At the generous invitation of Sypro, I will be attending Monday’s annual NEC User Group conference, held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. It promises to be an interesting event, with a keynote from the UK government’s chief construction advisor Paul Morrell, plus presentations and case studies on use of the NEC contract on London Olympic projects and London’s CrossRail, among other schemes.
As a construction collaboration technology watcher, I will be interested to see what the various firms who are exhibiting will be presenting to delegates. Five vendors are due to attend: 4Projects, BIW (both Thomas Telford licensed content providers – post), CEMAR, MPS and the afore-mentioned Sypro – who I know will be telling attendees about their new release, which has tailored its web-based NEC contract administration platform specifically for ProCure21+ health-related projects. This is being released to coincide with the NEC User Group conference, and according to Sypro’s latest e-shot (received yesterday):
“… these enhancements mark the completion of the first part of our 2011 development roadmap. Next, we will be focusing efforts on supporting mobile working for NEC3 contract users.”
RICS/Davis Langdon published a survey last year (February 2010) which, based on 1370 construction projects which started work on site during 2007, suggested JCT’s share of the contracts market had increased since the previous survey in 2004. JCT was used on 79 per cent of projects by number, followed by the New Engineering Contract (eight per cent) and GC/Works (six per cent), though NEC use represented 14 per cent by value of the projects surveyed (61 per cent for JCT).
I suspect a similar survey focused on UK public sector projects would reveal a very different picture, as NEC adoption is being encouraged by the Office of Government Commerce, and the proportion may well increase further if Paul Morrell is successful in encouraging the AEC industry to adopt more collaborative approaches, including BIM, appropriate for a 21st century low carbon economy. Indeed, last year’s IGT report on Low Carbon Construction (recommendation 6.13) says the industry should “work with Buildoffsite to update its lexicon for inclusion in contracts used by the industry, adopting terminology relevant to a 21st century industry, to facilitate the transition to low carbon”. I will be interested to see on Monday if the NEC community is responding to this challenge.