Construction laws and processes affecting strata and community schemes
Recently, we have received various enquiries about construction laws, proposed design and construction contracts and building contracts especially those affecting strata schemes. Basically, complex construction works are needed to be done involving the owners/developers (more commonly called Principals in the realm of construction laws), architects, builders, subcontractors, surveyors, superintendents etc. What do all these mean? We cover some of the basic issues below.
The construction industry broadly involves 3 categories of works:
- Construction works (yes, you guessed it);
- Design and construction works; and
- Project/construction management.
This is distinct from design and construction works in that construction is conditional upon the prior provision and settlement of the design. The Principal would engage an architect or a design team to prepare and provide detailed project design documentation including drawings and specifications. Then, the Principal would engage a builder separately to complete the design (who would usually sub-contract out various parts of the works including the necessary supplies). So, basically, the Principal would enter into an architectural agreement with an architect or architectural firm and then a building/construction contract with the builder. Depending on the complexities of the arrangement, the Principal would engage a superintendent to administrate the building contract. The role and scope of the superintendent works can be defined in the building contract. Sometimes, the superintendent can issue directions on behalf of the Principal. In other instances, the superintendent can have a certification role (however, please be mindful about a potential conflict as the certification requirements may need to be independent).