Uncertain ground conditions create risk for the construction industry. If understood and then managed appropriately, ground risk can become an opportunity for the industry. One way of using this opportunity is by applying the Observational Method (OM) to managing ground risk. If it is successfully applied to ground engineering design, the result can be added value by savings in construction cost. OM aims to be responsive to changes made during construction, to accommodate unforeseen ground conditions and control the resulting risks. To maximise this benefit of the OM approach, there must be a contractual framework allowing OM to function, and enabling the OM risk takers to gain some benefits too. Within this framework, the success of OM is influenced by contract type, procurement method, payment method, and operating environment. When adopting OM using the contractual approach, the following key provisions are recommended: (1) isolate the OM aspect of the works; (2) allocate the risk and the benefit to the client by a cost-reimbursement contract, and to the contractor by a design-and-build contract; (3) specify construction control and monitoring, performance review, and modification implementing fully; and (4) provide a partnering approach between client and contractor in the contract. For the covering abstract see ITRD E105619.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 47-50

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00796519
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2000 12:00AM