Weekly Roundup: FedExed lien notice ruling, SBA bill for subcontractor payments, & more

Weekly Roundup: FedExed lien notice ruling, SBA bill for subcontractor payments, & more

May 6, 2019

Construction Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights in construction.

Supreme Court rules FedEx-served NOI valid in PA County

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has held that FedEx may be used to serve notices of mechanics liens in Philadelphia County.

  • In American Interior Construction & Blinds (AICB) v. Benjamin’s Desk, the contractor had served the property owner its notice of intent to lien by a FedEx courier.
  • Benjamin’s Desk cited PA lien laws in its preliminary objections, saying AICB didn’t comply with a requirement for service “by the sheriff or a competent adult.”
  • After AICB argued that a FedEx courier is a “competent adult,” the Superior Court echoed what the PA Court held — without “intent to stall the judicial machinery,” technical noncompliance with the rules for service may be forgiven.
  • While this sets the precedent for notices sent via FedEx in PA County, the court didn’t expressly authorize this delivery method. It’s still prudent to operate on the assumption that the courts will apply lien laws strictly.

Small business payment act seeks to ease subcontractor finances

H.R.2344 seeks to allow small business contractors to collect interim partial payments for contractual adjustments, change orders, and other purposes.

  • Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) introduced on April 18 a bill that seeks to hold agencies accountable for work they ordered. The bill has since been referred to the House Committee on Small Business.
  • With the bill, called Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2019, Stauber hopes to remove financial burden from small subcontractors and promote faster construction payments.
  • According to the bill, “a small business concern performing a construction contract awarded by an agency” may request for an equitable adjustment if the contracting officer introduces a “change in the terms of the contract performance without the agreement of the small business concern.”
  • The co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Marc Veasey of Texas’s 33rd congressional district, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district, Scott Peters of California’s 52nd congressional district, and Troy Balderson of Ohio’s 12th congressional district.

Report: US to see more modular construction opportunities as global market expected to hit $175.15B by 2025

A new report by Zion Market Research states that the global modular construction market is poised to generate $175.15 billion by 2025, creating more opportunities for concrete and labor. Yahoo! Finance

  • The report says the market was valued at around $111.24 billion in 2018, and is on track to generate $175.15 billion by 2025. The compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2025 is pegged at 6.7 percent.
  • In North America, modular construction makes up almost 3 percent of the building industry, according to the report. It adds the U.S. is “expected to provide significant opportunities in the global modular construction market in the years ahead; owing to the rising demand for concrete admixtures for modular construction, to be used in commercial infrastructural renovation and development.”
  • With their eco-friendly qualities (they generate less heat, for instance), modular buildings are expected to contribute to market growth.
  • An increase in skilled labor is needed to address current difficulties in market development for modular construction.