Green v GW Integrated BUilding Services Ltd
The work carried out under the contract for the supply and fitting of flooring cover in the form of vinyl and carpets in a hospital which was being refurbished was the 'installation in any building ' of fittings forming part of land within the meaning of section 105(1)(c) and therefore constituted 'construction operations' within the meaning of that section
18 July, 2001
The contract was for the supply and fitting of flooring cover in the form of vinyl and carpets in a hospital which was being refurbished. A dispute arose with regard to the non-payment or late payment of certain invoices submitted by the contractor to the employer. An adjudicator was appointed who decided in favour of the contractor. The employer refused to make payment in accordance with the decision. The contractor brought court proceedings to enforce the decision. The employer defended the proceedings on various grounds. The employer's first ground of defence was that the contract was not a ?construction contract? within the meaning of the Construction Act 1996. Section 104(1) provides that a ?construction contract? means an agreement for the carrying out of ?construction operations.? Section 105(1) provides that ?construction operations? means operations of the kinds specified in that section. Section 105(1)(c) provides that one such ?construction operation? is the installation in any building or structure of fittings forming part of the land, including (without predjudice to the foregoing) systems of heating etc. The employer contended that the contract related to the laying of carpets and did not amount to a construction contract within the meaning of section 104. Further the definition of ?construction operation? did not fall within the definition contained in section 105. Deputy District Judge Grannum rejected the employer's contention. He held that the works carried out by the contractor were the ?installation in any building ? of fittings forming part of land within the meaning of section 105(1)(c) and were therefore ?construction operations? within the meaning of that section. It followed that as the contractor carried out ?construction operations? under the contract, the contract was a ?construction contract? as defined in section 104. Advice Note Deputy District Judge Grannum in his judgment held that the supply and fitting of floor coverings constituted a ?fitting forming part of land? for the purposes of determining whether particular work operations constitute ?construction operations? under the Construction Act 1996.