College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Construction Management Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Construction Management



Primary Advisor/Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Thomas Kommer, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Construction Management Department


In the construction industry, discordance between what is expected versus what is delivered often arises. This disparity is commonly handled using informal negotiation. However, if negotiations fail, then claims and disputes often emerge. Issues involving scope of work, change orders, schedule, and payment can lead to conflicts. Companies try to employ the best alternative dispute resolution method to settle subcontractor claims and disputes without the need for litigation. Speaking with construction professionals in California and British Columbia, a difference in opinion exists as to which method is considered most effective when dealing with subcontractor claims and disputes. In California, the importance of thorough contractual writing and an airtight contract is stressed. In British Columbia, utilizing the design-assist approach and maintaining relationships with subcontractors appears to take precedence. This case study aims to uncover the most effective methods of alternative dispute resolution in California versus British Columbia. The results found that informal negotiation is the first resolution method attempted. Once claims or disputes arise, both regions tend to utilize mediation; however, British Columbia is beginning to gradually implement adjudication. In both California and British Columbia, meticulous contractual writing was the consensus for preventing future conflicts before a project began.