JCT to brief Danish Construction Contract Committee

JCT chair, Richard Saxon CBE, will give a presentation today (26 August 2015) to the AB-Committee, a group under the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, tasked with updating Danish standard construction contracts and improving productivity and efficiency in the Danish construction industry.

The AB-Committee, formed in 2015, is responsible for carrying out a revision of the AB-system, the current suite of contracts used on the majority of Danish construction projects, which follow a traditional procurement route.

The current edition of the contracts have been unchanged since the early 1990s, and are in need of updating to reflect the change and diversity of procurement methods, industry practices, developments in technology, and to assist in the delivery of a more efficient and transparent industry.

JCT’s chairman has been engaged by the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building to speak at an early meeting of the AB-Committee. He will provide a picture of UK development over the past two decades, and in particular, to focus on how the changing emphasis in UK practice has affected the form and content of construction contracts.

JCT shares similarities with the AB-Committee, which is also a consensus-based organisation, consisting of clients, consultants, specialists, contractors, and local government, amongst others. The AB-Committee is looking at JCT as an example of a similar organisation that uses a consensus approach to maintain best practice regarding the production of construction contracts.

Richard Saxon’s presentation discusses the key developments in the UK construction industry from the publication of the Latham and Egan reports, the impact of the financial crisis, the appointment of the Chief Construction Adviser, various key projects and types of contractual approaches used, through to the mandate to use Level 2 BIM and the development of the UK toolkit, enabling the achievement of the Construction Industry Strategy for 2025.

He also focuses on the next steps for the industry, including next-level BIM, the construction industry’s uptake of broader digital technology and the new business models this may suggest. The UK’s opportunities for international working may be powered by leadership in this field.

Richard Saxon said:

“Denmark is playing catch-up, in terms of looking at the UK as a model and what we have learned over the past two decades. The real question is where will the industry be going next? How will digital methodology and developments in Level 3 BIM be applied and how will they take the industry forward? The sharp end of the industry must move with the times in order to stay relevant, which includes increasing international collaboration. It will be interesting to see how the contractual process needs to develop to support this rapidly changing environment.”

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