NEC ECC: Timing of Instructions that have potential impacts

Question is relating to the time associated with instructions;
NEC3 Opt A

The project is a swimming pool refurbishment, an existing redundant pipe is being brought back into use after concerns the original design might not be adequate without it.

There are two instructions associated with the works.

CE1. To pressure test the pipe to see if it can be used.
CE2. After a failed test an instruction to have the pipe lined.

The issue is as the Contractor, we arguably kicked our heels carrying out the pressure test. Circa 3 months from instruction to failed test.

Now, CE2 may push out completion due to the availability of lining gear from Europe and knock on works to the plant that cant be completed until the lining has finished.

I don’t think the importance of CE1 was fully appreciated at the time of instruction by either parties. No EWN or specific dates were given for the test.

How should CE2 be assessed in relation to the potential impact of CE1?

Is there a contractual mechanism that states when a instruction to do a test should be done ?

Not sure what was actually instructed when but not sure how why CE2 was instructed at the same time, unless it was a proposed instruction under 61.2. You don’t know if you need to reline as it is dependant on the test.

CE1 should have been assessed as to how long it would take and how much it would cost as a forecast, and then if you were to assess CE2 it should have been the extra over effect CE2 would have had once the forecast cost of CE1 had been considered.

Why it took so long to get the pipe tested is not clear here and why it took three months. If the reason it was held up was for another reason that would be a new CE you may need to consider that. If you didn’t need to kick your heels you shouldn’t have. If you assessed the cost and time implications of lining the pipe and agreed them, and now the effects are worse that will be Contractor risk unless again there is a new CE you didn’t know at the time of assessing CE2.

Thanks Glenn, appreciate the response.

Apologies; for clarity CE2 was only instructed after the test instructed in CE1 had failed and a period of a few weeks of discussion between the various parties about the remediation strategies available had passed.

The time delay in carrying out the works with CE1 potentially pushed CE2 into a period of time when less free float is available to carry out the work. Making it a critical task with associated delay to completion.

Would it be reasonable for the PM to assess the CE2 quotation as if CE1 was carried out in a reasonable time frame, theoretically avoiding any movement to completion as the works could have been carried out during a period when more float was available ?

No - at this stage why CE1 was done later using up total float (which is available to either party) is irrelevant. At the point the pipe lining was instructed, it is assessed at that point as to how it will impact the Accepted Programme.

If the PM was really concerned about that - they could have notified an early warning to question why the testing wasn’t being done as it will lead to less time to do the lining if it is required.