A subcontractor replacing bridge expansion joints engaged a cement supplier to supply concrete for the works. In a dispute about the concrete supplied, the subcontractor obtained an adjudication decision in its favour for damages for breach of contract. The concrete supplier resisted enforcement by the court, claiming that their work involved only delivery of the concrete and was therefore not subject to the Construction Act. If installation is involved, as well as delivery, the Act applies but was the pouring of the concrete “installation”? The court did not think that it was necessary for the contract to make specific reference to, or use, the word “installation” but its absence was indicative of the nature of the parties’ contract. It noted that, for example, one does not install bricks, but the delivery of bricks to a site would obviously fall within the exclusion in the Act unless the supplier also did something else, for example, laying the bricks. The word “’installation” (or its equivalent verb) in s.105(2)(d) connoted some work done to the materials after delivery, an interpretation supported by the express wording which frames the exception to the exclusion as one under a contract: “which also provides for their installation”, i.e. the installation of the materials. The very use of the word “also” suggested that something other than delivery was contemplated In this case, in the court’s view, the act of delivery and pouring amounted to the same thing. The pouring was, in these circumstances, part of the delivery and not an additional act of installation involving some work on, or related to, the materials. Nothing in the contract also provided for installation. It was simply the case that, in order for the materials to be delivered to site in the normal way, the concrete would be poured where required, rather than, as would be unusual, placed into some storage facility until it could be poured by someone else. The court therefore refused to grant summary judgment

Universal Sealants (UK) Ltd (t/a USL Bridgecare) v Sanders Plant And Waste Management Ltd [2019] EWHC 2360