There are many different ways for construction procurement projects to be realised.
The distinctions are between the use of standard form contracts (often heavily amended) and bespoke contracts and contracts where the client retains full control of the professional team and design process and appoints an independent contractor (referred to as the traditional route) or design and build where the client passes a design to the contractor to be completed and novates the architect and often other members of the professional team.
In addition, there is the possibility of construction management where the client employs individual subcontractors direct or contract management where the client employs a contract who, in turn, manages individual subcontractors.
There is no right or wrong answer as to how a project should be procured.
If the project is highly technical and very prototypical (e.g. a power station), or the client is a repeat client who wants to contract on the same basis for each project (e.g. a high street restaurant chain) then they may insist upon a bespoke contract and either one which is specifically designed for the project or one which they use on a regular basis.
The alternative is to use a standard form of contract, of which the most popular is the JCT suite of contracts. Alternative contracts include the NEC and specialist contracts such as those produced by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and even FIDIC which tend to be used for large scale industrial projects, more often in Europe than in the UK.
The vast majority of contracts in the UK are either traditional route JCT or Design and Build JCT.
The traditional route gives the client much greater control of the project but requires a higher level of design where the contractor will often only be expected to provide design for temporary works when excavating foundations and basements.
Design & Build is more often used where the client does not provide a full design, often because of the need to engage a contractor and commence work as quickly as possible. Alternatively, it may be the case that the client is less concerned about elements of the design and wants to procure a shell to be constructed as quickly as possible which the client will then accept and employ fitout contractors.
The method of procurement and the nature of contract is very much dependent on the individual circumstances of the project. We are able to assist in this respect and guide clients to the most appropriate form of contract.
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