The students attending this all-day class on April 2 were seeking to complete the core courses offered by the Design-Build Institute of America.

  

Federal Contracting is Subject of Porter Address to AGC Michigan

Tom served as a planner and speaker for a recent program on federal construction contracting.  The Associated General Contractors of Michigan included a track on this topic as part of its February 24 Professional Development Day.  Tom was the lead planner for this track of the event.  He was also the lead-off speaker providing an overview of US Government procurement.  His specific subject matter included contracting authority, federal cost accounting, contract management, and the disputes process.

  

China Delegation Wraps Up Successful Mission

A construction project delivery delegation led by Tom Porter completed a successful trip to China on December 11.  Sponsored by the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program, the 12 delegates and 7 guests visited Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai.  Meetings were held with professionals representing the public, private, and academic segments of the Chinese construction industry.  The delegation members, drawn from 8 US states and Pakistan, brought their expertise as project owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and lawyers.  The meetings explored how Chinese project delivery practices are evolving with the transition from a planned economy to a market system.  "The delegates gained great respect for the versatility and capability of the Chinese construction industry," said Porter.  For more information, see www.tomporterservices.com/commentary.

  

Porter leads IPD Panel at DBIA National Conference

A presentation on Integrated Project Delivery took place during the DBIA Annual Conference on October 19, 2010, in Las Vegas.  Porter chaired the panel program, titled "The Benefits of Integrated Delivery Techniques:  IPD and Design-Build Compared."  Panelists included Pankow Builders President Kim Lum and attorney Robynne Parkinson, both current DBIA national board members along with Tom, plus consultant Craig Unger, a former president of DBIA.

  

Leadership Selected for new DBIA Michigan Chapter

On October 12, the new DBIA Michigan Chapter held a business meeting to select officers and directors.  The members unanimously selected Tom Porter to serve as Chapter President through the 2011 year.  Several Chapter Vice Presidents and other board members were also determined.  The Chapter board expects to hold monthly meetings.

 

New DBIA Michigan Chapter Holds Successful Kickoff Event

The new Michigan Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America held its inaugural event on September 23 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.  More than 60 people -- including owners, prime and specialty builders, design professionals, attorneys, insurance brokers, and students -- heard presentations throughout the morning.  Speakers included Tom Porter (chair of the Steering Committee for the new Chapter), representatives of MDOT discussing transportation design-build, construction attorney David Lick, and a panel of vertical market practitioners moderated by Lawrence Tech faculty member John Tocco.  The attendance and level of interest exceeded the organizers' expectations.  Nine organizations joined as sponsors for the event:  Aon, Barton Malow, Bergmann, Foster Swift, HNTB, Lawrence Tech, Plunkett Cooney, Ruby + Associates, and Tom Porter Services.

 

Crain's Detroit Business article covers design-build in Michigan

On September 22, 2010, Crain's Detroit Business ran an article covering the new DBIA Chapter taking shape in Michigan.  Tom Porter, chair of the Chapter Steering Committee, is quoted on the reasons this is timely for the state.  To read the article, see this link.

 

Porter Speaks at September 21 DBIA Event in Chicago

The Chicago Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) hosted an event titled "Using Design-Build for Large-Scale Public Construction Programs."  It was held September 21, 2010, at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.  The keynote speakers were Larry Eisenberg, who is heading the multi-billion dollar capital program for the Los Angeles Community College District, and Tom Porter, then Immediate Past Chair of the DBIA national board of directors.

 

Federal Highway Training Presented

As an approved DBIA instructor, Tom Porter taught a day-long class on Design-Build Contracts and Risk for the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.  The class took place in Concord, New Hampshire on September 15, 2010.  Class members included federal representatives as well as staff from several state transportation departments in the New England region.

 

Porter Addresses DBIA Mid-America Region

Tom Porter addressed a special event of the DBIA Mid-America Region on August 19, 2010, in Kansas City.  Porter and DBIA Executive Director Lisa Washington were among the speakers to an audience that included business leaders of major AEC firms in the Mid-America Region.  The event was intended to develop nominees from the Mid-America Region for service on the national DBIA board of directors.  Porter, then Immediate Past Chairman of DBIA, was also Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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