“Adverse Weather” – has it affected your development project?
With the onset of winter storms, Storm Barney being the most recent example, have you considered what to do if this delays the work to your development?
The two most commonly used forms of construction contracts, ‘JCT contracts and Sub-Contracts’ and ‘NEC 3’, both have provisions which would affect parties in the event of Adverse Weather conditions.
In the JCT suite of contracts, Adverse Weather conditions are classed as a Relevant Event, potentially giving rise to an extension of time. There is no definition of “exceptionally Adverse Weather” included in the Contract, so a common sense approach would involve comparing the weather complained of to that in previous years at around the same time.
As with any potential extension of time, when delay is reasonably apparent notification should be provided of the potential delay to the relevant party and it would be important to have a record of what effect the weather conditions are having on the work, such as photographic evidence.
It should also be noted that this would not be classed as a “Relevant Matter” which would entitle the contractor or subcontractor to loss and expense.
In this contract, Adverse Weather conditions are classed as a compensation event which would potentially entitle contractors and subcontractors to additional time and money. The contract itself sets out the criteria for the type of weather which would fulfil this requirement and the place where measurements should be taken, and Adverse Weather will only constitute a compensation event if the weather is shown to occur less frequently than once every 10 years.
Regardless of the form of contract you are working under, it is important that you are aware of the terms that would entitle a contractor or subcontractor to additional time and money and, if you are contractor, ensure that you are complying with the requirements of the contract when making a claim. It is crucial to keep full records of the weather complained of and its effect on the works as well as any steps taken to mitigate this loss.
If you would like expert guidance or legal assistance in this area, please do not hesitate to contact Ashtons Legal’s specialist Construction Solicitor on 0330 404 0749.
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