Early contractor involvement (ECI) allows the Contractor to be appointed under a two-stage ECC contract before details of what is to be constructed have been fully developed and priced. This enables the Contractor to take part in the design development and construction planning stage of a project. This approach supports improved team working, innovation and planning and is now widely recognised as beneficial.
NEC has developed an additional clause to be used with the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) Options C
where an ECI approach is required. This additional clause is aimed at promoting collaboration through the whole project, and sharing the benefits gained through collaboration.
TWO ECI APPROACHES
One approach is for the Employer to engage the Contractor to assist the Employer’s consultant in designing the project, as well as to design specific elements. Following agreement of the Prices for the construction stage, the Employer then issues a notice to proceed to Stage Two for the Contractor to deliver the works, including any outstanding design, under standard ECC Option C (target contract with activity schedule)
Alternatively, the Employer can appoint the Contractor to carry out the design with assistance from the Employer's consultant. The Employer then issues a notice to proceed to Stage Two for the Contractor to deliver the works under standard ECC Option C or E (cost reimbursable contract) terms.
Using either approach the Contractor can also be incentivised to provide a cost-effective design by sharing in the savings on the Employer's Budget, including other costs incurred by the Employer.
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January 2016 update on the ECI Clause:
The clause and guidance have been revised to correspond with the "How to" guide being published shortly. This includes a change to the way the incentive mechanism is operated and a number of textual corrections.
The purpose of this guide is to help users implement an early contractor involvement (ECI) approach using the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC).
ECI, where a contractor takes part in the design development and construction planning stage of a project, is now widely recognised as beneficial. This document also provides a model clause and guidance to allow for ECI using the ECC.
ECI TRAINING COURSE
NEC has developed a training course intended for clients and their supply chains to understand the provisions of the additional ECI clauses to enhance their relationships and benefit their businesses.
This course will explore the two approaches to ECI covered by the new clause.