A number of construction contracts are expected to be updated this year: here's a brief round-up.

NEC4 is on its way

The next generation of NEC contracts – the NEC4 suite – is due to be launched on 22 June 2017 at the NEC Users' Group Annual Seminar 2017. Click here for a summary of the key features.

FIDIC – a new White Book and other new editions expected

The FIDIC suite of contracts published in 1999 includes: the Red Book (works designed by the employer), the Yellow Book (design and build), the Silver Book (turnkey projects) and the Green Book (short form). The White Book (client consultant model services) was published later in 2006 and the Gold Book (design, build, operate) in 2008.

A FIDIC working group had been updating this suite of contracts and FIDIC has recently published:

  • the fifth edition of its Client/Consultant Model Services Agreement (White Book 2017);
  • the Sub-Consultancy Agreement (second edition) (for use where a consultant appointed under the White Book wants to sub-contract part of the services); and
  • the Model Joint Venture (Consortium) Agreement (second edition) (for use where an unincorporated joint venture acts as the consultant under the White Book).

The 2nd editions of the Yellow, Red and Silver Books are expected to be published later this year. The anticipated changes to the new Yellow Book (YB2), which is essentially a lump sum contract under which the contractor designs and takes risk for quantities, could double the size of the contract and are expected to focus on the proactive management of projects, dispute avoidance, risk allocation, initial programming, an enhanced role for the engineer to act neutrally and the development of the role of the Dispute Avoidance/Adjudication Board (DAB).

We will have to wait and see what the final version looks like but the changes to the Yellow Book are likely to be reflected in the Red and Silver Books as well as the other FIDIC standard forms in due course.

JCT – new contracts

Following the December 2016 release of the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Intermediate Building Contract suite, the following JCT standard forms were released on 30 March 2017:

ACE schedules of services

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has now published the remaining schedules of services to be used with the Professional Services Agreement (PSA) and the Sub-Consultancy Agreement (SCA) including the ACE Schedule of Services Civil and Structural Engineering, Lead Consultant and the ACE Schedule of Services Civil and Structural Engineering, Single Consultant or Non-lead Consultant.

The new ACE Agreements 2017 "were designed to address many of the issues we are seeing as industry practices evolve, as well as account for new Government initiatives such as good payment practice, collaboration, risk management, BIM, dispute resolution and soft landing initiatives" (Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, Chief Executive of ACE).

For the ACE publishing catalogue, click here.