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Today in the CoBouw:
Gasless construction in the interim period is a legal hornet's nest: "Doing nothing is not an option"

Gasless building will pose new problems for current construction contracts next year. There is a good chance that the contract will have to be broken in order to switch to gasless.

But who's going to pay for that? With the adjustment to gasless is soon an amount of 15,000 euro per home, but for an office or healthcare institution that amount can be much higher. Major changes within current contracts can also cause losing parties to challenge an award and a project must be re-tendered. A new threat in the area of failed tenders. 

mr. Alexandra Jurgens-Boot and mr. Regina Koning

Koning: “In principle, the adjustment applies to all construction plans for new homes, offices and business premises that are still based on a connection to the natural gas network. All those plans must switch to gasless. The only exceptions are if an environmental permit application has already been submitted before July 1, 2018 or if the project falls under legal_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-1386_bad5cf5d exception.”

Boot: “Contractors, developers and municipalities must see whether their project still falls under the new legislation, the amended Gas Act and cc_het 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_Building Decree 2012, falls en whether that affects agreements already concluded. Who bears the risk in financial sense for any plan adjustments, changes in the work and additional work. Can contractors invoke unforeseen or cost-increasing circumstances?_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_Aanbestedingsrechtelijk moet een aanbestedingsplichtige opdrachtgever opletten met 'wezenlijke wijzigingen', want die noodzaken tot_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- Delays must be avoided for all parties.”

Construction lawyers expect about this many more arbitration and lawsuits: Where are things going wrong?
Koning: “However you look at it, parties must take action in this situation. Preferably before an application for an environmental permit is rejected._cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_It goes wrong if the subject is not on the table and the steps to be taken are not discussed in consultation_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-5d_bad_taken.”


Boot: “Niemand zit te wachten op arbitrages en rechtszaken, maar de gevolgen van de in mijn ogen introduction of the amended Gas Act leiden to lack of clarity. Dat is weer voer voor juristen. Brancheorganisaties zoals Neprom, BouwendNederland, NVB en VNG_cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_kunnen juist nu een waardevolle bijdrage leveren door hier meer aandacht aan te besteden_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_and their members to advise on this, but that is not yet a storm.”

Beiden: “Bij ons zijn er vooralsnog geen concrete zaken bekend en cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_het is also too early for that, right after the construction industry. together, delays and extra costs can be kept to a minimum.”

Boot: “In allerlei overeenkomsten, aannemingsovereenkomsten, Design en Build- en projectontwikkelingsovereenkomsten is bepaald welke partij is responsible for permits, who bears the risk for changes in laws and regulations, but also for changes in the work. The question then is: do we solve the conversion of the construction plan to aardgasloos bouw within the concluded contract, or do we break the contract open.”

Boot: “That depends entirely on the type of agreement and the conditions declared applicable and the market conditions. An example: when steel prices rose unexpectedly in 2004 , the contractors massively invoked cost-increasing circumstances and were reimbursed for additional costs through the courts. That was over with the second wave of price increases, because then the cost increases were foreseeable.”


Koning: “Bouwers tussen wal en schip moeten zo snel mogelijk bepalen of het project überhaupt aardgasloos_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_doorgang kan vinden: is het technisch mogelijk? Op basis daarvan zal dan_cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ it will be decided whether an environmental permit can be applied for or whether a request may first be submitted for application of the exception rule in the Gas Act.”

Koning: “Yes, this is a temporary problem, and it will be for parties if it is addressed in a timely manner and properly. We have developed a step-by-step plan for clients and contractors that can be used as a starting point.”

Boot: “A total approach is required. Not only legally, but especially thinking from the point of cooperation. And that comes from the mouth of two lawyers. Depending on the size of the project, this problem will probably dry up within a year. But the after-effects – the disputes – can linger for much longer.”


Source: Boot Lawyers

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Problems that bother the parties involved, although it seems that many builders are still feeling it not even aware of the new risk. “Doing nothing is not an option. This is a big problem for now.” Lawyers Alexandra Boot and Regina Koning van Boat Lawyers have made a step-by-step plan especially for construction contracts for anyone who is at risk of falling between two stools in the interwar period towards gasless construction. It is a temporary problem, but the lawyers predict problems as delays and high costs as clients and contractors not in time with each other sit around the table.

What problems does gasless building on_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b_building contracts?
How many things are known to you? Are there concrete examples?
Which passages in the contract are the most vulnerable?
Who is most at risk and who pays for the additional costs?
What should builders between shore and ship do now?
Is this problem temporary? When is the problem under control?

Step-by-step plan for gas-free contracts

  1. Check whether the construction project falls under the amended Gas Act and Building Decree

  2. Consider whether it is necessary and possible to make use of the exceptions in the Gas Act

  3. Explore the possibilities and consequences (technical, financial, legal) in the construction plan and contract

  4. If necessary, discuss and negotiate with each other about possible adjustments/changes to the plan and contract

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