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Introducing the NEC4 contract suite

The new NEC4 contract suite was published in June 2017. It builds upon the success of NEC3 contracts, which have had a transformative effect on the construction industry since their introduction 12 years ago.

The launch of NEC4 reflects continuing evolution of industry practice while retaining the proven and unique NEC processes for collaboration, fair dealing and good project management. The contracts have been updated and streamlined following feedback from the industry, evolving government priorities and emerging best practice.

Two brand new contracts have been added to the suite – the NEC4 Design, Build and Operate Contract (DBO) and the consultative NEC4 Alliance Contract (ALC). The result is a contract suite with improved flexibility, clarity and ease of use. Whether supplying high-value goods or low-risk items, NEC4 enables users to deliver projects on time, on budget and to the highest standards.

Potential benefits of NEC4

Key benefits of NEC4 include:

  • Streamlined processes and updated definitions
  • Improved contract administration and reduced administration costs
  • Greater clarity and reduced potential for problems
  • Provision for building information modelling and early contractor involvement
  • Improved risk opportunity and risk management

NEC4 highlights

According to Matthew Garratt, NEC consultant and Costain commercial director for Thames Tideway Tunnel project, ‘It has been 12 years since NEC3 was published, and the publication of NEC4 responds to demand from users to continue to improve the way that their projects and work programmes are delivered.

‘NEC4 supports the on-going drive towards further collaboration and integration of teams, use of modern work methods, avoidance of disputes, and identification and management of both risk and opportunity for a successful outcome.’

Beth West, commercial director of High Speed Two and chair of the NEC Users’ Group comments, ‘Procurement methods need to keep evolving and improving to support the ways in which the construction industry itself is developing. The extended and streamlined NEC4 suite is a perfect example of this.

‘It puts the core NEC principles of collaboration and open communication into a wider range of contractual structures, helping to achieve consistent positive behaviours across an even bigger variety of projects and programmes.’

NEC4 contract suite

The NEC4 contract suite consists of the following new and updated contracts:

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