- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Jul 2019
Fluctuations in construction contracts
Fluctuations provisions in construction contracts provide a mechanism for dealing with the effects of inflation, which on large projects lasting several years can be very significant. On smaller projects, the contractor will be expected to take inflation into account when calculating their price (a firm price). On larger projects, the contractor may be asked to tender based on current prices (prices at an agreed base date) and then the contract makes provisions for the contractor to be reimbursed for price changes to specified items over the duration of the project (a fluctuating price).
- Changes in taxation.
- Changes in the cost of labour, transport and materials (sometimes referred to as 'escalation').
- Increases in head office or administrative costs.
The amount of fluctuations may be calculated from nationally published price indices (for example Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) bulletins or public records) rather than calculating actual cost increases which could be very time consuming.
Payment calculations are then based on a project programme for activity and a payment chart against the programme resulting in a cash flow projection. Quarterly percentage assessments of inflation are then added to the projected figures allowing for price fluctuation.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Base date.
- Cash flow estimate.
- Construction inflation.
- Contract conditions.
- Contract sum.
- Procurement route.
- Tender inflation.
 External references
- Guide to DB05, Sarah Lupton, p101. Available from RIBA bookshop.
- Architect's Legal Handbook, Ninth edition, Anthony Speaight and Gregory Stone, Architectural Press 2010, Page 200. Available from RIBA bookshop.
- Estimating and Tendering for Construction Work, Martin Brook, Third Edition, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, 2004, P185. Available from RICS books.
Featured articles and news
1 minute read.
An alternative to secondary ventilation stacks in tall buildings.
How to deliver the infrastructure the country needs.
Protecting employees from hearing damage.
One of the largest office buildings in the world.
Who holds the risk for COVID-19?
Insights from New York.
A quick introduction to a very complicated subject.
CIOB suggests the economic reach of construction is double the official figures.
The first US building to achieve BREEAM Outstanding In-Use.
70 buildings from 70 years of Concrete Quarterly. Book review.