1.1 The nature of civil engineering work
Virtually all civil engineering structures are unique. They have to be designed for some specific purpose at some specific location before they can be constructed and put to use. Consequently the completion of any civil engineering project involves five stages of activity which comprise the following:
1. Defining the location and nature of the proposed works and the quality
and magnitude of the service they are to provide.
2. Obtaining any powers and permissions necessary to construct the works.
3. Designing the works and estimating their probable cost.
4. Constructing the works.
5. Testing the works as constructed and putting them into operation.
There are inherent risks arising in this process because the design, and therefore the estimated cost of the works, is based on assumptions that may later
have to be altered. The cost can be affected by the weather during construction and the nature of the ground or groundwater conditions encountered. Also the promoter may need to alter the works design to include the latest technical developments, or meet the latest changes in his requirements, so that he does not get works that are already out-of-date when completed. All these risks and unforeseen requirements that may have to be met can involve additional expenditure; so the problem that arises is – who is to shoulder such additional costs