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Hoffman Construction Co. v. United States

January 22, 1999

HOFFMAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OF OREGON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Before Newman, Lourie, and Clevenger, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam.

Hoffman Construction Company, on behalf of its subcontractor W.A. Botting Company, filed suit on six claims arising from a contract between the government and Hoffman for the remodeling of the Old Bonneville Power Administration Building in Portland, Oregon. The Court of Federal Claims denied each claim. *fn1 The decision is affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part.

I.

Hoffman claims that the contract did not require it to remove certain concealed ductwork and surrounding insulation. *fn2 Hoffman removed the disputed ductwork at the direction of the agency, and now seeks adjustment. Hoffman argues that since the disputed ductwork was not shown and marked for removal on the "Contract Drawings," its removal was a "changed condition."

The Contract Drawings are described in the contract requirements clause as follows:

"GENERAL"

"Requirements of the contract include the Contractor furnishing all labor and materials and performing all work for [BPA Building renovation] including all demolition, asbestos abatement, renovation changes, and Contract Drawings."

The contract then contains, under the heading "Contract Drawings," a list and description of over 150 drawings. The Contract Drawings are organized into subsections labeled "Architectural," "Structural," "Mechanical," "Electrical," etc. Contract Drawings are marked with an "X" to indicate items to be removed. Some ductwork is shown to be removed, and some is not.

Following the several pages listing the Contract Drawings is the heading "Information Drawings," as follows:

"Information Drawings: A set of the original building construction drawings and a set of the major HVAC renovation drawings will be available for review during the bidding period. The drawings will be available at the BPA Federal Building, [address]. Please contact [name] to make an appointment for their review."

No specific drawings are listed, or referred to anywhere in the contract. This is the only mention in the contract of "Information Drawings."

Thus the Contract Drawings show certain ductwork marked for removal. The additional ductwork that Hoffman was ordered to remove is shown only in the Information Drawings. The contract does not state that all ductwork, whether or not shown in the Contract Drawings and whether or not marked for removal, is to be removed under the contract. The Information Drawings show not only the additional ductwork at issue, but also other structures not included in the project. This additional ductwork was nine-fold more ductwork than that marked for removal in the Contract Drawings.

Hoffman argues that the removal of additional ductwork is a "changed condition," pursuant to contract specification 01500-1, which provides:

"Concealed mechanical or electrical work may be encountered in work being removed, the existence of which was not indicated in the drawings or could not have been anticipated by visual inspection or by the presence of installed appurtenances. Work of this nature requiring rerouting will be ...


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