While buyers of brand-new will never be able to eliminate the prospect of construction defects, the best hedge is to buy from a reputable developer—one who not only builds to a greater standard of care, but can afford to fix things that go wrong and wants to in order to preserve its reputation and be able to sell future projects.
So how do you find the good ones? A good real estate attorney (not one referred to you by the developer) should be able to steer you away from the worst and recite a list of the best.
You should also Google the name of the developer for discussions about problems in past projects. Remember that many developers create a new LLC for each project, so look in the offering plan—a huge telephone-book-sized document that along with its amendments essentially explains everything about the building, from how many units have to sell in order for the sponsor to relinquish management of the building right down to the finish of the countertop in the powder room—to find out exactly which entities are partners in the LLC, and Google those names too.