The Basic Principals of Contract Law in the Build Environment – As published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession.

The Basic Principals of Contract Law in the Build Environment – As published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession.

By: Oostewald van Niekerk

Posted on: 03 August 2022

A Contract is the most important item when a building project is undertaken.  This contract is made up of a set of promises stating the rights and obligations of each party to the contract. The very basic principle is that the contractor (or builder) promises to construct a building at a specific design in a set time frame at a specified price and the client (or employer) promise to pay the contractor for the building or service.  For a contract to be valid certain requirements must be met (Mckenzie 2009:7):

  • The parties should be competent to contract.
  • There should be consensus between the parties.
  • The actions of the contract should be possible at the time of contracting.
  • The content of the contract should be legal.
  • The contract should not be against public policy.
  • The contract should be voluntarily.
  • The formalities required by law should be observed.

The basis of a contract is that there is agreement between the parties.  This agreement is evaluated through the principal of offer and acceptance.

Was an offer made? Was the offer accepted?

An offer is a declaration of intent that is made by one party to the contract to the other party that contains certain proposals regarding the proposed contract, and these proposals are of such a nature that mere acceptance thereof creates a contract.  Acceptance of an offer is when there is a meeting of the minds or mutual agreement.

Acceptance can be implied or can be tacit, for example a contractor makes an offer to a client in the form of a quotation, the client pays an amount of money to the contractor as a deposit without formally stating he/she accepts the quotation.  The action of paying the deposit implies that the client accepted the offer from the contractor.

It should be noted that the party making the offer is free to revoke the offer at any time before the offer is accepted. An offer is deemed to be valid for a reasonable time when no time limit is stipulated. Generally, construction contracts can take some clarification and negotiation to be finalized. During these negotiations various statements may be made by the parties. It is noteworthy that some of these statements are not seen as firm offers by the South African courts, these include:

  • Invitations to negotiate
  • Requests for a quotation
  • Statements of information
  • Statements of intention/letters of intent

An invitation to tender lays the basis for an offer and acceptance in the built environment, and each tender is an offer that the employer may accept or reject.  Such an offer can be terminated on the following grounds:

  • Lapse of a reasonable time
  • Expiry of the stated validity period
  • Death – if the tender is in the name of a natural person
  • Loss of contractual capacity
  • Rejection of an offer
  • Counteroffer

Often in construction projects disputes arise between sub-contractors and the main contractor, or the main contractor has an issue with one of the professional consultants. If one looks at this from a contractual point of view, one need to understand the doctrine of privity of contract. As a rule, only the parties to a contract may claim against each other in terms of the specific contract. Nominated and Selected sub-contractors enter into an agreement with the main contractor and therefor has no recourse whatsoever against the employer as there is no contractual relationship between a sub-contractor and the employer. Similarly, the contractor has no recourse against a consultant appointed by the employer as he is not a party to the professional services contract between the consultant and the employer.

For a contract to be valid only two formalities exist namely:

  • Those decided on by the parties
  • Those required by law

A contract thus does not have to be in writing to be binding, there should be a mutual agreement, however if one refers to construction certain agreements must be in writing and will not be enforceable if it is verbal. These are contracts of suretyship and contracts to provide credit. For example, an advance payment guarantee or a payment guarantee. In the Arbitration Act 42 of 1965 it states that an agreement providing for the reference to arbitration of any existing or future dispute must be in writing, there is however a judgement in this regard stating that it is not necessary for the parties to sign it (Kamstra & Holmes v Stallion Group 1992 (3) SA825(W)).

Parties to a contract often refers to terms and conditions.  Conditions qualifies contractual obligations in such a manner as to make the execution of that contractual obligation dependent on the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of an uncertain future event. The following conditions can be identified:

  • Suspensive condition – such a condition will suspend the operation of an obligation (in whole or in part) pending the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of a particular future event. Clause 11.6 of the JBCC (ed 6.2 of May 2018) is a suspensive condition.

11.6 Where the employer fails to provide the guarantee for payment [CD] or such security has expired, the contractor may, after giving ten (10) working days’ notice, where such default has not been remedied, forthwith suspend the works until such security has been provided [12.1.1; 28.1.1] or by further notice terminate this agreement [29.14.2; 29.15]

  • Resolutive conditions – the operation of a contractual obligation does not get postponed, but rather, the obligation becomes effective immediately and operates in full. The obligation may come to an end if certainty is reached in that the condition is fulfilled or in that it fails.
  • Condition precedent – a condition that the parties agree to must be fulfilled before any contractual obligations come into existence between them.

For future blogs on the subject of contract law it is the intent of the writer to specifically look at the JBCC Principal Building Contract Ed 6.2 with specific reference to Content, Interpretations of contract, Breach of Contract, Remedies, Termination of Contracts.

SACPCMP REGISTRATION PROCESS

SACPCMP REGISTRATION PROCESS | Agora Africa

SACPCMP REGISTRATION PROCESS

SACPCMP REGISTRATION PROCESS | Agora Africa

By: MC Pelser

Posted on: 19 May 2022

1. HISTORY.

The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professionals was established in 2002 in terms of Section 2 of the Project and Construction Management Act (Act 48 of 2000).

The council’s aim is to regulate the Project and Construction Management professions whilst driving industry standards to the benefit of the public, employers, project stakeholders and other building industry practitioners.

The council continuously inspire growth as well as keeping their members updated with industry related developments in the construction industry and legislative requirements.

2. REGISTRATION PROCESS.

Project Managers can register either as Candidates or Professional Construction Project Managers. Registration as a candidate is encouraged for parties who need to obtain the relevant experience required to register as Professional Project Managers and is viewed favourably when applying to register as Professional.

There are five Registration Categories for Construction Managers and Construction Project Managers under which an applicant can apply:

  • Candidate Construction Project Manager.
  • Candidate Construction Manager.
  • Professional Construction Project Manager (Pr. CPM).
  • Professional Construction Manager (Pr CM).
  • Professional Construction Mentor (Pr CMentor).

To register under one of the categories an applicant can follow one of the Registration Routes available, which are determined by their qualifications and years of experience. The following registration routes can be followed:

  • Accredited Qualifications and relevant Experience.
  • Accredited Qualifications, without relevant experience.
  • Non-Accredited qualifications, with or without relevant experience.
  • No formal qualifications, but with some relevant experience.
  • Academic route which applies to Applicants in the academic environment involved in teaching and research activities relevant to the construction environment and with 4 years’ experience.

For applicants with relevant Accredited Qualifications the following Registration criteria applies:

  • Accredited Honours Degree in the Built Environment field of study with a minimum of four years post-graduation relevant practical experience.
  • Accredited B-Tech qualification in the Built Environment field of study with a minimum of five years post-graduation relevant practical experience.
  • An accredited National Higher Diploma in the Built Environment field of study with a minimum of six years post-graduation relevant practical experience.
  • An accredited National Diploma in the Built Environment field of study with a minimum of seven years post-graduation relevant practical experience.

