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“Backpocket” Differing Site Condition Check List
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“Backpocket” Differing Site Condition Check List

dewatering operations

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A Follow-up from Mark J. Rice’s Article ‘Differing Site Conditions’ Issue 30-1. Adapted from Federal Acquisition Regulations, 32.236-2 of FAR.


A type I condition requires that a subsurface condition was encountered which differed materially from what was indicated in the contract documents.

The contract documents must contain some indication of conditions to be expected and the actual conditions must vary from that indication.

Express Indications: Boring locations, ground elevations, logs, subsurface investigation reports, ground water levels, foundation investigation reports.

General Design Indications: Inferences that can reasonably be made from reading the plans and specifications.


What are the Contract “Notice of Claim Deadlines and what must be submitted when?

What information did the owner and his representative gather for design of the project?

What information did the owner and his representatives present in the plans, specifications & estimates package and other information made available to bidders, during project solicitation and at the prebid meeting?

Document any non-disclosed items and assess any impact on the claimed differing sire condition.

Review actual subsurface conditions at the project site. Record actual conditions by photographs, notes and/or video methods. Document the exhibits to validate the work…

Make comparison and document any differences.

Consider the following items in making a decision on a DSC “Differing Site Condition”.

A. Are soils and/or rock types materially different?

B. Are soils and/or rock physical properties different?

C. Are ground water levels materially different?

D. Are ground elevations materially different?

E. Should the contractor have recognized the condition during a field inspection?

F. Did the contractor provide timely notice?

G. Did the owner respond to the condition notice and was the condition exposed during the inspection?

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