Winning a weather claim
At CECA Scotland’s recent Environment Forum, Paul Adderley, Managing Director of Beyond Green and Karen Oglivy, a Director of Castle Group Scotland, delivered a presentation sharing their experience of winning a successful weather claim.
We hope sharing this case study in a blog will be of assistance to CECA Scotland members and we would welcome any feedback
Weather claims are tricky to win as contractors must deliver concrete evidence with strong record keeping. Even when the correct evidence is produced, contractors still may not be entitled to claim loss and expense. However, weather claims don’t have to be costly, as Castle Group Scotland recently found out.
Castle Group Scotland are award winning civil engineers specialising in complex projects around sensitive areas such as water.
Beyond Green are a group of sustainability consultants, who go one step beyond to support businesses resource efficiency and improve their measurable contribution to a sustainable world. By working together for more than ten years, Beyond Green and Castle Group Scotland have created a strong one team approach. The one team approach began with helping Castle Group Scotland integrate an Environmental Management System (EMS) within their construction practices. Now the EMS delivers beyond compliance results, with a 93.5% waste diverted from landfill for 2017, contributing to numerous awards such as VIBES and the Carbon Trust.
Castle Group Scotland were completing concrete repairs on the A87 Lusa New Culvert on the Isle of Skye. To minimize the risk of environmental pollution from discharging cement-based materials in a fresh water channel, work was restricted to water levels less than 400mm.
However, on numerous occasions the Castle Group Scotland team recorded exceptionally high-water levels, exceeding two metres. These water levels restricted work on the culvert, causing unexpected delays to the programme with increased costs falling on Castle Group Scotland.
Weather claims have a reputation for being difficult to prove, therefore Castle Group Scotland were hesitant to put together a weather claim as they are usually costly with limited success.
Leaning on a combined knowledge of environmental systems and assurance expertise, Beyond Green accessed three publicly available datasets to establish a reliable rainfall baseline. The project period data was analysed and correlated to site activity. This showed a 70% increase in the average monthly rainfall from a 2001-2016 baseline and correlated to a 41% rise in river levels.
Beyond Green delivered a relevant, reliable, and readable report that allowed Castle Group Scotland to confidently pursue a weather claim. The report was found to be critical to the commercial claim, delivering a full recovery of the claim value. By creating a cost-effective report, Beyond Green’s services gave 50 times return on investment for Castle Group Scotland.
Climate change events such as unexpected flooding is becoming increasingly more common on construction sites. By taking a pragmatic approach to risk assessments, contractors can mitigate these risks by doing research beforehand and being prepared. In the future, integrating the potential of climate change impacts into bidding for projects can help eliminate surprise conditions once on site.
Castle Group Scotland have now incorporated looking for climate change related risks (such as flooding) into their project risk assessment process.