When assessing relevant practical experience emphasis falls on Project Management Competencies as both Principal Consultant and Principal Agent. The applicants experience in all 6 Stages of the project lifespan is considered:

  • Stage 1: Project Initiation and Briefing,
  • Stage 2: Concept and Feasibility,
  • Stage 3: Design Development,
  • Stage 4: Tender documentation and Procurement,
  • Stage 5: Construction documentation and Management,
  • Stage 6: Project Close out.

To register as candidate requires less experience and applicants will be required to submit reports on an annual basis to assess their readiness for full registration as professional.

Application can be completed online on the SACPCMP web portal. Any party wishing to register can create a profile where their details are stored and progress regarding their application is shared. The application procedure and required documentation to be submitted are as follows:

  • Completed Application Form (online application form).
  • Certified copies of Identification Document.
  • Certified copies of relevant qualification certificates and professional registrations.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Academic Transcripts.
  • An applicable application fee as prescribed by the Council.
  • SAQA Evaluation (in case of foreign qualification).
  • Compulsory psychometric examination for construction mentorship applications.
  • Project profile.

List of projects involved in the last 4 years indicating the following:

  • Name of project.
  • Type and description of project.
  • Geographical Location of project.
  • Name of Client, position and Contact details of client representative.
  • List of participating organizations.
  • Year started and year completed (or planned completion date).
  • Original Completion date and Actual Completion date.
  • Percentage of Practical Completion.
  • Total Value of project.
  • Percentage participation of applicant’s organization in project.
  • Applicants’ role in the project.
  • Was the project successfully completed.
  • Project Reports.

Two reports detailing the Successes and Challenges experienced on the project. The reports must be based on 9 Project Management Knowledge Areas:

  • Project Integration Management.
  • Project Scope Management.
  • Project Time Management.
  • Project Cost Management.
  • Project Quality Management.
  • Project Human Resources Management.
  • Project Communication Management.
  • Project Risk Management (including OHS).
  • Project Procurement Management.

On receipt and scrutiny of documents, the applicant is notified should any documents fail to adhere to the requirements set out by the council. For all information to be verified the following Assessment Process is followed by the Council:

  • Phase 1 – Internal Assessment of the Application. The council assesses all documents submitted and confirm that all requirements are met.
  • Phase 2 – Assessment by Experts. The applicant’s reports and profile is sent to external assessors for review. Submissions that receive a positive review are referred for interviews by a panel of experts.
  • Phase 3 – Approval Letters. Successful applicants are issued with an approval letter and a registration certificate. Unsuccessful applicants are deferred, and a letter issued with the reason why they won’t be registered at this stage.

3. CONDUCT OF PREFESSIONALS.

The council published the Revised Code of Conduct for Registered Persons on 28 July 2017 which guides the professional conduct of its members. All registered professionals are required to adhere to this code or could face disciplinary procedures (including possible deregistration).

The code deals with ethical and administrative requirements that professionals must adhere to. This includes the following aspects of professional conduct:

  • Competency.
  • Integrity.
  • Public Interest.
  • Environmental.
  • Dignity of the profession.
  • Administrative requirements.
  1. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD).

CPD is defined as the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the on-going development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout a practitioner’s working life.

The council provides guidance and a framework based on a 5 yearly cycle for construction and project management professionals, which is integrated with the Council for the Built Environment and other related professions. Professionals are required to report on their CPD activities annually and are audited on such every 5 years.

Professionals are required to report on CPD activities in the following categories:

  •  Category A – Core Knowledge/Non-Core Knowledge.
  • Category B – Mentorship.
  • Category C – Ongoing practice.

Points are allocated per category based on hours spent and earned annually. Professionals are required to participate in more than one category and are to submit proof of the completed CPD activities annually (commencing from date of CPD registration). Professionals must earn a minimum of 10,4 points (5,2 hours), in a combination of categories every year to add to a cumulative 52 points (26 hours) for every 5-year cycle. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in remedial action being instituted by the council for a one-year period. Professionals who fail to comply after the remedial programme will be deregistered.

5. CONCLUSION.

The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions are mandated by law to regulate the Project and Construction Management Professions by means of registration, code of conduct and CPD.

These processes might seem daunting at first, but support is provided by the council for those who wish to register in terms of the act and the processes and requirements are well documented and applied fairly.

The SACPCMP’s website (sacpcmp.org.za) provides further details on the aspects discussed above and parties who wish to start their registration process can create a profile to manage the process.

PROCEDURES OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN TERMS OF THE JBCC PBA (EDITION 6.2)

PROCEDURES OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION | Agora Africa

PROCEDURES OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION AS REGARDS TO BCC PBA EDITION 6.2

PROCEDURES OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION | Agora Africa

By: Jared Kisten 

Posted on: 21 April 2022

INTRODUCTION

Construction delays are any event that takes place during construction which would ultimately delay the completion date of the project and results in additional costs: for the client or property developer it means they would not be able to earn rental income when they planned to; for the contractor it means they have to be on the construction site for a longer period of time which means there might be additional costs associated with that. Who is responsible for these costs?

In construction we have two types of delays: an excusable delay – where the contractor would get additional costs due to delays beyond the contractors control and an inexcusable delay – resulting from the contractors’ default. Nevertheless, it is not always a straightforward exercise to determine who is responsible for the delay and associated costs and in some instances, disputes arise between the parties.

This series of blogs will explore the provisions of the JBCC PBA for dispute resolution, starting with an overview of the procedures provided for within the JBCC PBA.

 

DISAGREEMENTS

Where parties to the building agreement disagree regarding an action or inaction, or any other matter in terms of the agreement by either party, it is deemed to be a disagreement amongst the parties i.e., between the employer / principal agent / agent of the employer and the contractor. Typical cases of disagreements usually arise from adjudication of delay claims and adjustments to the contract value.

 

SETTLEMENT BY THE PARTIES

The JBCC PBA allows the parties a period of ten (10) working days to resolve disagreements by way of resolution in writing signed by each party. Where the disagreement is not resolved within the allowed time, the disagreement shall be deemed to be a dispute.

 

ADJUDICATION

Provisions for a disagreement to be referred to a dispute are allowed for the JBCC PBA. These provisions are as follows:

  1. A notice of adjudication must be issued by the referring party which gave the notice of disagreement. This notice must be referred within ten (10) working days following the period allowed for the disagreement to be resolved.
  2. The notice must clearly define the scope of the dispute and the relief which the referring party seeks.

