Standard conditions of contract

Over a period of many years there have been a large number of standard forms of conditions of contract introduced. Sometimes these have been developed by particular industries or specialist suppliers, but conditions for more general use have been developed by the major engineering and building institutions, as well as by government and allied organizations. Use of these standard conditions is beneficial because they are familiar to contractors, give greater certainty in operation, and reduce the parties exposure to risk. Such conditions are often produced by co-operation between contractors and employers organizations, with the advice of engineers and other professionals experienced in construction.
The documents thus drawn up give a reasonable balance of risk between the parties. However, their clauses are often interdependent, hence any alteration of them must be done with care, and is generally inadvisable because it may introduce uncertainties of interpretation. The main standard conditions used for civil engineering projects are listed below, with an indication of their main provisions.

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