Construction projects often include a large number of parties from contractors and subcontractors, that work to achieve one single goal. However, due to a large number of people working on one project, conflicts are likely to happen which can disrupt a project. Lyle Charles Consulting suggests using mediation to resolve disputes as it is fast and cost-effective.
Mediation is a private method of dispute resolution, where parties work together to negotiate and settle disputes. The mediator is a neutral party, who has no vested interest and is trained to facilitate the settlement. It is, however, best to hire a construction mediator that is both experienced in mediation and the construction industry.
In construction mediation, the mediator cannot force the parties into reaching an outcome. Instead, he/she can guide individuals to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement and find solutions that will help the project move forward. The mediation process is very different to litigation and arbitration, as in the later the court or arbitrator has no interest in assisting in the timely completion of a project or preserving relationships.
The main advantages of mediation are the fact that it is faster and less expensive than litigation or arbitration. Mediation sessions last for a day or two and can be scheduled as and when parties are available. This time advantage is crucial as it helps current projects move forward with less disruption. You can include a clause in your construction contracts that states that disputes have to go through a mediation process before they are put forward through litigation or arbitration.