NBS National BIM Report 2017

The NBS has published its annual NBS National BIM (Building Information Modelling) Report. The 2017 Report is now in its seventh edition.

The headline statistics make interesting reading. Awareness of BIM is now near-universal and 62% of practices are using BIM on some projects. 78% see BIM as the future of project information. However, although 65% of respondents said BIM can bring real benefit beyond the design stages, 72% believed clients don't understand these benefits.

The Government hopes that BIM will help in delivering projects for lower cost, more rapidly, with fewer greenhouse emissions and a better trade balance for construction projects. Although 51% of respondents think that the government is on the right track with BIM a majority thought the government was failing to enforce the mandate to use Level 2 BIM which came into effect from April 2016.

The survey shows that once BIM is adopted it usually becomes the design methodology of choice. Although, there is still work to do in education and training, the survey shows that more than three quarters of organisations who have adopted BIM are at or beyond the level required by the BIM mandate; 7% of respondents were at BIM Level 3.

Enterprise Act 2016

The Enterprise Act 2016 came into force on 4 May 2017 introducing amendments to the Insurance Act 2015. In summary, ss13A and 16A of the Insurance Act 2015 introduce into every contract of insurance an implied term requiring the insurer to pay sums due within a reasonable time. Failure to do so entitles the insured to remedies including damages.

While the allegations may very rarely have any substance, the likelihood is that insurers will now face claims for late payment, with policyholders and their advisers tagging them onto most coverage disputes to bolster their negotiating strategy.

Apprenticeship Levy

From 6 April 2017, all employers with a "pay bill" exceeding £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy. The rate of the levy will be 0.5% of the pay bill for a tax year less an annual allowance of £15,000. It will be payable by employers monthly through PAYE, alongside income tax and NICs.

The apprenticeship levy is intended to 'significantly increase the quantity and quality of apprenticeships in England' by creating an apprenticeships fund that each employer can then access to meet its individual needs. Employers who pay the levy can access funding for apprenticeships through a digital account.

It has been estimated by the government that less than 2% of employers will actually be liable to pay the levy.

New Standard Form contracts

New editions of standard form contracts seem to be all the rage.

The NEC have announced that they are publishing their NEC4 suite of contracts on 22 June 2017. NEC describe NEC4 as "an evolution on NEC3". The changes included are said to provide the following benefits:

  • streamlined processes and updated definitions;

  • improved contract administration and reduction in administration costs;

  • greater clarity;

  • provision for building information modelling (BIM) and early contractor involvement; and

  • improved risk opportunity and risk management.

Two brand new contracts have been added to the suite – NEC4 Design, Build and Operate Contract (DBO) and NEC4 Alliance Contract (ALC).

New editions of the FIDIC Yellow, Red and Silver Books are also expected later this year.

Earlier this year, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) released 2017 editions of its ACE Professional Services Agreement and Sub-Consultancy Agreement, with accompanying schedules of services.

The Joint Contracts Tribunal has now completed the roll out of the 2016 edition of its suite of contracts, although the Construction Management Contract 2016 Edition (CM/A 2016), the Construction Management Trade Contract 2016 Edition (CM/TC 2016) and Management Building Contract 2016 Edition (MC 2016) will not be dispatched until 30 June 2017. The JCT 2011 Edition will now start to be withdrawn. The JCT Project Bank Account Documentation 2016 is available for free download on the JCT website.

New Delay and Disruption Protocol

In February 2017, the Society of Construction Law (SCL) published the second edition of its Delay and Disruption Protocol. The Protocol exists to provide guidance to all parties to the construction process when determining extensions of time and compensation for delay and disruption