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LAW5398 Construction Law Assignment Sample

You have been approached by Mrs Jacintha Mernda who is aware of your recent enrolment in the Construction Law Unit at Swinburne University of Technology. Mrs Mernda asks you for advice on a planned construction project. Her intention is to build a four storey apartment building in one of the suburbs in Melbourne. The apartment would have private residences, ready to rent or purchase on the second, third and fourth floors; a restaurant, coffee shop, and other shops on the ground floor; and a carpark in the basement. The carpark will be for only the residents or workers in the building. Visitors will park along the road.

Mrs Mernda needs advice with the following:

What is the building classification for her project and why is he building classified that way (See National Construction Code)?

What is the best type or types of contracts she needs for the project?

Will she need to employ an engineer? If so, what will be the Engineer’s role?

Will she need a liquidated damages clause and if so, can you provide her with a sample of a good clause she can use?

Will she be able to request a variation to the project once the construction has commenced? If so, what are her rights and obligations in case of a variation?

How can she ensure that her construction project is Covid-19 safe?

NB: Although the project is in Victoria, Mrs Mernda is happy for you to use examples and even laws from overseas or interstate, if you want to. She does not require you to entirely rely on Victorian Law, but you may do so, if you’re able to.



Construction project is determined as the activities through which different projects are made such as buildings, apartments, house and many other things in which people can easily live or conduct their business activities. The following case study is also based on the construction law and it aims to determine the construction of a four storey building that is located in Melbourne. The following case study for assignment help will provide an analysis of the classification of the project and the best type of contract that is suitable for the project. On the other hand, the role of engineer and safety of project from the COVID-19 impact will also be analysed in the following .

Main body

What is the building classification for her project and why is he building classified that way

As per the national construction code, following are the building classification that is based on the building made or approached by Mrs Jacintha Mernda:

• Residential building

One or more family residences, boarding or shacking up houses, seminaries, residences, apartment houses, and individual garages of such structures are all examples of a "residential building" that provides sleeping accommodations for regular residential purposes. One or more rooms in a structure used as a residence, with the required amenities and utilities to meet the needs of an individual or family (Ahmed, 2019).

• Business building

Offices, banks, professional businesses, and courthouses are all considered to be business buildings since their primary purpose is the conduct of business or the maintenance of books and records. The term "business building" refers to any structure used for commercial, retail, or wholesale operations, as well as service agencies. This list is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, any structure or location used for commercial, retail, or wholesale operations, as well as service agencies, should be considered a business building.

• Multi storey building

The phrase "multi-story building" is used to describe a structure with numerous stories above ground. The term "multi-story" refers to a building with more than four levels. Living in such a building has both benefits and downsides. A multi-story building is a three-dimensional or light-weight steel structure with numerous levels and vertical circulation (Ingle and Mahesh, 2020).

What is the best type or types of contracts she needs for the project?

There are different types of project contract that can be implemented for the current project of four storey building. Following are certain similar contracts for the project:

Contract with a Cost-Plus Subscription

Contractors get compensated for all of their construction-related expenditures when they enter into a cost-plus contract. That's the component of the name that refers to the price. Direct expenditures such as labour, materials, and supplies, among other things, might be included in the total cost. These expenses also include overhead charges, which might include things like insurance, travel, and a percentage of their office rent. In addition, they earn a certain amount of profit on the sale of the product. That is the "advantage." Contractors tend to see this form of building contract as being very favourable in general (Owusu et al., 2019).
Material expenses are unlikely to go above budget, at least for the time being. Furthermore, they are confident in their ability to make a profit. When the scope of the project is unclear or there isn't enough material to produce an accurate estimate, this kind of arrangement is ideal. Quality is also important to them.

Contract for the design and construction of a building

Traditionally, finished drawings are sent to the owners before construction bids are solicited. This results in two different contracts as well as a lengthier overall procedure. When it comes to the design-build contract, things work a little differently. In accordance with its name, a design-build contract tackles both the design and building expenses at the same time. According to this sort of contract, the building process really starts before the final design has been finalised and approved. To save both time and cash, the owner benefits from this method since the civil and structural projects are delivered under the same contract. It also assists in the simplification of contacts and the establishment of repeatable processes (Kim et al., 2020).

With the design-build contract, architects and contractors are able to work together more quickly and prevent disputes. Companies who want to expedite project delivery, take advantage of the advantages of collaboration, and simplify procedures are embracing it in increasing numbers. As a result, designers have more involvement into the building drawing process, which reduces the need for revisions (Oswald et al., 2019).

Will she need to employ an engineer? If so, what will be the Engineer’s role?

Yes, she will need to employ an engineer for the construction project of four storey building. Among civil engineers' most important responsibilities is their work on architectural projects as well as the improvement of building infrastructure. They assist in the development of systems surrounding the facility in order to address site problems related to utilities and guarantee that the project is viable. Because of the wide range of skills and knowledge they possess, they are able to create building designs from the ground up and supervise their implementation as they see proper. In such cases, they assume responsibility and work in collaboration with physical labour and other engineers who are in charge of the technical procedures associated with the project (Heigermoser et al., 2019).