The contract data [CD] makes provisions for a body (including their applicable rules) to be nominated for adjudication and arbitration in terms of the agreement. In most cases, the Association of Arbitrators (Southern Africa) is nominated as the adjudication and arbitration bodies for dispute resolution.

Where the parties have not made provision for an adjudication and / or arbitration nominating body in the contract data, the referring party has the right to choose a local recognised body to suggest one or more persons as an adjudicator or arbitrator and such nomination shall be binding on the parties as stipulated in the JBCC PBA.

Any ruling given by the adjudicator is immediately binding and the parties must implement the ruling. This shall remain in force and continue to be implemented unless overturned in arbitration. Either party may give notice to refer the dispute to arbitration. Such notice of dissatisfaction must be issued to the adjudicator and the opposing party within ten (10) working days following the adjudicators ruling (determination).

 

ARBITRATION

According to the JBCC PBA, the dispute will be resolved by arbitration and not adjudication where the referring party failed to comply with procedures of adjudication and / or the referral of the adjudicator’s determination by either party.

The arbitrator will conduct a pre-arbitration meeting to determine the following for the arbitration proceedings:

 

Appointment of the arbitrator

The parties must acknowledge the appointment of the nominated arbitrator. The arbitration fees must also be agreed upon i.e., the parties may agree to split the arbitrators’ fees and other costs of arbitration on a 50/50 basis (until final reward in relation to costs has been made).

 

Confirmation that arbitral disputes exists.

 

The parties must confirm the arbitral dispute, the scope thereof, and that the arbitrator has jurisdiction to decide the dispute.

The rules for the arbitration.

 

The rules of the arbitration must be agreed. It is usually the rules of the nominating body i.e., the Rules for the Conduct of Arbitrations for the Association of Arbitrators (Southern Africa) (2018 Edition).

 

Arbitration Timetable

PARTY
STEP IN THE PROCEEDINGS
Claimant
Claimant to file its Statement of Claim
Respondent‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎
Respondent to file its Statement of Defence
Claimant
Claimant to file its Replication (if any)
Respondent
Respondent to file Rejoinder (if any)
Claimant
Claimant to file its factual witness statements (with expert witness statements, if any)
Respondent
Respondent to file its factual witness statements (with expert witness statements, if any)
Claimant
Claimant to file its replying witness statements (if any)
All
Hearing
Arbitrator
Determination

The parties must agree to the arbitration timetable and the dates set out therein. The table below is a typical example of the dates to be determined for each step in the proceedings

 

Service of pleadings and documents

The parties must agree on the service of pleadings and documents i.e., by email and / or hard copy.

 

Documents

Witness statements to stand as evidence (under oath) in chief and any additional evidence over and above that set out in the witness statements must be confirmed.

 

Witness statements

The parties must confirm the service of witness statements i.e., the factual witness statements (including rebuttal statements), as supplemented if applicable, will stand as evidence in chief, subject to the witness confirming the contents of the statement under oath at which time every witness may clarify any errors in the statement. The parties may also confirm if the Arbitrator shall have a general discretion to allow either party to lead additional evidence over and above that set out in the witness statements.

 

Interlocutory applications

The procedures of interlocutory applications must be agreed between the parties. For example, A Party (the “Applicant”) shall be entitled to set out in an email addressed to the Arbitrator and the other Party its application, the  basis  therefore  and  any  representations  or  submissions  it wishes to make (the “Application”) and The other Party will be entitled to respond within one week or such  other  time  as  the  Arbitrator  should  allow,  by  email addressed  to  the  Arbitrator  and  the  Applicant  setting  out  its opposition,  the  basis  therefore  and  any  representations  or submissions it wishes to make (the “Opposition”).

The Arbitrator will be entitled to make any ruling having regard to the Application and the Opposition only and without oral hearing. Should the Arbitrator require a hearing or further representations or written submissions he will advise the Parties and issue directives accordingly.

 

Bundle

The collation of indexed and paginated bundles must be determined and agreed by the parties. The availability of the bundles must also be confirmed i.e., 10 days before the hearing.

Venue and recording of proceedings

A venue or a virtual platform i.e., MS Teams must be determined and one of the parties will be responsible for arranging the transcription services (if required).

 

Handing down of the award

The arbitrators award shall be final and binding on the parties in terms of the JBCC PBA.

 

MEDIATION

Adjudication and arbitration may be referred by agreement between the parties to mediation at any time during the proceedings. Where a dispute is referred to mediation, the provisions relating to adjudication and / or arbitration shall be deemed to be suspended.

 

CONCLUSION

The procedures of dispute resolution in the JBCC PBA are clearly defined and provides a structured path towards resolving disputes. The contract, together with various case studies available is referred to by an adjudicator / arbitrator in their determination and award.

This series will continue by exploring each of the procedures mentioned above in more detail and how each of them have been dealt with and applied previously in some cases.

Nominated vs Selected Subcontractors

Nominated vs Selected Subcontractors | AGORA AFRICA

Nominated vs Selected Subcontractors

Nominated vs Selected Subcontractors | AGORA AFRICA

By: Chanel Fos

Posted on: 15 March 2022

In the construction industry we have two types of subcontractor appointments, namely “Selected Subcontractor” (herein referred to as SSC) and “Nominated Subcontractor” (herein referred to as NSC), but only one standard JBCC Agreement to cover them both.

The Clause references listed below can be found in the JBCC Nominated and Selected Subcontract Agreement, Edition 6.2 – March 2018 (with the main focus being Clause 14 and Clause 15).

Who prepares the tender documentation and issues appointment, and what role does the Main Contractor have in this?

The Quantity Surveyor (herein referred to as QS) prepares the tender documents and calls for tenders, in the case of a NSC the Main Contractor does not have an impact on these documents, but he does have a say for the SSC tender documents. In both cases, the QS has to consult with the Main Contractor when scrutinising the tenders received, however the Main Contractor does not assist with the appointment of a NSC but may have an input on the SSC.

In both cases the QS is to inform the Main Contractor should any advance payments / deposits be required, where both NSC and SSC will have to provide a security for payment, called an Advance Payment Guarantee.

Clause references: Clause 14.1 and Clause 15.1.

When may a Main Contractor refuse to appoint a Subcontractor?

According to Clause 14.2 and Clause 15.2, the Main Contractor may refuse to appoint a Subcontractor where he has made a reasonable objection; where the Subcontractor refuses to comply with the tender requirements and refuses to enter into the Subcontract Agreement; where the Subcontractor fails, or is unable, to provide a form of security in terms of the Agreement.

If the Main Contractor’s refusal is valid, Clause 14.3 states that in the case of NSC the Principal Agent should nominate another Subcontractor and issue a contract instruction to the Main Contractor to appoint same. According to Clause 15.3 in the case of a SSC, the Principal Agent will consult with the Main Contractor and shall issue a contract instruction to the Main Contractor to appoint another Subcontractor.

