Storms, floods and construction

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The devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent extreme weather events has caused widespread damage and distress.

One of the many sectors significantly impacted is the construction sector with flooded and damaged sites, equipment and materials, access issues and significant workforce disruption.

Many parties involved in construction from engineers to digger operators to local government inspectors and staff have been thrown into an emergency response mode which will impact ongoing projects and the enormity of the impact and its effect on personal situations will make things extremely difficult for some time to come.

As was the case with the abrupt impact of the covid related restrictions, all parties involved in construction projects will need to communicate effectively with each other in order to try and deal with issues further down the line as best as possible.

This will involve carefully recording site conditions and damage to equipment and materials and the identification of health and safety issues as soon as possible. Many sites will require expert evaluation before work can resume and significant remedial works or redesign may be required.

It is not front of mind while emergency clean up works are ongoing, but contracts should be checked for how they deal with weather impacts and the requirements around suspension of works or delay notices, some of which may have very short time bars.  Not all contracts treat weather events and significant disruptions the same way.  Failure to provide notice now or to confirm suspension of contract works may have significant impact further down the track. 

If you want to discuss any issues in relation to the potential impact of delay and damage, please contact our Construction and Projects Team.

Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

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