International Criminal Court - Large Project of the Year Winner


Value: €190m overall construction project budget (€165m NEC Contract)
Start/finish: October 2012 – September 2015
  • Client - Neil Bradley, Director, ICC Permanent Premises Project
  • Project Manager - Paul Fondse, Project Manager, Brink Groep
  • Contractor - Bart van Eijk, Construction Project Manager, Courtys (combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren of VolkerWessels group)


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an international independent permanent court based in The Hague that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. It is considered the highest criminal court in the world. Established by the Rome Statute Treaty the Court has 123 Member States Parties.

The new Permanent Premises consists of a circa 54,600m2 highly secured building comprising three courtrooms and associated functions, public visitor and press facilities, staff facilities, offices and a conference cluster. The Danish Architects schmidt hammer lassen (SHL) were selected to design the premises in 2010 following an International Design Competition.


  • It is the first time that NEC contracts have been utilised in a major construction project in The Netherlands
  • As well as utilising the proactive and collaborative features of the NEC contract, the team also established ‘Opportunities’ meetings that allowed parties to target optimisations to the design and construction process and maximise shared savings. This stimulated mutual trust and collaboration as Courtys could see that ICC wanted to remain active in ensuring a successful project by giving feedback on priorities and accepting different solutions.
  • Delays early on due to the unexpected discovery of fuel tanks and pollution in the ground were dealt with swiftly through early warnings allowing minimal delay. The programme was re-sequenced and accelerated - ensuring that the end date was maintained.
  • An early radical decision was to replace the planned fibre reinforced composite façade with aluminium. The original proved difficult to realise - high architectural and performance requirements impacted the budget/programme. All parties worked together with a façade contractor to find a solution that met all requirements and led to a €1.2m budget saving without compromising the aesthetics or technical requirements.
  • The early warning system has seen around 150 ‘early warnings’ issued and resolved, the NEC3 contract has helped all parties avoid mistakes and collaborate on issues that could have led to disagreements, delays and extra costs. 

The project remains on track for successful completion by 1st September 2015, enabling the ICC to move in on the date planned. Cost estimates indicate a final shared saving pot of about €7m with a high quality result. 


"The focus was placed on achieving mutual benefits through opportunity workshops and best value for money solutions, which generated trust between the parties. The project team also took an important leap of faith in using an NEC3 target contract for this major project in the Netherlands, in order to support the collaboration strategy.

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