What is the Main Contractor’s responsibility should the Subcontractor comply with all the tender requirements?

Clause 14.4 and Clause 15.4 states that the Main Contractor is to appoint the Subcontractor as a Nominated, or a Selected, Subcontractor and forward a signed copy of the signed Agreement to the Principal Agent, and he is to provide, within 15 (fifteen) working days, a guarantee for payment for the amount requested.

The Main Contractor will forward regular claims received from the Subcontractor to the Principal Agent / Professional Consultants and issue each Subcontractor with the payment advice and subcontract recovery statement included in the subcontract payment notification as received from the PA / Professional Consultants. He is to pay the amounts due to the Subcontractor as certified.

How do you approach payments not made by the Main Contractor?

According to Clause 14.5 and Clause 15.5 the Main Contractor needs to provide the Subcontractor with a proof of payment within 5 (five) working days of receiving the payment notice from the Principal Agent (this time frame may be adjusted upon negotiation of the Subcontract Agreement).

Should the Main Contractor fail to provide the proof of payment, the client may instruct the Principal Agent to certify a direct payment to the Subcontractor and recover the same amount from the Main Contractor.

What happens when a Subcontractor is in default?

In the case of NSC, Clause 14.6 states that where the NSC is declared insolvent or is in default of the terms stated in the Subcontract Agreement, the Principal Agent is to instruct the Main Contractor to give notice to the Subcontractor to rectify the default. The NSC will have 5 (five) working days after receiving the notice to rectify such default. Should the NSC fail to rectify this default in the time frame, the Principal Agent may instruct the Main Contractor to terminate the Subcontract Agreement.

Whereas in the case of a SSC, Clause 15.6 states that where the SSC is in default of the terms stated in the Subcontract Agreement, it is merely the Mian Contractor’s decision whether or not to terminate.

What process is followed when terminating a Subcontract Agreement?

Clause 14.7 states that should the Agreement be terminated due to insolvency or default of the NSC, or default of the client, or default of any of the Professional Consultants, any variation in the cost required to complete the subcontract work will be for the account of the client. Should the Main Contractor be in default or become insolvent, any variation in cost to complete the subcontract works shall be for the account of the Main Contractor, and the client may recover any loss or expenses related hereto from the Main Contractor. The Principal Agent should instruct the Main Contractor to appoint another Subcontractor to complete the works.

According to Clause 15.7 in the case of a SSC, should the Subcontract Agreement be terminated due to the client or the Professional Consultants being in default, any cost related to completing the works shall be for the client’s account. Should the default be due to any other reason than the client or his consultants being in default, the cost for completion will be for the Main Contractor’s account. The Principal Agent is to instruct the Main Contractor to appoint another SSC to complete the works.

Who are the parties involved in the Subcontract Agreement?

In both cases, NSC and SSC, there is no privity of contract between the Subcontractor and the client, and the Subcontractor is appointed by the Main Contractor.

A Summary of the Quantity Surveying Code of Professional Conduct as published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession

A Summary of the Quantity Surveying Code of Professional Conduct as published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession | AGORA AFRICA

A Summary of the Quantity Surveying Code of Conduct as published by SACQSP

(Revised March 2013)
A Summary of the Quantity Surveying Code of Professional Conduct as published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession | AGORA AFRICA
By: Oostewald van Niekerk

Posted on: 27 January 2022

Rules governing the profession

It should be noted that registered QS’s and QS practices are subject to the disciplinary supervision of the council. The code of conduct forms the basis of any disciplinary proceedings. During disciplinary proceedings the council shall proceed against the principal officer of the QS practice should a valid misconduct occurs.

  1. A QS must have due regard to public safety, public health, and the general interest of the public.
  2. A QS must execute his duties effectively and competently.
  3. A QS must execute his duties with integrity fidelity and honesty.
  4. A QS must execute his duties in such a manner that upholds the dignity, standing and reputation of the profession.
  5. A QS is not allowed to undertake work for which his education, training and experience have not catered for.
    1. Example any design work.
  6. When QS related work is undertaken by an unregistered employee, there must be registered QS that ensure that the person is competent to perform the task and is adequately supervised.
  7. The quality of work from a QS must be to a level that is in line with the accepted standards and practices in the profession.
  8. A QS must disclose the following to the client before work is undertaken:
    1. Any interest in the project he might have in any capacity
      1. Financial kickbacks
      2. Bribes
      3. Finders’ fees
      4. Commission
      5. Holidays
      6. Gifts
      7. Promise of additional work
      8. Holidays
      9. Etc.
  9. A QS of QS practice may not receive (directly or indirectly) any gratuity, commission or other financial benefit on any article or process used in or for the purpose of the work he is employed for.
  10. A QS may not injure the professional reputation or business of any other registered person.
  11. One QS may not attempt to replace another QS or firm on a project which the original QS was appointed for.
  12. A QS may not advertise his services in a self-praising/self-admiring manner, or in a manner that is misleading or inaccurate or offensive to the dignity of the profession.
  13. A QS may not misrepresent his qualification, or registration
  14. One QS may not review another QS’ work, UNLESS
    1. The original QS is informed in writing and gives his written consent
    2. The original QS is afforded the opportunity to comment on the findings
    3. The original QS’ contract is terminated
    4. Or it is required for any legal proceedings
    5. The review may only start once the client has paid the original QS in full for his services.
  15. All information must be safeguarded for a period of 5 years after completion of the project.
  16. A QS/or QS firm may not place orders on the client’s behalf or make any payments on the client’s behalf unless written consent is given by the client.
  17. A QS/QS firm may not issue any project documentation if the QS organization name is not reflected on the documents.
  18. A QS may not directly or indirectly deal in construction or property development projects for his own account where:
    1. Such a project/development is in conflict with his responsibilities towards the client
    2. He has privileged or confidential information concerning the project as a result of any QS work undertaken by him
    3. The QS shall not make any personal use of or divulge to others any privileged or confidential information related to the QS work undertaken by him.
  19. A QS may not offer any potential client any commission or payment to obtain work.
  20. These rules must be applied when working outside the boarders of SA, unless it is in conflict with the said country’s laws, or when the said country has a code of conduct for the QS profession.
  21. The control and responsibility in any QS firm must be carried by a registered Quantity Surveyor.
  22. The Registrar must receive written notice within one month of any change in physical or postal addresses of the business.
  23. When requested the council must be provided with written information of the Pr. QS who is being investigated for misconduct.
  24. Registered Candidate QS shall not:
    1. Practice for their own account
    2. Practice in partnership or as a director of a QS company unless written approval from council has been granted.
    3. Perform any QS work other than under the direct and continuous supervision of a Pr. QS.

