There are few, if any, construction projects that were not impacted by COVID-19. Now that we have all dealt with these impacts, it’s time to look ahead and determine if your construction contracts should be updated to address these impacts. Below are some provisions that you should review to address future COVID type situations.
Delivery of notices is a critical obligation under construction contracts. But, what if the project is shut down and you can’t deliver the notice? What if there are problems with mail pickup? Maybe you should consider e-mail as a method of notice. You can set the parameters as you see fit, such as to whom notice may be sent or you can create a “notice” e-mail address that must be used.
Compliance with the Law
Construction contracts require compliance with applicable laws and regulations. But, what happens when those laws and regulations change? Who has to pay for them? Perhaps it’s better to identify the party responsible for those costs or if the costs will be shared.
Contractors may be allowed additional time if the project is delayed due to unforeseen problems or for reasons beyond their control. But, is a pandemic now unforeseen and does the language in your contract cover a pandemic? Now is a great time to consider clarifying the language in your contract to explain what happens if we experience another pandemic.
If a project is significantly delayed, a contractor may be able to terminate the contract. Now that we know a pandemic may cause delay on a project, does the termination clause still allow a contractor to terminate if another hits?
Now that we have experienced the full impact of a pandemic on construction projects, perhaps its time to review your construction contracts to see whether the language can be improved to address the now foreseen impact of a pandemic. If you need help assessing your delay claim, we recommend you contact an experienced construction attorney.