NEC ECC: Which contract option would be most suitable?

Our company has a project which involves refurbishment and re-cladding of a single steel-frame building together with infrastructure and landscaping. What will be the best procurement route to use and best contract strategy for this project?

Probably either Option A or B. If you use A the Contractor will be required to prepare a Schedule of Activities which they will expect to provide in order to complete the scope of Works and if you use Option B you will need to prepare a Bill of Quantities. Option A is probably better for you as long as you have a set of drawings. Options C or D may be used where your design is not sufficiently developed.

Without knowing more about you as a client, the industry you operate in and your experience of building / construction it’s difficult to provide a firm answer.

The most appropriate procurement methods would generally be either traditional or design and build. Traditional is where you appoint a consultant to carry out the whole design then procure a contractor to construct the works in accordance with the design. With design and build you still need to a consultant to carry out some design work in order to be able to specify your requirements (often called a concept or outline design), however this time you procure a contractor to complete the design (often called detailed or technical design) and construct the works. Design and build shortens the overall timescale for completing the project however comes with risks and gives the client less control over what is built.

If doing traditional then this would fit with ECC main Option A (Priced with Activity Schedule) or Option B (Priced with Bill of Quantities) however if doing design and build then this would fit better with Option A (Priced with Activity Schedule) or Option C (Target with Activity Schedule). The choice of main Option allocates most of the financial risk in the contract so it’s a decision for the client based on their appetite / attitude towards risk and reward.