Establishing a QS firm

  1. When a QS firm is established, the council must be notified within 30 days of the establishment and full details of directors must be supplied in writing to the council.
  2. The council must be notified within 30 days of any changes to any constitution of the practice.
  3. Impersonal names shall be submitted to the Registrar for approval.
  4. A Registered QS shall not enter into any professional relationship or association with any person who is not a registered professional Quantity Surveyor, unless council permission has been granted. Permission may be denied if:
    1. The person concerned is disqualified from registration.
    2. The person is qualified to register but did not register.
  5. Any QS practice will be controlled by 2/3 registered Pr. QS’.
  6. A Multidisciplinary practice offering QS services, shall be controlled by registered members/allied professionals, and the QS division must be under the full-time supervision of a Registered Pr. QS.
  7. Any office established to provide QS services shall be under the continuous, direct, and personal supervision of a registered Pr. QS. Council may grant permission otherwise under the following circumstances:
    1. QS resigned
    2. To Establish an office in a remote place due to the award of a project.
  8. The council may dissolve a practice if any non-registered partner is guilty of any act which is in breach of the code of conduct.
  9. The letterhead of the practice shall display the names of the directors with their registration status using the prescribed abbreviations.
  10. A Practice must when requested provide in writing all information pertaining to the juristic nature, style, and composition of the practice, staffing levels and professional indemnity cover.
  11. All QS work undertaken by the practice will be under the control of a registered Pr. QS and must provide full disclosure to the client of the level of supervision provided by the registered Pr. QS.

The legal right to use the title Quantity Surveyor

  1. Registered Candidate Quantity Surveyors may use the title Candidate Quantity Surveyor only if they are in good standing with the council.
  2. Un-registered persons are only allowed to append their legally achieved qualifications after their names. For example, B.Sc. QS. (Pret); B.Sc. QS Hons (Pret)
  3. Only in the United Kingdom you may call yourself a Quantity Surveyor if you are not registered as such.

Defects Liability Period and Final Completion – Clause 21 and 22 of the JBCC

Defects Liability Period and Final Completion – Clause 21 and 22 of the JBCC | AGORA AFRICA

Defects Liability Period & Completion - Clause 21 & 22 JBCC

Defects Liability Period and Final Completion – Clause 21 and 22 of the JBCC | AGORA AFRICA

By: Siyamthanda Ndwandwa

Posted on: 1 October 2021

Introduction

The execution of a construction project is the collective control of time, cost, and quality parameters to achieve a tangible end-product which is fit for its intended purpose. A project has a beginning and an end, and the common conception is that, upon confirmation of practical completion (PC) one may be satisfied that the building work is over; and all defects have been addressed. This however is not the case and there may be works to be rectified. This blog shall unpack how the JBCC deals with defects and where responsibilities lie.

What are defects?

Defects are imperfections to the works which are caused by contractor workmanship and affect the overall quality of a construction project. Defects are broken down in the following terms:

  • Patent defects are noticeable imperfections during construction and for a period after practical completion. Examples of these are identifiable cracks in the walls or floors, broken tiles, chipped glass panes etc.
 
  • Latent defects are concealed flaws which appear post final completion of the project and could take long time to surface. A few examples could be leaking plumbing pipes underground, leaking roofs, rising dampness etc.

What is the Defects Liability Period?

Clause 21.1 of JBCC states that “the defects liability period for the works shall commence on the calendar day following the date of Practical Completion and end at midnight 90 calendar days from the date of Practical Completion or when work on the list for Final Completion has been satisfactorily completed, whichever is the later.”

The contractor shall remain liable for their workmanship; however, this shall be limited to a set time-period according to the JBCC. This is to mitigate risk to the contractor for defects which may be uncovered indefinitely.

This provides recourse to the employer to request the correction of defective work by the contractor to which the principal agent shall instruct to action accordingly. Clause 21.2 states that “Where defects become apparent during the defects liability period the principal agent may instruct the contractor to progressively attend to such items, whilst at all times minimising inconvenience to the occupants”.

Patent Defects

Patent defects are blemishes identifiable at the time of practical completion (PC); the principal agent shall ensure that they form part of the defects list issued to the contractor for rectification. These defects are to be attended to by the contractor to certify final completion for the works.

In terms of Clause 21.6 the contractor shall give notice to the principal agent when the items on the list of completion have been attended to. The principal agent shall in response either issue a list for completion as per Clause 21.16.1; or issue a certificate of final completion as per Clause 21.6.7.

Process
Defects Liability Period and Final Completion – Clause 21 and 22 of the JBCC | AGORA AFRICA

It is imperative to note that the contractor’s obligation in terms of defects on the works is not limited to the issue of final completion. Clause 21.12 states that “A certificate of final completion shall be conclusive as to the sufficiency of the works and that the contractor’s obligations have been fulfilled other than for latent defects”.

 

Latent Defects – Clause 22 of the JBCC

Defects Liability Period and Final Completion – Clause 21 and 22 of the JBCC | AGORA AFRICA

Latent Defects are the imperfections which appear during the period of commencement of construction to five (5) years after the date of Final Completion [Clause 22.1]. In this period, the employer is well within their right to inform the PA of the defects who has the contractual responsibility to instruct the contractor to rectify accordingly as; the contractor shall be obliged to make good of any defects up to the agreed date of expiry [Clause 22.2]

The JBCC also addresses the termination of contracts before the date of final completion. In the case of termination, the latent defects liability period shall end:

  • Five (5) years from the date of termination for only the works completed by the contractor [Clause 22.3.1]. The PA shall keep record of the works.

  • On the same day as the termination of the contract where the execution of the works is not possible due to circumstances beyond the control of the either party [Clause 22.3.2].

  • On the date of termination by the contractor due to the default of the other parties [22.3.2].
Conclusion

The JBCC is fair to all contracting parties as it provides protection to the employer in terms of quality assurance, guides the PA of his contractual rights in terms of instruction and provides clarity to the contractor regarding the periods of liability which they are subject to.

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

By: Chanel Fos

Posted on: 15 September 2021

Concrete is used worldwide as a construction material. In fact, it is the most used construction material in the world according to statistics, where at least 20 billion tons are used yearly (and no surprise that the biggest consumer is China using over 11 billion tons).

Where did it all start?

Concrete formed naturally in Israel a few million years ago, the Egyptians used concrete to build the pyramids of Giza and the Romans perfected the whole thing (looking at the Pantheon – an unsupported concrete structure that is to today one of the most stunning structures in the world).

The Romans also named concrete; the name comes from the Latin word “concretus” which when translated means “to grow together”.

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

What are the main components of concrete?

