Constructionlab develops online expert resource service for Ontario Construction Act adjudicators

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Constructionlab is launching an on-demand subject matter expertise service aimed at responding to any technical queries that the new Ontario construction adjudicator will have when reviewing evidence in a construction dispute around payment or any other type of matter that is sent to adjudication.

The service, constructionsupport.ca, will primarily be administered on-line, to satisfy the speed at which information will need to flow and to ensure the accurate tracking of queries. The new service will be available in early October, but Constructionlab is already signing up subscribers.

It’s being described as simple to use, with inquiries made by a subscriber to the service producing tickets that will be answered by a subject matter expert. There are currently 10 subject matter experts signed on to support the service and each one will consent to the use of the expertise in rulings.

“We looked really hard at the new Construction Act, the way it was intended to function and the speed at which adjudications needed to occur,” said Derek Smith, president at Constructionlab.

“We realized that many, if not most adjudications will be done in relative isolation, with paper evidence submissions resulting in a lot of technical information and process interdependence that might be confusing to interpret and require clarification.

“Adjudicators are able, under the legislation, to seek out that expertise as a disbursed expense, we want to make that process simple, cost predictable for the adjudicator and ultimately cost effective for the parties to the dispute.”

Users will buy a credit-based subscription based on 10-minute intervals and a collaborative time-based software will track time used for the ticket and invoice against the credits.

“Our goal is to take the stress away from finding expertise that can answer or interpret what the evidence means technically,” Smith said. “We are independent, not interested who the parties in dispute are, and can accurately answer a query.”

Areas of expertise include civil construction, structural engineering, architecture, architectural technology, site planning, landscape architecture, BIM, project management, general contracting, electrical and mechanical engineering.

“The clearinghouse idea is not new. It’s popping up in just about every app that we see. The idea is simple, but it’s the high touch, boutique service,” Smith concluded.

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