Differentiating between Plant, Materials and the Works

Hello, we are a European company about to sign up to the fidic yellow book with a customer in Asia. We provide industrial machinery, all of which is housed inside buildings, primarily to the agricultural industry.

Our client doesn’t have an architect yet, nor do they have any drawings of what their building will look like. As you can imagine, whilst some parts of the equipment which we supply, are “standard” other parts are largely dependant on the customers building and use cases - the specifics of which cannot be precisely determined until the customer is further down the line in their build journey.

This obviously poses a number of challenges for me from the perspective of being the Contractor, as until their building is designed and their use case is fully developed, we can’t design or specify our product in full. Therefore, we have taken the following approach - we have provided our standard spec of equipment and priced it accordingly. The installation of this equipment will be carried out on a cost plus basis. We have added a caveat to the Employers Requirements that due to the Employers design immaturity, the Plant, Materials and subsequently the works are subject to change.

If that wasn’t problematic enough, i am having some challenges with the standard definitions of Works, Plant and Materials in the yellow book. Would anyone be able to clarify whether the analogy below is correct?

Plant: is the major equipment i.e. the generator or turbine
Material: would be the cable and runs associated with the generator
Works: is the installation of said generator and cables and runs?

Many thanks

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@Mass you would have to refer to the “Definitions” at the beginning of your contract (subject to any amendments). By way of example, in the 1st edition (1999):

Plant means the “apparatus, machinery and vehicles” intending to form part of the Permanent Works. Materials means “things of all kinds other than Plant” intending to form part of the Permanent Works.
Works means the Permanent Works and Temporary Works.

Based on the above, in my view, the cable and runs associated with the generator seem more related to Plant than to Materials.

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