Construction projects and planning contracts in times of Corona

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Video presentation with Dr. Sebastian Schattenfroh, legal advisor of the bdla

The Corona virus is keeping the world in suspense. Social life is at a standstill, and the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic are increasingly being felt in the economy. In the construction industry, in addition to liquidity bottlenecks on the part of clients and contractors, there could be difficulties in particular with material deliveries or manpower due to quarantine measures. Contractually agreed deadlines cannot be met. What legal consequences can these disruptions in the construction process have?

Dr. Schattenfroh, specialist lawyer for construction and architectural law and specialist lawyer for public procurement law, dealt with this problem and the topic "Construction projects and planning contracts in times of Corona" in a video presentation for the members of the bdla.

Online lecture by Dr. Sebastian Schattenfroh

Dr. Sebastian Schattenfroh, legal counsel of the bdla, advises "especially where serious cuts in the planning or construction process are imminent (shutdown of construction sites), to look for negotiated solutions in advance in the form of adjustment agreements, in which the effects on deadlines and costs are regulated as amicably as possible."

In his estimation, original corona-related disruptions "will usually have to be classified as force majeure. The legal consequences are varied, but guided by the principle that no party to a contract should suffer an advantage or disadvantage in the event of force majeure." However, Corona is not a clean bill of health, he said, and it always depends on the individual case. In the case of new contracts, he said, no one can invoke force majeure because it is a known fact. New contracts should be adapted accordingly, e.g. by clauses on possible delays in construction.

General and legal information on coronavirus at

"Freelancers are part of the growing economic sector. The profession of landscape architects has participated in this. From the point of view of the Corona crisis threatens a throttled growth, stagnation, even a slump in our orders," explains Till Rehwaldt, bdla President.

The immediate measures decided by the Federal Government are to be welcomed, serve nevertheless the safety device of the economic existence of the applicants and the bridging of acute liquidity bottlenecks.

Till Rehwaldt

"Legal decrees such as those on construction contract issues from the Federal Ministry of the Interior give us some of the planning security we were used to working with," says Rehwaldt.

In order to support its members in these healthwise like economically uncertain times, the bdla on its web page useful and resuming information to the crisis management arranged clearly approximately around the Coronavirus for landscape architects. Included are tips from the federal and state chambers of architects as well as the federal government's emergency measures of up to 50 billion euros for small businesses, solo self-employed professionals and members of the liberal professions.

Federation of German Landscape Architects bdla
Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg 6, 10179 Berlin
Tel. 030 27 87 15-0, Fax 030 27 87 15-55
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