Planning delays in construction contracts
Whilst the contractor is responsible for ensuring that the outcome of a building project matches the outcome stipulated in the contract, the client typically has an interest in seeing that the outcome described in the contract for work and labour corresponds to their expectations or wishes with regards form, function and aesthetics. The client has, however, an obligation by law to co-operate in attaining these results, pursuant to §1168 (2) of the Austrian Civil Law Code. If the client does not make the required contribution to the design process in due time, or if the contribution is not of the required quality, then this will impair the time plan which the contractor needs to keep to in several ways. The following article examines the variety of ways in which a building contract can be drawn up with regards the planning aspects for which the client is responsible, the documentation which the law says urgently needs to be provided in cases of delays to the planning process (this also being the documentation which the contractor requires for practical purposes in these cases) and the legal consequences if the client delays in providing their co-operation in the planning phase.