Case Studies

MC Consultants Inc.

Maximizing quality construction while minimizing litigation risk through expert third-party consulting services

In the last decade, third-party quality assurance companies have become an industry standard for builders nationwide as a go-to source for construction documentation and quality-control review. These companies provide a means to improve construction quality and minimize the risk of potential construction litigation lawsuits years down the road. While a hundred or so firms operate in this niche market, few have the same breadth and depth of experience as MC Consultants Inc. (MC).

For 26 years, MC’s team of professional consultants, including architects, engineers, construction managers, general contractors, cost estimators, water intrusion experts and project managers, have leveraged their extensive backgrounds in both construction and construction forensics to deliver industry-leading, third-party, quality-assurance consulting services.

MC Consultants Inc.

These services — ranging from the preconstruction stage through project completion — have been designed to help the developer, builder, and their trade partners reduce the potential for future construction claims, thereby minimizing the chance of future litigation on residential and commercial construction. “The insurance companies embrace our suite of services because we are an unbiased, independent, third-party consultant with a wealth of construction claims and defect knowledge,” explains Dan Ducommun, president of MC.

Partnering with MC serves the best interests of all parties involved. “The developer, builder, and their trade partners can draw upon MC’s forensic consulting experience to ensure the delivery of a product that will perform to the high standards of today’s consumers,” adds Ducommun. “It’s good for the building industry and the consumer.”

Operating nationwide, MC has boots on the ground in all corners of the country. “MC clients are served via our headquarters in San Diego and Orlando, which oversee the operations of 10 regional offices located within major markets,” says Ducommun. “With office locations in markets where construction litigation is most prevalent, our team delivers the local knowledge and experience that set us apart.”

Wide-ranging expertise

Founded in 1989, MC initially specialized in the area of construction defect forensics, but today, the company delivers a diverse array of consulting services targeted at the building industry. “Although the third party QA/QC industry is close to 17 years old, the need for verification has become more prominent within the last decade or so,” says Mark Anthony, divisional vice president of MC’s construction consulting services division. “Most insurance companies require builders to hire a third-party consulting firm to assist with peer review of the architectural documents, soils reports, spec books and on-site quality control oversight and documentation.”

First, MC reviews construction documents from the perspective of current and past construction failure areas. “The results of the review are delivered in a written report and sent to our builder client to be addressed before the start of the construction phase,” says Anthony.

MC Consultants Inc.

From there, MC’s field consultants use electronic data collection software known as MC360 to conduct random inspections of the construction project from pre-foundation to project turnover. Good construction practices are electronically documented with high-definition (HD) digital photographs, which are securely stored in the cloud.

When an MC field consultant observes a non-conformance construction practice, MC360 immediately sends a Non-Conformance Report (NCR) electronically to the builder’s on-site quality control representative for follow-up action. Once the non-conformance item(s) have been corrected, they become reclassified as good construction practices, electronically documented with digital photographs and stored all together in the cloud.

As the demand for new residential housing from high-rise condos to single family homes continues, so does the growth in new construction projects, which increases the demand for third-party consulting companies. Unlike MC, many construction consulting companies lack the size, locations, personnel, or construction forensic background knowledge needed to adequately support and protect the client’s best interests. Each MC office is staffed with seasoned construction professionals who are uniquely qualified to address the needs of the industries involved with new residential construction projects of any size or location within the continental U.S., including Hawaii.

The ultimate construction practice solution

MC’s construction consulting services cover a wide range of consulting platforms, including preconstruction architectural plan peer review, quality assurance and quality control programs over the course of construction, risk management services, construction management, owner representation services, property condition assessments, construction defect forensics and environmental investigation. Ducommun says the company’s consulting programs represent the ultimate construction practice solution for builders. “Our programs have been developed upfront with extensive construction experience and construction defect forensics in mind,” he explains. “We understand construction and know things don’t always go as planned. With this background and experience, we know what construction practices to focus on.”

Combining this background with cutting-edge mobile site inspection and documentation software, MC offers a solution to improve the quality of construction. “We use MC360 as our documentation software platform, whereas some QA/QC companies still rely on one or two qualified people for their site inspections. Many of those either use outdated technology or even worse, the clipboard paper punch-list method of documentation,” says Ducommun.

“Our job is to deliver construction consulting, supported by state-of-the-art software solutions via the most modern hardware products,” adds Anthony.

MC partnered with a construction-oriented software company to co-develop fully functional, on-site software to serve and support the needs of clients. “The industry term most used to identify construction practices is checkpoints,” says Anthony. “However, it’s the information used to develop the checkpoints that counts.”

“Yes, it’s important that the dishwasher is plugged in and the hot water — not the cold water line — has been attached,” says Anthony. “But those types of items don’t generally lead to a major claim or worse, litigation.”

Empowered by fingertip technology

MC developed its checkpoints not just from one or two construction experts, but from a national pool of experienced experts relying on years of construction claims forensic case experience from coast to coast. “The MC approach allows for the input of many specialized experts versus the input of one or two,” says Anthony. “You can’t be an expert at everything and that’s why we have specialized professionals in all areas of the construction industry.” MC’s checkpoints are loaded on the MC360 software platform, allowing field consultants access to project-specific checkpoints for evaluation of each construction phase — on any type of construction project, anywhere in the U.S.

With the touch of a finger on any mobile device, the MC360 software platform delivers much more than just an on-site data collection tool. “MC360 can also provide the recently completed Architectural Plan Peer Review Report conducted by our architectural department,” says Anthony. “MC’s checkpoints are supported with specific drawing details applicable to a specific construction practice. Code or industry standards reference material may also be available.”

“At MC, we believe quality construction is not achieved by accident, but as the result of a conscious effort by all members on a construction project,” says Ducommun. With a team of industry experts, MC ensures quality construction.  MC Consultants Inc. takes pride in supporting the building industry by minimizing exposure to potential lawsuits and drawing on leading knowledge and targeted risk management programs for success

Published on: December 14, 2015

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