- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 Feb 2018
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.
 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
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.
An overlooked architect who deserves to be celebrated for his wide range of buildings.
The Home Quality Mark ONE technical manuals for new homes are now available.
Read our introductory article to 'Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning' (HVAC) in buildings.
BIG's first of two twisting towers in Manhattan tops out.
Is data an untapped goldmine for productivity? How the infrastructure sector can capitalise on the opportunity.