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New RICS guidance to assess completion of construction projects

The RICS has launched new guidance to help construction firms and their clients assess whether construction works are completed to the required standard.

The guidance, titled Defining Completion on Construction Works, looks in detail at the completion of construction projects and enables surveyors to establish whether works are finished to a contractually acceptable standard. This new document is aimed at surveyors certifying the payment and completion of works, analysing delays, advising on financial and legal matters or addressing any issues or disputes involved in the contract.

The question of whether or not a project is completed is not always straightforward. Clients may put pressure on the parties to a contract to hand over a construction project even though the works are not finished. There are also occasions where circumstances may have changed - for example the client may have lost a tenant - and there is a will to delay handover for as long as possible.

Where surveyors are certifying completion of works, they are required to use reasonable means to satisfy themselves that the works are free from all but very minor defects and to identify any defects that do exist. They must also assess the scope and potential disruption that could be caused by remedial works if handover takes place before defects are rectified.

According to Alan Muse, RICS Director of QS & Construction, “Assessing the completion of construction projects is rarely a scientific or purely logical process, but requires a degree of evaluation. The question to be asked is not 'are the works finished?', but rather 'are the works finished to a standard that can be reasonably expected of a competent contractor as required by the contract terms?’”

Defining Completion on Construction Works provides surveyors with advice and best practice on the contractual, financial and legal issues involved, as well as assessing what precisely is meant by ‘completion’ under a range of contracts.

For more information and to download a copy of the guidance, go to www.rics.org

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