Concrete consists of mainly cement, fine aggregates and crushed stone mixed or gravel with water. Once the aggregates are mixed with water a chemical process, known as hydration, takes place where the mixture hardens and becomes solid in the mould it is poured.

Why use concrete?

Concrete has many advantages characteristics for not only the designer, but the developer and the owner too. Concrete is extremely versatile, it is readily available, its durability makes it very cost effective due to low to no maintenance required.

One of the most prominent characteristics of concrete not mentioned above, is its high compression strength. Combining concrete with rebar (steel work bent inside of concrete) makes it even more rigid and versatile. Using formwork concrete is moulded into the desired shapes as per the designs.

Concrete can take any shape and form, can be made any colour and any texture and therefor “the sky is the limit” when it comes to design. When designed correctly and placed accordingly, concrete is one of the most durable materials on earth. I mean look at Rome; it exists of concrete which was built a few thousand years ago.

Interesting fact is that the Pantheon was one of the first concrete buildings in Rome, it stands till today and is in my opinion one of the most beautiful structures I have travelled to, this structure is over 2,000 years old.

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

What finishes are possible when using concrete?

Concrete can be displayed in many different textures, to name but only a few:

  • Trowelled finish (this is the most common smooth finish).
  • Stipple broom finish (this is the most common rough finish).
  • Exposed aggregate finish (use a power floater or a diamond polisher to polish the top surface of partially cured concrete, removing a few millimetres off the top, concrete is then sealed for protection).
  • Stamped concrete finish (this is when they stamp a pattern into the wet concrete).
  • Polished finish (grinding and polishing of concrete surfaces together with a penetrant chemical).
  • Coloured finish (either adding pigments to the mix prior to pouring or staining of cured concrete and finished with a sealant to protect the surface).
  • Salt finish (course rock salt is inserted into freshly poured concrete using rollers, then washed off with water once the concrete is set).

There are countless more forms of finishes, but the above summarises the most common ones used in the industry today. By listing the above one can already see how versatile concrete can be.

When selecting a finish, the purpose of the concrete should be considered, will it be exposed to weather, will it be required to be slip resistant, do you need colour of glossy look, etc.

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

What different types of concrete are there?

When selecting the type of concrete, it is once again very important to determine what the purpose of the structure will be and what the nature around it will be. Below are a few different types of concrete:

  • Plain concrete (the most used form of concrete used for making pavements, dams, etc).
  • Reinforced concrete (second to plain concrete, this is used for construction of buildings etc where steel is used as reinforcement and concrete cast in formwork over the steel giving it high compressive and high tensile strength).
  • Pre-cast concrete (concrete is cast into moulds at a factory or on site and merely installed in place required after it has reached complete strength. Main uses are lintels, concrete blocks, staircase units, fence poles etc).
  • Lightweight concrete (the density of the concrete is reduced by adding additives to the mix, the most important characteristic it has is its low thermal conductivity, therefore mainly used for thermal insulation, protecting of steel structures, etc).
  • High density concrete (crushed rocks are used as coarse aggregates, mainly used in power plants to protect from radiation).
  • Prestresses concrete (steel reinforcing is installed and tensioned before the concrete is poured. This increases the compressive strength of the concrete and lowers the risk of tension cracks forming on the surfaces and is mainly used where there are long spans applicable).
  • Air entrained concrete (foaming agents are added at the mixing stage and makes up around 4% of the concrete volume mostly used where freezing and thawing is a risk).
  • Glass concrete (recycled glass is used as an aggregate in the concrete mix and provides thermal insulation and aesthetic looks).
  • Shotcrete (basically ordinary concrete placed using high air pressure nozzles, compaction takes place as it is “sprayed”).

The list goes on and on, but these are the main concrete types used in the industry. It is advised to consult with a professional before deciding on which type of concrete or type of finish you select.

From the above one can easily conclude that concrete has many benefits when it comes to its characteristics, aesthetics, textures, durability etc. and is therefore the most used construction material.

CONCRETE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY | AGORA AFRICA

INSURANCES & GUARANTEES – CLAUSE 8, CLAUSE 10 AND CLAUSE 11 OF THE JBCC

INSURANCES & GUARANTEES – CLAUSE 8, CLAUSE 10 AND CLAUSE 11 OF THE JBCC | AGORA AFRICA

INSURANCES & GUARANTEES – CLAUSE 8, 10 & 11 OF THE JBCC

INSURANCES & GUARANTEES – CLAUSE 8, CLAUSE 10 AND CLAUSE 11 OF THE JBCC | AGORA AFRICA
By: Oostewald van Niekerk

Posted on: 30 July 2021

What is the type of Insurances that is directly affecting any construction project?

  • Contract Works Insurance
  • Public Liability
  • Special Insurances (Geotechnical & Lateral Support)
  • Workman’s Compensation
  • SASRIA (Riot & Strikes)
  • Professional Indemnity

The purpose of these insurances is to mitigate RISK

What does the JBCC Edition 6.2 of May 2018 Say about Insurances & Securities?

CLAUSE 8.0 has reference on WORKS RISK:

Clause 8.1 “The contractor shall take full responsibility for the works from the date on which possession of the site is given to the contractor and up to the date of issue of the certificate of practical completion or deemed achievement of practical completion for the works as a whole, or a section thereof.  Thereafter responsibility for the works as a whole, or a section thereof, shall pass to the employer.

The contractor needs to be covered by insurance to make good physical loss and repair damage to the works caused by any occurrence between site handover and practical completion.

Clause 8.3 gives us a non-exhaustive list of loss or damages that the contractor is liable for:

8.3.1 The cost of making good such physical loss and repairing damages to the works including clearing away and removing all debris and any other costs to reinstate the works

8.3.2 The new replacement value of free issue

8.3.3 The cost of additional professional services

Clause 8.4 make specific reference to the Contract Works Insurance and state that the contractor’s liability cannot exceed the amount of the contract works insurance

Clause 8.5 refers to circumstances where the contractor will not be liable for the cost of making good los and repairing damages, chief among them is:

8.5.7 Force Majeure

INSURANCES

CLAUSE 10 has reference on INSURANCES:

The most important aspect of insurances is stated in clause 10.1 in that the “insurances will be kept in force in the joint names of the parties from the date of possession of the site until the issue of the certificate of practical completion with an extension to cover the contractor’s obligations after the date of practical completion.”

Upon practical completion the Contracts Works RISK shifts from the contractor to the client. And the client will ensure the building under his ‘All Risk Insurance’ or his ‘Building Insurance’.  This does not mean that the contractor is now magically released from his Patent & Latent Defects liability period. And the contractor will still be liable to rectify Patent & Latent Defects at his cost.

What does Contract Works Insurance Cover?

