30 June 2017 | Jamie Harris
A new version of the NEC suite of contracts is set to play a key role in moving the built environment sector through a digital "industrial revolution", according to a key member of the Cabinet Office.
The latest version of the NEC suite of contracts, NEC4, was made available last week.
It has been endorsed by the government and is aligned with the public sector's commitment to building information modelling and soft landings. It has used feedback from previous versions of the contract to enable better collaboration within project and contract management.
The NEC contract - first published in 1993 as the New Engineering Contract - was designed as an evolution of building and engineering contracts to encourage good management practice.
The London Olympic and Paralympic Games venues were delivered using NEC3 contracts - an iteration of the contract endorsed by the BIFM as good FM practice.
At an event held last week to launch NEC4, Dr David Hancock, head of construction at the Cabinet Office, described the suite of contracts as "central to strengthening the government's capability as a construction client".
He said the suite's themes of collaboration and shared understanding towards efficiency and risk management are key if "we are to enter new era of true manufacturing capability".
At the event, Beth West, NEC Users' Group chair, called on the industry to "remove barriers to entry and progressive behaviours" if it wishes to embrace transformative digital, modular and off-site methods.
She said: "NEC contracts provide a toolkit to resolve issues with common-sense language, collaborative working and risk management. It is up to us to come together and use this to our advantage. This contract requires you to think and act in a certain way to get success - collaboratively."