Tunnel Business Magazine

FEB 2018

TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine is the market leader for North America. TBM is written for leading professionals in all aspects of tunneling and covers project stories, design elements, contracting strategies, legal issues, new technology and more.

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The Ground Risk and Geotechnical Baseline Reports: A Legal Perspective TUNNELINGONLINE.COM TBM: TUNNEL BUSINESS MAGAZINE // FEBRUARY 2018 T he Geotechnical Baseline Re- port (GBR) is a statement repre- senting the known ground con- ditions in a project site. When the GBR is part of the contract, it sets the range of adverse physical ground conditions that ought to be provided for and included in the contract price. Con- versely, site conditions differing from those considered in the GBR are deemed to be 'unforeseen' under the contract and ae carried out at the employer's risk. Properly drafted GBRs reduce construc- tion costs and set clear terms between the parties in the event of more adverse ground conditions, thus contributing to dispute avoidance. This paper intends to demonstrate that the incorporation of ground base- line conditions/report in contracts is an effective tool for managing the ground risk in construction projects, for reduc- ing costs and for dispute prevention or settlement. Allocation of Ground Risk Under English jurisdiction, the con- tractor bears the risk of changed ground conditions unless it is otherwise ex- pressly provided for in the contract. The rationale of this common law principle lies in the contract since, where the con- tractor has undertaken to complete a work and comply with contract draw- ings and specifications he bears the cost of performing the promises, irrespective of changed conditions, without entitle- ment to variations. In Thorn v London Corporation, the court dismissed the contractor's allegation that there would be an implied warranty as to plans and specifications providing the use of cais- sons that were not buildable due to ad- verse ground conditions, as 'although it was the engineer who suggested build- BY EUGENIO ZOPPIS F E A T U R E S T O RY 3 2

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