The key to avoiding conflict is to take the appropriate action to mitigate the opportunity for it to arise; principally this is done by setting clear expectations and standards and removing ambiguity.

This starts at the very outset of the project by:

  • establishing roles and responsibilities
  • defining the programme
  • considering and mitigating the risks
  • developing the design information and specifications to fully define the project requirements
  • selecting the appropriate form of procurement and type of contract
  • selection of the contractor
  • monitoring and control of the construction process

However, the financial and time constraints/pressures for both the client and contractor, which are often at opposites with the other parties, makes conflict unavoidable, hence the need for a Building Contract.

If the contract documentation is clearly defined and robust in setting the requirements and roles and responsibilities, rather than causing the conflict, it can become a useful tool for resolving conflict. It is only when there is ambiguity in the contract documentation that the contract causes further conflict.

Ultimately all parties in the construction process, whether they are the client, contractor, architect, project manager or site labourer, are all working towards achieving the same goal; the construction/delivery of the scheme/building with as little pain and aggravation as possible.

If those parties can collectively work collaboratively with each other, that process will be achieved successfully. The key is creating an environment of mutual trust and understanding. At Modus, we pride ourselves on our ability to be able to build strong relationships with our client and contractor teams and act as the cornerstone between those parties. We believe that this is achieved by providing sound, impartial advice, treating both parties fairly and reasonably and by acting with integrity. Taking this approach has shown that even in the most difficult of conflicts, Modus are able to navigate and negotiate a resolution with a positive outcome.