Document Detail

Title: RS23-1 - Disputes Prevention and Resolution Techniques in the Construction Industry
Publication Date: 10/1/1995
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 26
Identifies best practice methods to prevent and resolve disputes, and focuses on how disputes can be remedied in the most timely, cost-effective manner.
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Three main, underlying causes of construction disputes are: project uncertainty, process problems, and people issues. If these causes are not addressed, they result in disagreements that may escalate into litigation. This escalating process will involve more people, additional time, and higher costs.

The industry has developed various methods to prevent and resolve disputes: preconstruction techniques; dispute prevention techniques; dispute resolution techniques; and conflict resolution techniques. The most valuable methods are those that prevent or resolve disputes as early as possible at the project level under the control of those directly involved.

Most CII member companies agree that alternate dispute resolution (ADR) techniques are a valuable way to reduce the cost of construction, but the industry is only beginning to utilize the techniques available.

CII established the Dispute Prevention and Resolution Research Team to investigate and identify best practices for the industry. The team focused on how disputes either could be prevented or resolved in the most timely, cost-effective manner. The results are described in this summary report.

For additional information, the reader is referred to the team’s other works. CII Implementation Resource 23-2, Prevention and Resolution of Disputes Using Disputes Review Boards, provides convincing evidence that DRBs are fail-safe mechanisms to facilitate equitable and timely resolutions to disputes. CII Special Publication 23-3,Disputes Potential Index, is a software program that can be used to predict the likelihood of disputes on an individual project. Appendix B of this research summary lists other relevant CII publications.