Standard General Conditions for Construction Contracts Employing Trenchless Technology
Preface to Second Edition of Standard General Conditions for Construction Contracts Employing Trenchless Technology
IndSTT released the first edition of “Standard General Conditions for Construction Contracts Employing Trenchless Technology” having three volumes in 2002. Though Volume 3 of the Schedule of Rates for Construction Contracts Employing Trenchless Technology, has since been revised annually, other volumes providing the conditions were not revised. With the passage of time and technological advancement, revision has become necessary. An in-depth revision of both the volumes was undertaken recently and the result is now in your hands.
During the revision several major changes have been made in the documents. To retain the basic structure, coverage of each volume is kept similar, i.e. Volume 1 focuses on the general conditions of contract including the prequalification requirements for trenchless technology contracts. Volume 2 focuses on the special conditions of contract specific for trenchless works and Volume 3 addresses establishment of rate schedules for trenchless & allied items of works.
The traditional definition of ‘trenchless technologies’ is: “those methods or systems that allow the renewal, replacement or new installation of pipeline infrastructure eliminating the need for open-trench construction or any large scale excavation”
Using trenchless techniques reduces the impact of pipelaying and replacement work associated with open-cut construction techniques. Trenchless obviously represents enormous technological development within the subsurface construction sector. However this development has had very little impact on the way projects are executed within the sector. Most of the contracts are modeled on the structures similar to general civil construction works with the sometime untenable conditions leading to major confusions. For an example, if a project requires microtunneling & pipejacking works, the qualifying condition stipulated for such type of works when modeled on general civil works would require the bidder to have experience of similar type of works with the lower limits of 60% of the project requirements. For 60% financial requirement several bidders may qualify but qualifying technically would be difficult. Another factor having major impact is the equipment size as one size may not be suitable for the project in question. There are several other important issues that may limit the qualifications of the bidder. One, therefore, has to address these issues and related concerns before seeking bidders’ proposals. The present document attempts to provide a framework for engineers to establish the contract conditions.
Volume 2 of the series provides details about special conditions that may be required before finalizing any bid document for Trenchless construction projects. Usage of this volume in conjunction with Volume 1 will help to remove uncertainties about trenchless projects to a great extent.
One of the primary concerns at the time of planning a project is the cost valuation. Unless the project planning engineer provides the background of estimated project cost, no financial decision can be taken. On the other hand, trenchless technology operations, being state-of-art, will never have exactly the same input item works. For an example, if the depth of installation of two projects of same diameter pipes is different, cost of pumping the slurry for each will be different. Estimates in both the cases would differ. Unfortunately, the project design activities at estimation stage are not being done. So how does one work out the estimated costs? It is only possible if we evaluate the historical data through sound engineering work practices and schedule the possible rates of different activities. Such schedule is presented to the reader in Volume 3 of the series.
Though the techniques for installation, removal and renovation of pipes and cables remained uniform for a long time, the process of development and integration has now quickened with the enhanced market demand for trenchless services. We invite the readers to provide us their inputs for the future revision in due course.