Who Pays for the Unexpected in Construction—An Engineer's Viewpoint

by Melvin I. Esrig, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Excellence in the Constructed Project


The focus of the discussion is on equity, risk, and defining what is meant by the unexpected in construction. These issues are clearly major elements in the disputes among the several parties dealing with the unexpected in construction. Who bears the cost of the unexpected in construction requires defining who took the voluntary risk with the expectation that he would receive a benefit. The party taking a voluntary risk with the expectation of a reward should pay the cost of the occurrence of the 'unexpected' event. However, the owner is always expected to pay the fair cost of constructing his facility, with the design of his choice, on the site he has selected.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Construction sites | Risk management | Dispute resolution | Building design | Site investigation | Construction industry | Construction costs

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