Testimony April 21 and 25 in the manslaughter trial of three construction supervisors related to the fatal 2007 fire at the former Deutsche Bank building site in lower Manhattan focused on the removal several months before of hangers supporting a basement standpipe—and the subsequent dismantling of a section of the pipe itself during asbestos abatement. Prosecutors contend that the missing pipe made it impossible to deliver adequate water to fight the fire in an abatement containment area of the building. Abatement of the building, damaged during the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, was ongoing prior to demolition.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.