Clause 10.1.1 “Contract works insurance shall make provision for direct contractors, free issue materials and goods, professional fees, temporary works, clearing away and removing of all debris and any other costs to reinstate the works and where required, damage to employer owned surrounding property where not covered under the removal of lateral support insurance.”

Clause 10.1.2 “Supplementary insurance for the works against loss or damage caused by civil commotion, riot, strike, labour disturbance and lockout to the extent not insured under the contract works insurance.”

Clause 10.1.3 “Public liability insurance providing indemnity in respect of accidental death or injury to any person and accidental loss of or physical damage to tangible property, to remain in force until the date of final completion.”

Clause 10.1.4 “Removal of lateral support insurance where the employer considers that the execution of the works could cause the removal of or weakening of or interference with the support of land or property adjacent to or within the site (also including employer owned surrounding property) and the consequences thereof. The employer shall appoint an agent to design and monitor appropriate support structures for use in executions and/or in existing property that form part of the works and/or the site.”

The following questions needs to be answered in the Contract data (JBCC Edition6.2 of May 2018) Section B6.0 Insurances

  • Who is responsible for the insurances?
  • What insurances are required?
  • What are the values of the insurances?

Who is Responsible for insurances?

Generally, the Contractor is the party responsible for taking out all the insurances, however the JBCC assist us in clause 10.2 as to when the employer must take out insurances:

Clause 10.2 “Where practical completion in sections is required, or where the works is for alterations and additions, the employer shall effect and keep in force contract works insurance, supplementary insurance, public liability insurance, and where applicable, removal of lateral support insurance and other insurances in the joint names of the parties until the date of final completion.”

This also means that when we are working in a live tenant environment, the employer will be responsible for insurances. Because works in live tenant environments is generally alterations and additions.

Clause 10.3 is very clear in stating that “The party  responsible for effecting insurances shall provide proof of the insurances effected to the other party before the commencement of the construction period and, where required, provide proof of extension or renewal of such insurances before their expiry.  Upon request the party responsible for effecting insurances shall provide the other party with the entire policy wording of such insurances.”

Why is the employer responsible for insurances with Alteration and additions works?

  • Clause 9.2.7 The employer indemnifies and holds the contractor harmless from all claims (including legal fees) arising from: “Physical loss or damage to an existing structure and the contents thereof where this agreement (JBCC) is for alterations or additions to an existing structure. Should such an event occur the contractor shall forthwith give notice to the principal agent.
  • The client has existing insurances over the building
  • The contractor is not responsible for areas or sections of the building that he is not altering or working on.
    • For example, if we are not demolishing the structure, the contractor cannot be held responsible for that structure or walls etc.

Why is the employer responsible for insurances when sectional completion is a requirement?

  • The client will occupy the building as the sections are completed and thus turning the site in to a live environment.
    • it is then unrealistic/unfair to expect the contractor to accept responsibility for the works etc.

SECTION B6.0 Insurances in the Contract Data

What insurances are required?

Generally, we require the following:

  • Contract Works Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Supplementary insurances are a general insurance that all contractors should have, should a contractor not have this insurance the cost of standing time, making good loss and damages and lock outs will be for the contractors account.
  • Removal of lateral support insurance will be project specific if there is adjoining structures to the works.
  • Other insurances are not a requirement; however, I would recommend the following:
    • If there is Design Responsibility on the contractor other than the responsibility in Clause 7.0 of the JBCC, I would insist on Professional Indemnity Insurance.
    • Considering the Covid19 pandemic, I would recommend business interruption insurance to cover the contractor for hard lock down situations, and social distancing requirements.

What are the values of the insurances required?

Note the difference in the table between the employer and the contractor requirements for contract works insurances.

  • Contract works insurance – I prefer the insurance to be the Contract sum + 10%. The JBCC require contract works insurance to be equal to the contract sum, + value Direct Contractors + the value of Free issue material (if applicable to the project) + Escalation, + professional fees and reinstatement costs (if not included elsewhere)
    1. Clause 10.5 “The employer may, at his expense, require the cover of the contract works insurance to be increased. The party responsible for effecting insurances shall provide written proof of such adjustment.”
  • Supplementary Insurance – my suggestion is that this type of insurance is equal to the value of one weeks standing time (Time related P&G)
  • Public Liability Insurance – The question here is what is the value of a human life? Riaan Pretorius (AGORA’s preferred health and safety consultant) recommends that the contractor is covered for R 10 million. It should be noted that R 5 million is also acceptable for projects smaller than R30mil (contract sum). It you work on a live site or life tenant environment (for example the Vodacom Bumble Bee project) it is recommended to have a much higher Public Liability Insurance on VBB the contractor was requested to have R25million PL Insurance.
  • Removal of Lateral Support – the employer must appoint an agent, and this agent must advice on the value of this insurance, if and when it is required.
  • Other Insurances – project specific, but I would recommend the following:
    1. Business interruption – the value of 3 months P&G
    2. Professional Indemnity insurance – 3 x the fee value of the design fee

Very important to note is clause 10.7 “Where this agreement (JBCC) is terminated and the contractor is not required to make good the physical loss or repair damage to the works, the right to the proceeds of an insurance claim shall vest solely in the employer.  The party responsible for the insurances shall give notice to the insurer to clarify the status of the insurance cover and/or further insurance obligations applicable to the works, public liability insurance, supplementary insurance and removal of lateral support insurance.”

Why? – the employer will have to appoint a new contractor to make good the physical loss or repair damages to the works.

CLAUSE 11 SECURITIES SECTION D1.0 OF THE CONTRACT DATA

The contractor can decide between:

  • Option A – Variable Construction Guarantee
  • Option B – Fixed Construction Guarantee.

What is the Difference between the 2 Guarantees?

Variable Construction Guarantee

  • Issued by a financial institution.
  • To the value of 10% of the Contract sum
  • The value reduces to 6% of the contract sum if 50% of the contract sum has been certified in the payment certificate
  • The value reduces to 4% when practical completion is certified
  • It reduces to 2% upon issuing of the upon issuing of the Final Completion Certificate
  • Lapses upon full and final settlement of the Final Account and payment has been maid to the contractor.

Fixed Construction Guarantee

  • Issued by a financial institution
  • To the value of 5% of the Contract sum coupled with a 5% retention on each payment certificate
  • Lapses on practical completion.

What happens when the contractor does not select a Construction Guarantee or fails to provide a guarantee?

  • Clause 11.4 comes into effect:
    • Retention “Withhold an amount of each interim payment certificate up to 10% of the contract sum is reached. The amount withheld shall be reduced at practical completion to 2.5% of the contract sum and again reduced to 0% of the contract sum upon final payment certificate”

Advance payment guarantee

  • When advance payments/deposit is required
  • Recoupment period needs to be agreed upon
  • Recoupment occurs in the recovery statement
  • The contractor elects in the Contract data how big of an advance payment he requires.

