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Construction Law/PI for Cladding Works


A Contract under execution for the construction of a commercial building in the UAE, stipulates provision of PI Insurance by the Contractor for 'Contractor Designed Works'.
The Contractor's scope of work consists of carrying out construction according to design and IFC drawings issued by the Engineer.
However, detailed (or shop) drawings involving installation of items like metal/stone cladding/ glazing etc. have to be prepared by the specialist subcontractor in accordance with the general arrangement contained in the IFC drawings.
For such elements contained in subcontractor's shop drawings, like framework/fixtures etc., subcontractors usually rely on their standard in-house designs.   
The Contract further stipulates that 'part of the Permanent Works Designed by Contractor' shall have to be approved by the Engineer.
Kindly advise whether works such as supporting frame/fixtures necessary to install cladding/glazing shall fall under 'Contractor Designed Works' or 'part of Permanent Works designed by Contractor', and shall make the subcontractor, and thereby the Contractor, liable to furnish PI Insurance for such works.

Dear Sarvesh,

Thank you for this question. I am assuming that the adopted form of contract is the FIDIC Red Book, or a similar form where the design is prepared by (or on behalf of) the Employer.

This is an issue which I have seen arise many times over the years. In short, unless the contract specifies which parts of the Works the Contractor is to design, then the design liability falls to the Employer. The intention of shop drawings is not for the preparation or development of design.

In the circumstances you have outlined, I do not consider that the supporting frame/fixtures are part of the Contractor's design unless expressly the requirement was expressly stated in the Contract.

I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse

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John Dowse


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


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.

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

Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

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

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