- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 Sep 2020
Engineering procurement and construction contract
Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts, sometimes called turnkey contracts are similar to design and build contracts, in that there is a single contract for the design and construction of the project, but generally with an EPC contract, the client has less say over the design of the project and the contractor takes more risk.
On a design and build project, the client may produce an outline design upon which tenders are sought. On an EPC project, the client may seek tenders based on a performance specification and then have no input into the design, other than if variations are instructed.
Payment can be on a lump sum, cost reimbursable basis, or some other basis, but generally the client would be likely to seek a fixed price, lump sum agreement where the responsibility for cost control is taken by the contractor. This gives the client a relatively risk-free arrangement, with one point of responsibility and cost certainty. They can therefore operate the contract with the minimum resource.
The clients main risk lies in the definition of the specification upon which the contract is based. If the specification is not well developed and concise otherwise the quality and performance of the completed development may be compromised (see performance specification and output-based specification for more information)
Generally, EPC contracts are used on engineering and infrastructure projects, or industrial projects, where the aesthetics of design might be considered less important to the client than performance and cost certainty.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Construction contract.
- Contract conditions.
- EPCM contract.
- Output-based specification.
- Performance specification.
- Procurement route.
- Procurement team.
- Reliance data in EPC contracts.
 External references
- Skills Funding Agency: Procurement routes.
- CABE: Procurement routes.
- PACE Guidance on the Appointment of Contractors and Consultants for a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of various procurement routes.
- nbs: National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2012.
Featured articles and news
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.
The pressures and pinch points of global destinations.
Making the case for a sustainable future.
Retrofit professionals now entitled to enter CIOB programme.
How, where, when and why stereotypes happen.
Optimising the best features of both energy performance tools.
BSRIA guidance updated in BG 78/2021 publication.
ISO standard supports crime prevention through environmental design.