- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 07 Nov 2017
Prime cost in construction contracts
In general terms, the ‘prime cost’ is the sum of the direct cost of materials and labour associated with a production process. It is the direct cost of the inputs to a process that are necessary to create the output. If the prime cost can be lowered, the process may become more profitable.
In construction, the term ‘prime cost sum’ (PC sum) is an allowance for the supply of labour, plant and materials to be provided by a contractor or supplier that will be nominated by the client. The allowance is exclusive of any profit mark up or attendance (such as material handling, scaffolding and rubbish clearance etc) by the main contractor. See prime cost sum for more information.
Prime cost contracts (sometimes referred to as cost plus contracts or cost reimbursement contracts) are contracts in which the contractor is paid the prime cost (the actual cost of labour, plant and materials) and a fee for profit and overheads.
Prime cost contracts are used where an early or immediate start on site is required even though design information is not complete, for example for urgent alteration or repair work. See Prime cost contract for more information.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The new NEC4 contract creates a true procurement alliance arrangement for all stakeholders.
Andrew Strauss talks about performance and team building at the 2018 BSRIA Briefing.
Applications have to be in by the end of the week.
Reflections on the 5th Annual Global Congress of Knowledge Economy, held in Qingdao, China.
An artist finds ruined and decaying buildings a source of inspiration for his work. Book review.
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.