November 15, 2022

What is the New Engineering Contract (NEC)?

The NEC provides contracts to ensure successful relationships between parties and the completion of projects in construction works.

If you are new to construction contracts, this is the third blog in a series covering standard form construction contracts.

The NEC makes contracts useable to workers who will be having direct involvement with projects. This insight allows good relationships between parties meaning they can work together efficiently to deliver.

NEC contracts can be made to be bespoke by solicitors ensuring an accurate and functional contract.

These contracts ensure all elements of a project fit together properly as projects often feature many parties who are dependent on each other.

What does the NEC do?

The NEC provides contracts with three principles in mind:

  • To stimulate good management of the relationship between the two parties to the contract and the work involved in the contract.
  • To create contracts for a wide range of commercial situations, types of work, and locations.
  • To be clear, simple, and use a language and structure which is easily understood.

Why is the NEC needed?

Contracts should always be used as it ensures that the parties are clear as to their obligations. The NEC is one such contract that assists in ensuring the fulfilment of work is completed accurately and to a high standard.

Many challenges can occur during projects. This can include a range of difficulties such as being unable to obtain materials and delays due to weather.

Contracts with the NEC ensure projects can overcome these difficulties and create fairness to the parties by sharing the risk in specific situations should any difficulties occur.

What contracts do the NEC offer?

The NEC offers the NEC4 contract which is the latest version of the contract.

These contracts are grouped into works, services, and supply, and the choice of form depends on the procurement complexity and level of risk.

Works contracts are for the construction, design, refurbishment, and decommissioning of structures including houses, schools, and hospitals, to infrastructure for water, energy, transport, industry, and waste.

Services contracts are for purchasing specialised services such as engineering, architectural, project management, and consultancy works.

Supply contracts are for the supply of goods and services such as production of modular units, transformers, generators, rolling stock, and cranes. They can also be used for lower-risk items such as building materials and personal protective equipment.

For advice on all aspects of construction law, contact us today.