Over 275 CIOB members attend NEC4 role-play webinar

Over 275 CIOB members attend NEC4 role-play webinar

More than 275 Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) members attended an NEC4 webinar in November 2023 run by the CIOB Eastern and Midlands region and construction consultancy Driver Trett. It took the form of an entertaining role play based on real-life scenarios of using NEC4 contracts.

Each scenario involved a fictitious mixed-use commercial and residential development and considered the different perspectives of the contractor, architect and project manager, each of which was played by Driver Trett consultants. Another consultant acted as advisor to consider the actions of the parties and how the contracts could and should have been administered.

Four scenarios

The four scenarios considered included the following:

  • Clause 31 programme: submission and acceptance of a programme under clause 31.3 of an NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC), and whether non-acceptance without due grounds could result in a compensation event under clause 60.1(9).
  • Design responsibility: scope of an architect’s appointment under an NEC4 Professional Service Contract (PSC) Option A (priced contract with activity schedule) and responsibility for detailed design work of subcontractors.
  • Compensation event quotation: quoting for extra works instructed by a project manager under clause 14.3 of an NEC4 ECC, and different assessments of delay under clause 63.5 by the contractor and project manager, showing the importance of the dividing date.
  • Contract price adjustment: assessment of price adjustment for inflation when secondary Option X1 is used and how relevant indices might be applied.

Correct administration

During each scenario the parties discussed their interpretation of the relevant NEC clauses and how they had administered the contracts, rightly or wrongly. The advisor then reviewed their actions in the light of correct administration of the NEC4 PSC and ECC.

The advisor’s overall message was that the NEC suite aims to reduce disputes and conflicts but needs to be understood and managed appropriately to avoid the pitfalls highlighted in the scenarios.

The webinar concluded with further discussions on questions raised by attendees including valid reasons for rejecting a contractor’s programme under clause 31.3, the inclusion of time risk allowance in a programme, and how Option X1 might be applied where a decreasing Building Cost Information Service index leads to a negative inflation calculation.

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