Payment guarantee

  • The contractor should indicate in the contract data if he requires a payment guarantee.
  • The contractor must also indicate how big of a payment guarantee he requires.
  • The contractor shall waive his lien or right of continuing possession of the works on receipt of a guarantee for payment.

The original security forms must be returned to the other party within 10 working days after the expiry date.

What is the purpose of Insurances and Guarantees?

To de-Risk the project.  It minimizes the risk on the employer, its agents and the contractor.

The parties also Indemnifies each other against certain occurrences:

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA
By: Chandeline Jordaan

Posted on: 17 May 2021

With the current pandemic going on all over the world, most people were stuck working from home. Spending that much time at home has led plenty people to think about their homes, whether to renovate their space, remodel or even rebuild. For some the pandemic provided the opportunity to hit pause on your usual busy schedule, and really consider what it is you really want from your home space. After all, this is a space where you make most of your memories, whether alone, or with family, and it should be a place that provides you comfort and happiness just being there.

Differences between Renovating, Remodelling and Rebuilding

Renovating involves repairing and updating areas in your home. No functionality or structural changes are made to areas. Generally, this involves changing furniture, changing the aspects such as flooring and painting areas. Remodelling your home is the process of changing the design and therefore the functionality of an area. This usually involves some structural changes and any associated additions you make to the structure of your home. Whereas rebuilding your home entails demolishing the existing structure and building a new structure, with new materials.

How to choose the best option for you?

Choosing between these 3 options mainly comes down to the requirements and new needs of the occupants who call the space home. The requirements in any project are usually time, money, and quality. Considering all this, renovating and remodelling are the two best options.  With renovating you could still replace the flooring or simply add a new rug, repaint the walls and ceilings, hang a few new art pieces in the room or change it with art from a different room in the house.

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA

The result: a new look and feel to the room. Since most of these activities can be done by yourself, it will save on cost and you get to change your space just the way you want to, in the time you want.

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA

Remodelling your home will be more expensive. This includes making areas bigger and changing the use of the space. With remodelling, cost could include building professionals and building contractors. Typically, not much in the space can be reused, and you would factor in the cost of new flooring, finishes to the walls, new ceilings and the electrical rewiring and plumbing layout.

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA
Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? Here’s How to Choose | AGORA AFRICA

In case time and a restricted budget is not your biggest concerns, and the needs of your family has outgrown the space, or the house has simply reached its expiry date, rebuilding might be your best option. This will entail demolishing the existing home and completely rebuilding it. This requires professionals and permission from your local municipality. Rebuilding gives you the unique opportunity to build your dream home and decorate it just how you want.

Taking the above into consideration, and as Quantity Surveyors, our main objective is giving the client exactly what they want, with the best quality and at the lowest cost to them. So whichever option you choose, ensure it’s the best choice for you, you get a space you are proud to call home and it is at a cost that you are comfortable with.

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS | AGORA AFRICA

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS | AGORA AFRICA
By: Suzané van Schalkwyk
Posted on: 6 April 2021
Modular construction is a process in which buildings are constructed off-site using the same materials and designing to the same standards as conventionally built facilities – in about half the time. These buildings are produced in “modules” and once assembled, are virtually indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts.

Two types of modular construction

Modular buildings can be constructed to be either permanent or relocatable.

Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) is an innovative, sustainable construction method utilizing off-site, lean manufacturing techniques to prefabricate single or multi-story whole building solutions in deliverable module sections. PMC modules can be combined with site-built projects or stand alone and can be delivered with MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing), fixtures, and interior finishes.

Relocatable modular buildings are partially or completely assembled buildings that are designed to be reused or repurposed multiple times and transported to different building sites. These buildings offer fast delivery, ease of relocation, low-cost reconfiguration, accelerated depreciation schedules and enormous flexibility.

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS | AGORA AFRICA

Some benefits of modular construction

Modular buildings are greener, faster, and smarter!

The factory-controlled process generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances, and allows for tighter construction. This type of construction leads to greater flexibility and reuse as modular buildings can be disassembled, and the modules relocated or refurbished for new use, reducing the demand for raw materials. This process also eliminates waste by recycling materials, controlling inventory, and protecting building materials.   

The construction of modular buildings occurs simultaneously with site work, which according to research allows projects to be completed 30% to 50% sooner than traditional construction projects.

Buildings are also occupied sooner, leading to a faster return on investment.

Along with the above mentioned, modular construction eliminates the need for storage of materials and high labour costs, as they are not constructed on site.

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS | AGORA AFRICA

The challenges of modular construction

Modular construction sounds progressive and remarkably advantageous but, as with any other construction method, and seen within our practice, there are some real challenges that can affect the success of these buildings.

The modular approach on scale is better the more uniform and repetitive the spaces and products are. So naturally, apartment buildings and hotels are likely candidates if each unit can be standardized and stacked. At this stage, pending advancements of the existing technology, trying to create distinct or non-repetitive modules reduces, and potentially defeats, the time and cost advantages for both buyer and supplier parties.

Modular construction demands that more decisions and greater design and engineering be completed up front in the process. It requires architects, engineers, and contractors to be familiar with the intricacies of the modular fabrication and erection stages.

YOUR GUIDE TO MODULAR BUILDINGS | AGORA AFRICA

This type of construction also involves a transportation risk, since the modules are prefabricated in a factory, which can be vast distances from the job site, it needs to be transported either directly to the site or staged at a place nearby and then set in place. This could potentially hold up an entire sequence of installation.

Should you build modular?

According to research, modular buildings are generally stronger than site-built construction because each module is engineered to independently withstand the rigors of transportation and craning onto foundations. Building off-site can also ensure better construction quality management as manufacturing plants have harsh quality control programs that promote superior quality of construction every step of the way.

Building in a controlled environment reduces waste through avoidance upstream rather than diversion downstream. This, along with improved quality management throughout the construction process and significantly less on-site activity or disturbance, naturally promotes sustainability.

Although these buildings are said to be of high quality, sustainable, innovative, efficient, and have reduced timeframes, we at AGORA Quantity Surveyors have found that the challenges remain within the design, costing, and transportation of these buildings.

When considering the said advantages of modular construction, one should expect that these buildings would be less expensive than conventional buildings, yet a like-for-like cost comparison on various projects proved that conventional building methods on low rise buildings remains the more cost-effective way to build.

We have also found that even though site time gets reduced the cost and time associated with factory assembling remains more expensive than conventional ‘in-situ’ construction methods. These building are also limited in design and carry extremely high transportation costs.

With the above said, I believe that modular construction, with some advancement, could be an efficient construction process that is poised to help the construction industry grow!