A new online tool is being launched to provide support for adjudicators on construction disputes.
The constructionsupport.ca service will offer new constructions adjudicators in Ontario and across Canada 24/7 access to subject matter experts in construction, design and construction management, says its creator Derek Smith, founder of constructionsupport.ca by Constructionlab, adding the service will be simple to use and is expected to serve lawyers, paralegals, architects, engineers, accountants, quantity surveyors.
“I’m creating a network of subject matter experts who will be able to help adjudicators get technical answers that they need if they don’t have specific background in construction,” said Smith. “We want an easy to understand service that will be responsive, accurate and deep in knowledge.”
The adjudication system, which will be implemented in Ontario on Oct. 1 along with a prompt payment regime, is the second phase of lien act reforms contained in the province’s new Construction Act.
The website, which will also launch Oct. 1, will contract a network of professionals that will work through the service to respond to technical queries coming from adjudicators when reviewing evidence.
“An adjudicator will be presented with evidence from two parties, they will look through that evidence and they may not understand terminology, they may not understand process,” explained Smith. “Let’s say they’ve got a set of drawings submitted as evidence and they don’t really understand what the drawings mean. They can visit construction support.ca and we will disperse that to a subject matter expert and they will respond.”
Smith added in a release, “It is important, that no conflicts occur and we remain neutral, so we will be receiving queries where the parties to the dispute have been redacted. It will not be constructionsupport.ca that will offer opinion beyond straight technical and subject matter expertise — any opinion will be for the adjudicators ruling to do… Any responses to queries will allow the adjudicator to use the professionals’ identity and credentials as reference in the ruling.”
Subscribers will sign up for daily, monthly or even an annual subscription to the service which will provide them a certain number of hours of support. The service will invoice in increments of 10 minutes, in order to be affordable to the adjudicator that is providing the adjudication service to the parties in either a payment dispute or some other form of a dispute, said Smith.
“Constructionsupport.ca will be the clearing house and the responses will come from the professionals through constructionsupport.ca and be delivered to the adjudicator,” he explained.
The website is currently accepting expressions of interest to sign on subject matter experts and will publish its roster online. Seven professionals with over 100 years of construction and design industry experience combined have already signed on, reported Smith.
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