U23423: Construction Law, Contracts and Dispute Resolution

Task Outline:

The task is to prepare a professional report not exceeding 4,000 words in length, referenced appropriately, relating to the contractual remedies and practical solutions which may be available to the project team in the event of a substantial delay caused by an unexpected issue on site as described in the scenario below.


Scenario: You are a firm of construction consultants covering various disciplines including quantity surveying and project management. Your team has been engaged to carry out both PM and QS roles by the University of Portsmouth in the development of proposals for a project to demolish the existing Burnaby building and replace it with a new building with the same footprint as existing but one floor taller. There are existing electrical and IT services within the building which will have to be incorporated into the new building but will have to be temporarily maintained or relocated as these feed other buildings on the campus.

a. Before the existing building can be demolished, the current staff and equipment will need to be moved out and accommodated elsewhere before work can commence, moving either to existing buildings or temporary facilities or a combination of both – you need to consider the options and give the client some options on how you could facilitate either approach and provide for this within the contract documentation.

b. The Client has asked if there might be a possibility of obtaining staged access (maybe floor-byfloor?) in order to commence fitting-out to enable staff to occupy their new offices.

c. The services (power and IT in particular) may require disconnection of the whole campus temporarily in order to effect switch-overs. The client is concerned at the disruption which this may have on the operation of the existing campus and has asked how this work could be incorporated into the contract in order to minimise any ‘down-time’.

d. The Client is concerned about the possibility of a fire occurring on the building site, spreading to the adjacent buildings and impacting on the existing users, who will be in occupation during construction of the new building. This is particularly important if you incorporate any form of staged completion which means sharing the part completed building whilst it is being finished.

e. The client is worried about how the site can be made safe while students and staff are using the remainder of the campus.

f. When the existing building was constructed, asbestos was still permitted in construction work, the client has asked for advice on how to go about meeting their statutory duty with regard to the potential existence of asbestos and provisions for removal of any asbestos which is found.

g. The client normally uses JCT 2011/Q as their preferred standard form of contract however they are aware that this was updated in 2016.

They have asked you for a summary of the benefits of using JCT 2016 instead of JCT 2011 and have also asked if you would recommend using NEC4? Analyse and evaluate the implications of these client issues, considering the advantages and disadvantages of the various options for each and propose suitable solutions for incorporation in the contract documentation.

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