Emerald light shines on underground risks (2019) 30 8 Cons.Law 12 [Archived]
Emerald light shines on underground risks (2019) 30 8 Cons.Law 12 [Archived]

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Emerald light shines on underground risks (2019) 30 8 Cons.Law 12 [Archived]
  • Why a bespoke contract is necessary
  • The issues involved
  • A balanced approach to risk allocation or sharing
  • Conclusion

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 1 October 2019.

Nick Barrett, editor of Construction Law, outlines the key aspects of the Emerald Book, a new contract launched by FIDIC specifically for use on projects involving tunnelling or other underground works. Proper risk allocation lies at the heart of its ambition, he reports.

The future of the UK's flagship infrastructure project, the High Speed 2 railway line, is hanging in the balance as original cost estimates prove to be well short of the updated likely final bill.

HS2's future might not be decided one way or the other until the Brexit mess stops dominating political attention, but even after the final go-ahead is given – assuming that it is – a lot of contractual wrangling will remain to be done over what will be a technically challenging project.

National newspapers are beginning to cotton on to the complexities and uncertainties involved in building through variable conditions including old salt mines, chalk, ancient woodlands, with The Financial Times citing unexpected soil conditions as a key reason for 'ballooning' costs on HS2.

Why a bespoke contract is necessary

Uncertainty about conditions underground and how to handle the risk is grappled with by specialist construction companies daily, but there has been no bespoke