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Tue April 20 2021

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NEC adds ECI clauses

8 Dec 15 The Institution of Civil Engineers has added early contractor involvement (ECI) clauses to its New Engineering Contract (NEC) suite.

The addition of the ECI clauses, which apply to contractors taking part in the design development and construction planning stage of a project, recognises the growing trend of early project collaboration, the publishers said.

Previously, design development and construction planning stage on NEC projects has generally been contracted separately from the main detailed design and construction stage. NEC has now published a standard additional clause to enable a single NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) to be used for both stages. The clauses are available as a free download from

Peter Higgins, NEC consultant and leader of the drafting team for the clauses, said: “This will allow the contractor to be appointed under a two-stage ECC contract before details of what is to be constructed have been fully developed and priced.

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“Two approaches to ECI are covered by the new clauses. The employer can engage the contractor to assist their consultant in designing the project, as well as to design specific elements. Following agreement of prices for the construction stage, the employer then instructs the contractor to deliver the works, including any outstanding design, under standard ECC Option C (target contract with activity schedule) terms.

“Alternatively, the employer can appoint the contractor to carry out the design with assistance from their consultant. The employer then instructs the contractor to deliver the works under standard ECC Option C or E (cost reimbursable contract) terms. If using Option E, the contractor can also be incentivised to provide a cost-effective design by sharing in the savings on the employer's budget, which includes other relevant costs incurred by the employer.”

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