NEC3 unclear scope of work

Hi all, I have a question and would like to seek for some advice.

Currently, we have a NEC3 Option B contract running. Under the scope and relevant specification documents, it stated that Contractor needs to design and construct a RC structure of “not less than 20m long or otherwise approved by the Project Manager”. The Contractor submitted the design based on 20m long for approval.

But now there is a third party (future user) suddenly jumps in and requests a 30m long RC structure, where extra expenses and time for revisiting the design; and extra cost of construction arose.
The PM insists that the dimension is not fixed in Contract, and is subject to their approval, so it’s not a CE. But the Contractor is having a different point of view.

Should it be a CE of changing the works information (60.1(1)) and/or Others do not work within the conditions stated in the works information (60.1(5))? Since the minimum requirement of the structure has been changed.

Thank you


“Cl.20.1 = The Contractor provides the Works in accordance with the Works Information”, which based on the above the Contractor has complied with. If the Employer/Others want to change the Contractors design they need to send a Project Managers Instruction (CL.14.3) and notify the Compensation Event (Cl.60.1.(1). The Contractor is entitled to price the extra over costs/recover (the additional 10m). Otherwise, what prevents the Employer requesting 40m, 50m…etc and the Contractor footing the bill every time!


Great answer, I agree with your analysis. The way the Scope is drafted means that if you have designed based on 20m you have complied with the requirement.


Thanks all! The Contractor has issued multiple NCEs for the event, just the PM refuses to confirm this is a CE. The PM thinks that the Contractor is liable to liaise with the future user and any change shall deem to be included in rate.

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I regret to say that your case doesn’t sound good.

If the below is the precise wording

Design and construct a RC structure of “not less than 20m long or otherwise approved by the Project Manager”.

On my reading of that wording is the 20m length is clearly a lower limit (not less than) and that the structure will be bigger than 20m.
There is no upper limit defined, so as a result, you could have to design up to 100m or more.

I don’t think you can rely on the wording - best to check the specimen design (which hopefully is a 20m structure)