The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has now launched the 2016 Design and Build Contract form. It follows on the tails of the release in June of the 2016 editions of the Minor Works Building Contract and the Short Form Subcontracts in July 2016. To coincide with the launch of the 2016 Design and Build Contract, back-to-back changes have also been made in relation to the Design and Build Subcontract Agreement and Conditions Forms.

Key changes to the Design and Build Contract form include the incorporation of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, previously dealt with in the March 2015 Amendment 1 to the 2011 form).

Current industry practice is also reflected in the new edition with reference to the BIM protocol and the removal of the JCT fluctuations options B and C (though these options are still accessible on the JCT website). A notable change that reflects current market practice is cross-referencing to forms of performance bond and parent company guarantee as well as the use of collateral warranties. Industry practice has also seemingly dictated the amendments to the insurance provisions which have been consolidated. Notably, the latest form includes provision for a ‘C.1 Replacement Schedule’, to allow flexibility for the insurance of existing structures, particularly where the employer is not necessarily the owner of the existing structure or building.

The Design and Build 2016 form of contract also amends the payment provisions under section 4, with the objective of making the Construction Act notice requirements clearer. One such change is the introduction of defined ‘Interim Valuation Dates’.

There will be a transitional period before all projects using the new 2016 forms. Many projects currently being tendered and that will be tendered in the course of this year will still proceed on the basis of the 2011 forms (with the March 2015 Amendment 1). However, during this period consideration should be given to these key changes and thought be given to:

· where you are the employer, updating your current schedules of amendments to reflect these key changes; and

· where you are the contractor or subcontractor, reviewing your terms and conditions - particularly to reflect payment changes in the Design and Build 2016 form.