Adverse weather during construction
Where there is a delay to a construction project which impacts on the completion date, and that delay was not caused by the contractor, it may constitute a relevant event (or compensation event), for which the contractor may be entitled to an extension of time and in some cases loss and expense.
Some contracts list exceptionally adverse weather conditions as one such event. Even if it is not specifically mentioned, however it may still qualify as a neutral matter that adversely affects the completion date.
The question then is what constitutes exceptionally adverse weather, rather than general adverse weather that the contractor should have allowed for in their price. Unhelpfully, contracts do not always define the term (for example JCT contracts), leaving it to the discretion of the contract administrator, and so opening up a potential source of dispute.
Where it is defined, it tends to be weather that is exceptionally adverse for that time and location. NEC contacts state that this is where the weather over a calendar month has occurred on average less frequently than once in ten years. This means that a short period of poor weather is unlikely to qualify, and that if poor weather crosses two calendar months it may not qualify even if it has lasted for a considerable time. The location and types of weather to be measured should be set out in the Contract Data. Generally, information should be collected from a weather station close to the site (from which historical records are available), or on site and compared with met office data. This may include information such as; the amount and duration of rainfall, air temperature and duration, volume and duration of lying snow, wind speed and so on, depending on the nature of the works.
It is likely that this approach would also be accepted on projects using forms of contract in which there is no definition.
Even where exceptionally adverse weather is defined in the contract and can be shown to have occurred, it must still be proven that this was the cause of a delay and on some forms of contract, that the contractor has used their best endeavours to mitigate any delay. Again, this is a potential source of dispute, and so good record keeping is necessary, and the correct procedures of notification must be followed.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
PCSAs enable clients to employ contractors before the main contract commences. Read our introductory article.
ICE 200 brings together transformative projects from the past 200 years - and the engineers behind them.
Dame Judith Hackitt hosts an industry summit to kick start the second phase of the review.
This article explains the Buildings Regulations completion certificate, what it is, and when its needed.
Graphene has many potential applications, but when will it start being used in civil engineering?
Increasing productivity – now more than ever as we lead up to Brexit – should be the sector’s number one priority in 2018.
Carillion's collapse causes Construction Leadership Council to delay the construction sector deal report.
Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: international frameworks, national and local guidance.
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?