The last few years has seen much written about the impact new technologies will have on the construction industry. Their implementation paves the path for streamlining workflows, reducing labour and improving the monitoring of work progress. The anticipated consequences of such developments is the delivery of projects quicker, cheaper and more safely without compromising quality. How this technology might affect the practice of construction lawyers has, however, received less attention. This paper seeks to go some way towards filling this lacuna by examining the role these technologies will foreseeably play in generating evidence relevant to claims and disputes typically arising on construction sites. It does so in three broad parts.
First, three of the most common construction claims, being claims for (i) extensions of time and prolongation costs; (ii) latent conditions; and (iii) variations — are outlined and the typical issues which arise and current methodologies employed to marshal evidence in respect of each explained.
Second, a number of nascent technologies currently available and being utilised (to varying degrees) by the construction market are identified. Their application (or predicted application) in assisting with gathering evidence is then analysed. The third part offers suggestions on what the foregoing may mean for the future conduct of managing claims and disputes.
Here, we present a brief overview of selected, non-exhaustive issues for nominated technologies which may arise as their prevalence on project sites increases.