Last edited 20 Jul 2016

Construction contract

This article refers to the contract for the main contractor to construct the works (and on some contracts also to design, operate and finance the project). For agreements for the appointment of consultants, independent client advisers, site inspectorate, project managers, client representatives etc see the article on appointing consultants.


[edit] Introduction

The classic nineteenth century definition of a contract is 'a promise or set of promises which the law will enforce' (Pollock, Principles of Contract 13th edition). That is to say, there is reciprocity of undertaking passing between the promisor and the promisee. In contract, the rights and obligations are created by the acts of agreement between the parties to the contractual arrangement.

In the procurement of construction, contracts are:

  • Standard forms
  • Modified standard forms
  • Bespoke.

[edit] Standard forms of contract in common use for construction in the UK.

[edit] JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal)

NB the JCT traditional forms of contract remain by far the most popular forms of contract in the UK (ref nbs: National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2012).

[edit] ACA (The Association of Consultant Architects).

[edit] Chartered Institute of Building

[edit] FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils).

FIDIC's core suite of contracts includes:

[edit] NEC (The New Engineering Contract): Engineering and Construction Contract).

For more information see NEC3.

[edit] Other forms of contract

Other less commonly used forms of contract include:

[edit] Contract conditions

Contract conditions set out the principal legal relationship between the parties to a construction project, determining the allocation of risk and consequently, price.

See: Contract conditions for more information.

[edit] Building information modelling (BIM)

The adoption of building information modelling (BIM) on a project requires the definition of specific obligations and liabilities, and limitations must be placed on the agreed use of the model. This is generally achieved by adopting a BIM protocol. BIM protocols can be incorporated into contract documents by the addition of a model enabling amendment such as that proposed in the CIC BIM protocol.

[edit] Modified standard forms of contract

See: Modifying clauses in standard forms of contract.

[edit] Bespoke contracts

24% of respondents to the nb National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2012 indicated that they use purpose-written bespoke contracts. Not only is this considered inadvisable because of the risk that bespoke contracts may not adequately or fairly make provision for all circumstances, and that they are not supported by a history of case law, but it is also a poor reflection of how inflexible and ineffective the industry perceives many of the standard forms of contract to be.

[edit] Notes

NB The first stage appointment of a two-stage procurement process might be made using a separate pre-construction services agreement (PCA or PCSA), sometimes called early works agreements, rather than under the provisions of the main, second-stage contract.

For a detailed description of the tender process for appointing the main contractor see the free work plan stages:

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references