JCT contract sales are at record levels as a result of a continued trend of strong performance throughout the construction industry, which has been further buoyed by the uptake of the JCT 2016 Edition. The level of sales through JCT’s online store is further reflected in the publication this week of the NBS National Construction Contracts and Law Report 2018, which showed a significant increase in the use of JCT contracts over the past year.
The latest NBS report shows marked growth in the use of JCT contracts across the industry since the publication of their last report in 2015. Respondents to the survey reported that in 60% of cases, JCT contracts were the contracts they or their organisation used most often. This is at a level not seen since 2011, when JCT last published a new edition of its contracts.
In addition, out of all the contracts used most by respondents in the past 12 months, JCT contracts were used 70% of the time. This is up from 2015’s level of 57%. Levels of bespoke contracts were down to 5% overall, showing a strong preference by the industry for standard form contracts. JCT’s usage was also over a broad range of project values, showing particularly strong uptake in projects from £250,000-£5m (47%) and £50,000-£250,000 (24%).
Another notable factor of the report was that levels of JCT contract usage have grown at a time when both the uptake of BIM and collaborative working on projects was also reported to have increased.
Whilst legislative changes are often the main driver for the publication of a new edition, the development of the JCT 2016 Edition included several important changes, particularly around streamlining and making areas more user-friendly, that came directly from listening to user feedback. This is especially apparent in some of the changes to the section on payment, insurance, and provisions relating to Fair Payment, Transparency and BIM.
Communications have been an important element in the success of the JCT 2016 Edition, not only in listening to customers and key stakeholders in the development of the edition, but also in providing more information to users about the main changes in the new edition than ever before. This has included advertising, a dedicated area of the JCT corporate website, an infographic, the use of HTML email, a webinar, and the setting up of a dedicated user group, the JCT Network, to deliver important information about new JCT products and services.
In an article published in the NBS report, JCT chief executive, Neil Gower, commented:
“Collaborative working and building relationships with our users will continue to play a major role in the development of our future contracts, products and services. It is only by listening to and engaging with professionals across all sectors of the built environment that we can continue to effectively meet the requirements of the industry through our contracts.”