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Construction Law/Specifications-Ambiguity


Dear Florin,

One more final question I have for now relates to an ambiguity in Specifications. The project is for the construction of warehouses.

The Specifications in the relevant part only say as follows:

The work and design consists of:-

Truss – Steel structure truss, beam and purlin.
Wall cladding is required from ground up to roof
Wall panel is metal polyurethane insulated sandwich panel with thickness of 5cm
Roof panel is metal polyurethane insulated sandwich panel with thickness of 5cm
Wind bracing
Insulation only sandwich panel [Fiber glass 50mm  thick 10kg/m3]

The Engineer required and instructed that roofing material should be sandwich panel type
The Contractor says that roofing material should be single sheet with fiber glass insulation, as the Specification says that “Insulation only sandwich panel", the type of insulation being specified further as: Fiber glass 50mm thick 10kg/m3.

The Engineer instructed the Contractor to continue with sandwich panel type of the roofing, otherwise he intimated that the Contractor will be in breach of contract and without further notice the Engineer will consider by non-performance  that the Contractor has declared the cease of the contractual relationship.

By the way, for the same Employer, two warehouses were built with the same Specifications and the construction being undertaken as the Contractor submits now. At the time of tendering, the Contractor was also advised orally to visit these previously warehouses.

Which one do you think is correct {the Engineer or the Contractor]?

If the Contractor is correct, what can he do now [simply to continue as the Engineer instructed considering the same as a change order and notifying his intention to claim for additional cost and/or time?

Being deeply indebted in advance to hearing your expert advice, as usual of course, I remain


Dear Alemu,

No problem, you can ask as many questions as you need, will always gladly help.

If the Engineer has issued an instruction, you have no other option but execute the roof as instructed.


1. Engineer does not need to threaten you, nor can he consider "that the Contractor has declared the cease of the contractual relationship".

2. If you are of the opinion that roof should be executed differently, then you must issue immediately a notice of claim, asking for a Variation.

Would be good if you can document that oral direction to see the other warehouse during tendering.

Hope that helps.

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Questions related to Civil Engineering Contracts, using FIDIC or other Conditions of Contract, concerning Procurement procedures and documents (pre-qualification, tendering and contracting) and Services/ Works Contracts implementation matters including Determinations, Payments, Time Extensions, VOs, Claims/Disputes. Additionally, questions related to dealing with International Financing Institutions. Can also answer questions in Romanian. Can not answer improperly formulated questions.


Over 20 years of experience in the field of design, works supervision, construction, management of aid funds and technical assistance for various types of contracts implementation, including severe conflictual contractual situations leading to Claims and disputes. Claims/ Contract management, Disputes adjudication, Arbitration.

Member of Romanian Professional Association of Roads and Bridges; Listed on President's List of Adjudicators of Romanian Association of Consulting Engineers Former member of the Disputes Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) of United States – nominee on DRBF President’s Disputes Board Members List and of DRBF Chapter for Eastern Europe Former member of Polish Association of Consulting Engineers (SIDiR) – nominee on SIDiR President’s Disputes Board Members National List Member of “” volunteers pool Member of the "Constructions Disputes Resolution Services” International Panel of Construction ADR Specialists" of United States

- Graduate in 1994 the Construction Institute - Graduate of several FIDIC,Procurement and other courses - Graduate of first Disputes Board Members Mentoring Scheme ( - FIDIC Accredited Adjudicator

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