School Showdown

Princeton sues Tod Williams and Billie Tsien over delayed project

Princeton University has sued Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects for their work on The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. (Michael Moran/Courtesty TWBTA and Princeton University)

Earlier this month, Princeton University filed a $10.7 million lawsuit against the firms involved in the design and construction of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment due to “extensive changes and delays.” 

According to The Daily Princetonian, the Trustees of Princeton University are suing Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), the architecture firm responsible for the design, as well as Texas-based sub-consultants Jacob Entities for professional negligence and a breach of contract between the university and TWBTA.

The Trustees allege that members of the design team “failed to perform their professional design responsibilities in accordance with the prevailing standard of care, resulting in unnecessary and excessive additional costs and expensive project delays.” The suit also lists a claim of “indemnification” which states that TWBTA must compensate the university “for costs relating to the design team’s negligence.”



Per the complaint, the university had contracted the firm to perform design services for the Center in February 2009. Construction began in 2012 and was completed in 2016, approximately 10 months behind schedule. The document also detailed that the architects and consultants issued 87 Architect’s Supplemental Instructions (ASI) between 2012 and 2017, which led to the issuance of 462 design-related Change Order Requests (COR) that were allegedly related to the team’s “errors and omissions.” Seventeen of those were attributed to 3D modeling software issues and seven to design-team-caused delays.

AN has reached out to TWBTA for comment on the suit and will update this article accordingly to the firm’s response.

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