BOOK REVIEW - The Application of Contracts Engineering and Construction Projects
The Application of Contracts Engineering and Construction Projects by Donald Charrett. Published by Taylor & Francis (2018). Pages 397. Paperback. £140.00. ISBN No 978-1-138-54362-1.
This new book is definitely not an academic law book on construction and engineering law, but it nonetheless fulfils an important role as a practical, legally well-informed and intelligent handbook for those involved in construction and engineering projects. This will be of particular interest to engineers, contract administrators, project managers, professional advisers (including lawyers) and clients (both employers and contractors) in this area. Dr Charrett is an experienced engineer but more recently practises as a barrister, arbitrator and mediator based in Melbourne, Australia and has written a previous book, the Practical Guide to Engineering and Construction Contracts (with Philip Loots). He is the primary author of the current book, but he has been assisted in the writing of a number of chapters by several others.
The focus of the book is the importance of the engineering and construction contracts in the overall project and the participation of the myriad of different disciplines involved, which include not only engineers and project managers but also designers, programmers, claims consultants, specialist lawyers and expert witnesses in related arbitrations or litigation. There is necessarily now a much-expanded raft of different professions involved and Dr Charrett helpfully considers this in the historical context.
That context he considers in the light of practice stretching back from the 19th century onwards. He has written particularly useful chapters which address a number of different projects from the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Kings Bridge in Melbourne, as well as buildings affected by the earthquakes in New Zealand, specifically in the Canterbury area. He considers as well a number of failures particularly affecting bridges and litigation involving the impact of contract specifications on a road construction in Tasmania.
These studies of particular projects, which over the years have attracted much attention around the world, are of particular importance because they reveal in many instances how and why projects go wrong. For instance, in the Tasmanian Road case which was addressed in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in the State of Tasmania v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd in 2004, the Contractor was required to design, construct and maintain a 13.65 km section of road which was to pass in front of an historic building, the construction came to a halt over issues as to whether the road was to be in cut or on fill; the project was delayed and there were issues as to liquidated damages and whether the Contractor was entitled to a change order. There
Pt 2] Book Review
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