ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 11 - 07/09/2009

Contract Review Critical -- When Outlining Design Documents

The large volume of design documents found in many construction contracts poses a challenge to a contractor. The contractor is charged with knowledge of everything in these documents and is required to coordinate and harmonize the various provisions. Yet the contractor necessarily relies on numerous trade contractors to interpret the work requirements.


In one recent case, the contract drawings did not depict a wet pipe sprinkler system in the mechanical areas. The specifications, however, mandated sprinklering in “all areas of the building.” The contractor’s fire protection subcontractor reviewed the fire protection drawings, but apparently did not see the mandate in the specifications. The contractor claimed that a directive to sprinkler the mechanical areas was a constructive change in the work requirements. Basic principles of contract interpretation and a standard government contract clause made this an uphill fight.


I would like to know how you review and harmonize design documents. How much of this function in performed by your own personnel and to what extent do you rely on your trade contractors?


Don't miss next week's featured stories in Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Incomplete Drawings Did Not Create Conflict with Specifications
  • Contractor Reserved Weather Delay Claim from Global Release
  • Contractor Liable for Wages of Unlicensed Subcontractor



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