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Construction Law/Temporary Storage space

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Question
Dear, Mr. Elliot,

Good day! Our Contract is based For Building and Engineering Works designed by the Employer -FIDIC 1999.

The specifications states that - Suitable temporary stores, sheds and offices, shall be erected in such a positions the engineer may direct, and these shall be removed on completion of the works. All stores buildings shall be adequate for the protection of the stores or materials to be kept therein and shall be constructed accordingly and as the engineer may direct. Approved materials may be stockpiled at such locations and in such amounts as the Engineer may direct.
Item in the BOQ- Temporary Storage
1. Allow for providing temporary stores, sheds and offices as directed by the Engineer and as described in the specification.
quantity -1 ;    unit - item ; amount - 3,000,000

2. Allow for providing temporary way finding/directional signs,barriers,etc as described in the specifications.
Unit -item; amount - included.

the Contractor submitted the details and plans for temporary stotage and the Engineer approved as noted with safety comments only such as provide exhaust fans, proper arrangement.

After two weeks, the Engineer send a letter stating that the covered area is 1,000 sq. meter is inadequate according to site requirements and requires the Contractor to provide 20,000 sq. meters storage  as a complete storage facility. And further states that the contractor is overpaid and freezing the amount till the Contractor provide the complete facility at site as per Contractula requiements.

In what basis the Engineer states that 20, 000 sq. mtr is required when the specifications and BOQ does not states the area reuired. Further more the progress to date is almost 70%. And the deliveries of materilas should be scheduled as need arises since most are locally purchased.

Is there a breach of Contract by the Engineer for withholding the payments.


Thanks and Regards,

Raul.

Answer
Dear Raul,

My apologise for the delayed response.  I'm travelling a lot on rough roads with intermittent power supply and even worse for the internet connection.  I should have marked myself as on vacation and not kept you waiting.  

You do not seem to have good relationships with your engineer.  But then some engineers do not know how to behave.  It is not breach of contract, just bad manners and greed.  

You signed a contract with an undefined scope of work.  You could ask him to justify the size of the warehouse, especially as it remains your property at the end of the contract.  Learn the lesson and next time ask the question at tender time. Don't get mad, get even.

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Peter M. Elliott

Expertise

First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol www.eotprotocol.com before submitting a question.

Experience

Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
Match your presentation to the reader!
The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')

Organizations
Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

Education/Credentials
B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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