This article focuses on the role of developers, designers, builders and others involved in the creation of communities and infrastructure that support human and environmental health, safety and welfare. We highlight some of the elements that are commonly encountered in the course of our forensic investigations with a focus on the problems and how professionals address them. At the end of the day, few things will have an effect as profound on people as the creation of the places where they live, work and play.
The transition from land in its existing state whether “green-field” raw land, redevelopment or reclaimed “brown-fields” to a planned community involves countless hours (and often years) of due diligence, planning, design and construction. The quality of planning and construction sets the stage for much of our casework. Land development and redevelopment, when done properly and in accordance with regulations and established industry standards, creates safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable communities. Irrespective of the intended uses (i.e. industrial, commercial, residential, recreational, etc.) there is a tremendous amount of planning involved in the creation of transportation, storm water management and utility infrastructure, balanced with concerns for crime prevention, aesthetic beauty, environmental sustainability and other quality of life concerns. The roles and responsibilities of the developer, designers and constructors are instrumental to the success or failure of a community. If executed properly, a community, its residents and users have an opportunity to thrive for its expected life-cycle and beyond. If executed poorly, communities and individuals may function at some level, but are likely to suffer chronic problems and a greater prevalence of human injury and environmental health concerns.
Our experts are frequently retained in injury cases where the design and construction of communities, including transportation and utility infrastructure is called into question. Areas of investigation include:
Read on for more information on the key players in land development and some of the most common issues in our casework.
Land development expert, C. William Brewer, P.E., was the director of development/engineering from 1988 to 1997 on the project depicted below in Weston, FL. Bill’s expertise in land development projects is applied to relevant investigations as an expert at Robson Forensic.
Bird’s Eye View Aerial Photography of Weston, FL.
Land development projects can be organized in many different ways, but generally the owner/developer orchestrates the project. The owner/developer hires designers, as well as builders/constructors, who subsequently hire contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and suppliers.
Robson Forensic is regularly retained on behalf of all of these parties in casework involving personal injury matters as well as construction claims.
Other parties involved in construction projects typically operate parallel to the hierarchy described above. Our experts are often retained to review their actions within the scope of a specific project.
We have discussed how the actions of developers, designers, and constructors influence the safety of finished projects. Below we have outlined some of the most common issues we find in completed projects. Premises Safety and Security
Storm Water Management
Recreation & Commercial Recreation
Construction Sites & Public Safety