It is expected by the customers who employ contractors for tasks that they would include environmentally friendly and energy-efficient elements into their freshly built structures. It is at this point that energy engineers come into the open and offer other techniques of generating electricity for buildings to those now in use. In order to satisfy these needs, they include alternative energy sources, such as solar energy, into their designs.

This not only makes the structure more energy efficient, but it also helps to reduce the rising cost of utilities. Because of this, the construction becomes more valuable, making it a highly sought-after project. Additionally, the cooling and circulation of buildings are two other utility difficulties that have arisen throughout these development projects (Karimi et al., 2018). Mechanical engineers are responsible for installing these HVAC systems as early in the design process as possible to guarantee the safety of the building's occupants. They also, as previously said, help to enhance the quality of the money spent on its energy requirements.
Residents are at danger of inhaling toxic chemicals and contracting serious diseases or mutations if they do not have access to these services. In addition, if a building does not have a functional ventilation system, the State Board of Health may impose a punishment on the owner. As a result, it is no longer a question of choice, but rather a requirement for contractors to take into consideration (Wei et al., 2019).

Will she need a liquidated damages clause and if so, can you provide her with a sample of a good clause she can use?

Arbitration clauses contain a provision for liquidated damages in the event that a party breaches the contract. Liquidated damages are often based on the company's inability to fulfill identified objectives if the project does not meet the completion date stated in the agreement (i.e. handing over the site to the customer). It is common to utilise daily or weekly rates in their calculation. It's important to note that liquidated damages are not fines; rather, they're a pre-determined amount of money due to the customer if the contractor misses the completion date. Temporary housing fees, moving expenses, and the like are all examples. Fixed daily or weekly sums, however more complex equations may be used if the job is phased, where there is partial ownership, and so on. It is critical that the calculating process be described in detail and in a formal manner (Sun et al., 2019).

Clients may sue for unliquidated (reality) damages if their actual losses vary significantly from those anticipated at the moment of the agreement's signing, unless the provisions of the contract specifically specify otherwise. These damages are not pre-agreed upon, and are normally assessed by the courts in the event of a lawsuit since liquidated damages are not a punishment, they must have been established based on an accurate assessment of losses. They may be seen as a punishment by the courts and so unlawful, although this is rare since courts are very hesitant to meddle in financial agreements made freely by two business parties of comparable standing (Martinez et al., 2020).

Will she be able to request a variation to the project once the construction has commenced? If so, what are her rights and obligations in case of a variation?

As soon as building has begun, she might seek a change in scope. Due to the fact that her rights and responsibilities in the event of a variance are significant, she will be in a better position to handle it. On the other hand, the construction will be acknowledged as a part of the project and thus, it will be easy for the development of the construction. Once the project is started it will become easier for the project manager to focus on the successful execution of the business objectives in order to complete a project on time and achieve all the goals (Mohandes and Zhang, 2021).

On the other hand, the rights and obligations in the case of variation will also be focused towards the completion of the project through which the activities of the development of the four-storey building can be easily made and it can be made as per the construction law. Moreover, the laws will also be focus in order to determine the execution of the construction activities and it will be commenced as a part of the variation to the project (Owusu et al., 2019).

How can she ensure that her construction project is Covid-19 safe?

It was addressed at a recent RICS webinar entitled COVID-19: influence on the building sector, which brought together specialists in the construction industry as well as company owners, managers, and legal representatives. Personal protective clothing, cabins spaced wider apart than normal, delayed start times, additional washing sites, and the establishment of a social distancing coordinator post were all recommended as possible practical solutions.

While dealing with the COVID-19 situation, it has become clear that trust is one of the most critical factors of success. Creating a professional atmosphere that encourages unity and trust allows for the development of reaction plans and procedures that safeguard staff and customers. However, the process of creating that culture begins at the very top (Townsend and Gershon, 2020). In order to be effective, executives must include the whole firm and provide help to people working on the ground. All participants must listen attentively and clearly explain their goals, their openness, and their expectations for the scenario, as well as what they think will or won't work. When everyone is on the same page, it is easy to create a consistent culture and a site response plan that reduces the risk of COVID-19 contamination for company employees, trade partners, customers, and the general public. For safety and compliance reasons, it's a good beginning step.

Communication is essential for every construction firm, and this is truer more than ever. It is essential to maintain open lines of communication between company project management team, trade partners, and customers. Even when staff are present on-site, meetings may be conducted by video or teleconferencing. If meetings must be done in person, make sure they are held in a space large enough to allow for six feet of distance, or consider conducting them outdoors if the weather permits (Lotfi et al., 2022).


From the analysis of the above report, it is concluded that contract with a cost plus subscription is the best type of contract for the current project and designing all construction activities implemented photo development of the apartment. On the other hand, it is concluded that role of engineer is very important in the construction project and it must be focus on the basis of liquidated damages clause.


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