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High Heat In A Power Plant Was Not A Surprise Condition

Friday, September 21, 2012 05:53 am


Constructive Change -- Differing Site Condition

Appeal of: Strand Hunt Construction, Inc., 2012 ASBCA No. 55904 Lexis 48 (June 21, 2012)

A contractor encountered temperatures of 140 degrees F on the job site, but it could not make a differing site condition claim stick since the contract described several temperature ranges, many of them that reached to such heights.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) contracted with Strand Hunt Construction, Inc. (Strand) to design and build emission reduction facilities to support a power plant at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. During the project, Strand found that it needed to upgrade the draft fan drive motor it planned to install because temperatures at the plant exceeded those indicated in the contract specifications. It installed the substituted motor and, at the time, did not dispute the Corps' finding that the substitution constituted a "variation", rather than a change to the contract. Nevertheless, Strand did file a claim for time and costs ($2.4 million) related to "working in the excessive heat and its related inefficiencies." The Corps denied the claim, contending that the specs accurately described the high temperatures Strand encountered.

The specifications [...]

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