It was a great pleasure to open the NEC South Africa Conference in Johannesburg in May – and to see at first hand the extensive use of NEC contracts in South Africa. As government and industry in South Africa adopt more collaborative working practices to achieve their business outcomes, their use of NEC is clearly continuing to grow. And they are not alone – it is a truly international trend. Over the past 25 years NEC contracts have proved worldwide that through collaboration, fair dealing and good project management, even the most high-risk and complex projects can be delivered on time, within budget, to the highest standard and without litigation.
Sharing Best Practice
As well as publishing NEC, the work we do at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) includes encouraging members of the built-environment community to meet regularly to exchange knowledge and ideas. This is particularly the case during our 200th anniversary year. For example, our recent NEC South Africa Conference provided an opportunity for NEC users in South Africa to share best practice, get the latest insights from case studies and network with fellow users and solutions providers. Together with the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, we are also convening the first Global Engineering Congress in London on 22–26 October 2018. This will see the global engineering community agree how best to achieve the UN sustainable development goals – I encourage all NEC users to join us (ice.org.uk/congress).
Delivering better outcomes
In today’s world, built-environment professionals are continually being challenged to deliver improvements in the outcome of projects and programmes of work. NEC will play a key part in meeting those challenges and helping to deliver cost efficiencies and better projects. ICE has also recently launched the Project 13 enterprise model, an industry-led response to current infrastructure delivery methods that fail not just clients and their suppliers, but also the operators and users of infrastructure systems and networks.We believe the new enterprise model – which is supported by the new NEC4 Alliance Contract – will boost certainty and productivity in delivery, improve outcomes in operation and support a more sustainable, innovative, highly skilled industry.
ICE stands for shaping a better world. It is our job to encourage our industry to take on and deliver the difficult challenges. NEC is a perfect example of the value that can be achieved by embracing transformative change.
Written by Nick Baveystock, Institution of Civil Engineers Director General