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What is the difference between “Pay-if-Paid" and "Pay-when-Paid?"

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, August 30, 2011
By Jorg Breuning

Recently I read an interesting article in the BusinessCredit of the National Association of Credit Management regarding “Pay-if-Paid" and “Pay-when-Paid” clauses in contracts.  Parallel to this article the topic was discussed in the “Construction Advisory Today”.

In the green roof industry there are good opportunities for people to start a new company or to switch jobs. Once in this new industry many find themselves caught in a shark tank. The sharks (prime contractors or general contractors) identify fresh blood immediately and bargain for the lowest possible price because of the desperate need for references.  This is common practice in the construction industry and there is nothing to complain about.  However it is also still common practice that the sharks try to make you sign a contract with a “Pay-if-Paid" or “Pay-when-Paid” clause.  Roofing manufactures or roofing companies especially stick to one of these clauses like a bug smashed on the windshield.

Once the subcontractor has signed a contract with “Pay-if-Paid” clause he might soon feel like a bug smashed on the windshield.  In other words if the prime or general contractors do not get paid, the subcontractor doesn’t see a Penny.  The subcontractor carries full risk when problems such as insolvency somewhere in the “food chain” occur.  The subcontractor also has no realistic chance to solve any payment problems on a higher level and so the little fish will be swallowed by the sharks.  Thankfully many States discovered this serious problem with “Pay-if-Paid” clauses and have outlawed the use of this clause.  Whether it is legal or illegal in your State don’t do it.  It is an unjust rip-off and doesn’t hold any responsibility for the prime or general contractor.  To prevent a “Pay-if-Paid” agreement the subcontractor may contact the prime/general contractor’s client and notify them that this bad practice can be solved elegant and quickly.

“Pay-when-Paid” – according to my knowledge – is legal in all States.  In a “Pay-when-Paid” contract there is a realistic chance that you will get money after a reasonable period of time.  This looks like a safe contract but my experience has told me that most GC’s take advantages of the situation “reasonable period of time”.  All payments will typically come later – much later than expected.

The guaranteed payment with a “Pay-when-Paid” clause appears to be the only advantage in this agreement for a subcontractor.  However the subcontractor must still add costs to his proposal that consider delays of payment, time spent finding out whether the GC is paid, and to pre-finance materials over a much longer time.
 
Conclusion:

Green Roof Service LLC’s division Green Roof Technology stays away from both types of contracts because this increases the costs, makes the entire construction process less efficient, and is great breeding ground for unnecessary tension between the contractors.  All things that will influence the final quality, service, and timeline are not in the interest of the investor in a “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-when-Paid” contract.

Make contracts with clear payment term and conditions –it is as simple as that.

Endangered Fern Calls Franklin and Marshall Home

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cliffbrake Fern (Pellaea glabella) at Franklin and Marshall College - Kat Harrold

Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster PA already has a reputation for being green as it sports a large collection of green roofs.  During the installation of their latest green roof on Schnader Hall, a "green wall" was discovered.  Clinging to a shaded brick support wall on the roof a collection of tiny ferns were found.  Upon further examination these plants were discovered to be Pellaea glabella, commonly known as smooth Cliffbrake Ferns.

The Smooth Cliffbrake fern is a small evergreen fern with fronds reaching 2 to 8 inches long.  The Smooth Cliffbrake fern is native to the US and parts of Canada.  True to its name, these ferns are commonly found on limestone cliffs and ledges.  A rather rare species, the Smooth Cliffbrake is also considered endangered in Connecticut and Maryland, and is classified as threatened in New York according the USDA.

This just goes to show that sometimes you don't need a fancy set up to have a green wall.  From a mockery stand point, this "green wall" is maintenance free, requires no fertilizer schedule, or irrigation system, and uses exclusively native plants.  Sometimes mother nature just has the best system.

Tellus 360 Reclaims its Roof

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tellus 360 green roof days after planting - Jorg Breuning

During one of the hottest weeks in the summer a couple of Irish lads with no fear of heat stoke began the challenging task of putting a garden on their roof.  

Joe Devoy and Martin Donnelly are the proud owners of the Irish antique and furniture store Tellus 360 in Lancaster, PA.  The store is an incredible treasure trove of home goods and furniture crafted from reclaimed wood.  Thier slogan "old wood, new story," beautifully describes not only their products but also their roof.  

The roof at Tellus 360 was in disrepair and needed replacing.  After finding out about possible funding for a green roof through Live Green in Lancaster the search was on to find a suitable candidate to make this green roof a reality and affordable.  Green Roof Service met the challenge and was able to work with the grant program providing a comprehensive design while staying on budget.  

Being a store full of hand crafted products it only seemed fitting that the lads at Tellus 360 get their hands dirty and build the green roof themselves.  Under the supervision of Green Roof Service the lads of Tellus 360 managed to beat the blistering heat.  Despite temperatures of around 110, they managed to get everything up and assembled on the roof to a very fine quality indeed.  With a beak from the heat as added motivation they were even able to complete the project in record time.   

One of the most challenging parts of the project was keeping the plants happy while they were waiting to be planted.  The extra efforts to keep the plants shade and in the ground as soon as possible were rewarded though.  While we were setting up our sprinkler system to help the plants establish, mother nature decided to lend and helping hand dropped what felt like the equivalent of a small lake from the sky.

It has been a few weeks now since the install the plants are doing great.  The roof is also much cooler and more bearable thanks to the greenery.  It took a while to get a permit for the patio area, but it is in and a design competition will soon follow!  Before long the project will be complete and a lovely bar with the best view of the city will be in place.  Sounds like a perfect way to end a strenuous day of shopping in Lancaster. 

Maiden Voyage of the Silhouette Lawn Club

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, August 11, 2011

Silhouette alcoves and lawn club - Jorg Breuning

Despite the down economy people are still flocking to cruise ships for their vacation getaway.  This year Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises came out with yet another ship and this one features an actual lawn.  The Silhouette is the fourth ship by Royal Caribbean in the Solstice class to offer a lawn.  However, this one is a little fancier and offers some added features.

In addition to the field games such as bocce, croquet and golf putting offered on previous cruse ships, the Silhouette features luxurious alcoves with adjustable canopies for shade.  These alcoves provide comfortable seating on the lawn area and come stocked with an iPad 2.  

There is also a grill area where you can cook your own surf and turf with the expert guidance of one of their chefs or you can just enjoy the show and have them cook it for you.

The lawn club also feature a collection of hammocks perfect for taking a nap after a long day at port.  The lawn has become a favorite place for people to gather and picnic whether the ship is at sea or in port.

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