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Construction Law/Change in Villa Design due to authority instruction a

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Question
Subject: Change in Villa Design – Design changes
Project: Construction of 500 Villas
Contract: Design & Built
Location: UAE
Contract: Bespoke
Dear Mr. John Dowse
Background of the issue:
During the inception stage, Client approved a mockup villa (in different emirates). The Contractor priced the project in line with the tender documents (master plan and approved drawing – Mockup villa Plan). Based on the approval by the client, the Contractor developed the Villa design and when it was submitted to the Local Municipality approval (different emirates) the authority rejected the design and asked the Contractor to change the design completely, saying that it does not match up with the local custom. The GFA as per old design and new design remains same. Municipality hasn’t introduced any new design. Client tried to convenience the Municipality and lost. Due to the instruction by the authority the Contractor suffered a
1.   Delay (EOT & Prolongation cost)
2.   Additional cost due to redesign and
3.   The construction cost (Increase in structural quantities of the villas as per the new design)
Contract Conditions: (usual one)
1.   Contractor should comply with all authorities regulations and the project budget must not vary
Question: Whether we (contractor) is entitled for the above claim
Regards
Mike

Answer
Dear Mike,

Thank you for this question.

On the basis of the limited information provided my opinion is as follows. Under a design build arrangement it is usual for the contractor to take responsibility for the design approvals; it should have made checks beforehand to ascertain that its designs were appropriate for each Emirate in which they were to be constructed. The Employer is entitled to rely upon the Contractor acting diligently including assessing whether the mock up constructed by the Client was suitable.

You have not indicated whether the Contractor was prevented in any way from making this assessment before pricing; this may have a bearing upon the answer. At this time however I suggest that the contractor carries a significant liability.  



I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse

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John Dowse

Expertise

Legal; contract interpretation; quantum; delay analysis. Practitioner in arbitration, adjudication and mediation.

Experience

Thirty-three (33) years experience in building and construction, at all levels both within contracting and consulting organisations. Practising arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator. Faculty approved trainer for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Lecturer on construction contract forms and dispute resolution practices.

Organizations
Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Institute of Directors Society of Construction Arbitrators

Publications
Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

Education/Credentials
LLB (Hons), Pg Dip (Legal Practice), MCInstCES MCIArb MIOD Barrister

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