JCT Design and Build 2024: an overview of the key changes

JCT has released its 2024 edition of the Design and Build contract (and sub-contract) with other forms to follow in due course.

We will be posting a series of blogs covering the changes to the Design and Build contract. With the new form of Design and Build, the JCT has also issued a guide as well as a comparison with the 2016 version. 

Francesca Bishop’s blog on “JCT Design and Build 2024” earlier this month covered anticipated changes. This blog sets out an overview of what the key changes made actually are.

  1. Collaborative working: this was a supplemental provision but has now been incorporated at Article 3.
  2. Sustainability: this was previously a supplemental provision but now forms part of the main conditions of contract.
  3. Notices: the ability to serve notices electronically has been added.
  4. Insurance:  there are a few updates to insurance, primarily in relation to professional indemnity insurance but there is also a small change in respect of reinstatement in relation to Option A (new buildings all risk insurance).
  5. Design liability: the Contractor’s design liability is now stated not to be subject to a fitness for purpose obligation (subject to the extent permitted by Statutory Requirements).  Separately, the guide to the Design and Build contract raises the prospect of an overall cap on the Contractor’s liability and proposes wording that can be included if appropriate to reflect this.
  6. Delay and completion:  there is the introduction of a time frame for the Contractor to submit further information in support of any notice of delay.  There is also a reduction in time for the Employer to reach a decision on an extension of time (from 12 to 8 weeks). Additionally, there are also three new Relevant Events: 1) asbestos, contaminated material and unexploded ordnance; 2) epidemic; and 3) the exercise of statutory power (this relates, broadly speaking, to changes in legislation or the issue of guidance by the government or the Construction Leadership Council).
  7. Loss and expense: there are three new Relevant Matters reflecting the Relevant Events referred to above. But note epidemic and statutory power are optional and only apply if the relevant boxes in the Contract Particulars have been ticked.
  8. Building Safety: there are clauses to address the Building Safety Act 2022, but note there is nothing specific included in relation to higher-risk buildings.
  9. Termination: there are two new forms of insolvency event to reflect the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.  There are also two new grounds for termination, where works have been suspended, namely epidemic and statutory power.  Lastly there are changes to the payment provisions to comply with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
  10. Changes to dispute resolution.  There are alterations to the Contract Particulars in relation to both arbitration and adjudication and the incorporation of notification and negotiation of disputes within the main conditions.  

Look out for our detailed blogs on these issues over the next few months. You can also sign up for our webinar on 21 May 2024 on the JCT Design and Build 2024.

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