The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has participated in a Japanese research project comparing current approaches to contractual arrangements in the Japanese construction industry with those across the globe.
A meeting hosted at JCT’s offices was attended by a delegation of Japanese construction experts, including Ms Kanako Nishino, Secretary-General, Institute of International Harmonization for Building and Housing (IIBH), Professor Shuzo Furusaka, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Professor Yoshinobu Hirano, Hiroshima University, and Professor Masato Urae, Toyo University, along with JCT chair, Professor Peter Hibberd.
The purpose of the visit, and the research, which is being carried out in collaboration with Reading University, is to explore how construction industries outside Japan use contractual arrangements and how they compare to current practices in Japan.
The delegation sought to gain an understanding of JCT, including its history, structure and approach in terms of being a consensus organisation compiled of member bodies.They also looked at the development of standard form contracts in the UK, and how these have evolved to meet different procurement approaches, types of clients and projects.
In particular, the research team wanted to look at the how the traditional approach, with independent designer, developed to accommodate design by the contractor, and how this subsequently led to Design and Build.Recent developments in partnering and collaborative working were also discussed.
More challenging areas of agreement, such as design liability, consultancy agreements and level of skill required were also explored.
JCT Chair, Peter Hibberd, commented:
“With many major construction firms operating world-wide, providing opportunities for people working with construction contracts to encounter different approaches, it is vital that we are able to share our own practices and gain a better understanding of the methods used in other countries.
“By exploring the practices of our colleagues in Japan, and being able to share how we operate in the UK, we have an opportunity not only for greater mutual understanding, but also to explore the possibility of improving our own practices and to benefit all those working with construction contracts internationally.”