Retaining Wall Design Contracts

By Joe Kowalski
Dec 13, 2013 - 12:22:02 PM

Obviously, retaining wall design involves contracts.  These contracts between the Engineer and the Client are important.  Does the contract benefit both parties?  Is using contracts a win-win? 

Contracts are important to:

1.    Memorialize everyone's understanding of each party's roles and responsibilities;

2.    Reach a mutual understanding of the project requirements;

3.    Establish the rules to which the parties will adhere; and,

4.    To identify and allocate risk fairly.

 A good contract fairly allocates reasonable risk to both parties, based on the benefits of the project to each party.

Here's an example of fair allocation of reasonable risk:  when the contract includes a Limitation of Liability for the Engineer.  Why, you might ask, am I limiting the Engineer's liability and how is that fair?

Well, here's how it is fair:  The Engineer doesn't demand an Unlimited Fee.  With an unlimited fee comes unlimited liability.  With a limited fee there is limited liability.

Sounds fair to me.  What do you think?