Contracts for the playbook (private sector)

The UK Construction Productivity Taskforce’s Private Sector Construction Playbook (November 2022) has 10 key drivers for reforming and modernising aspects of private sector project, including:

  • effective partnerships aka collaboration; it recommends a project charter with shared objectives, values and measures for success
  • longer-term contracting to drive innovation as well as involving your supply network early
  • outcome-based approach to resolve performance gaps and improve sustainability, social value and the trio of traditional aims, benchmarked against KPIs
  • embed digital information to reduce risk, improve cost efficiency and enable smart buildings (as well as going hand-in-hand with BIM)
  • allocate risk and pay fairly.

As with the UK Government Playbook, it will need some robust contract tools to bring those ideas to fruition. This Private Sector Playbook proposes ways to improve the contracts in UK construction:

  • avoid too much risk unfairly loaded onto one of the parties, creating tension and mistrust from the start
  • for clear governance and empowerment, contracts require fair reward and fair contract terms to facilitate the 10 drivers for success
  • the contract should be reasonable, linked to financial capacity and offer a fair and proportionate price for risk ownership
  • the transfer of design responsibility should be made clear in the contract
  • the contract can record the fundamentals of the change process, but not its precise mechanism.

What should you do?

Consider how a focus on trust and productivity can be better reflected in your contracts.

For examples, see my posts on Dalton and Shea Homes.

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