Construction contract documents

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Construction contract documents
  • Conditions of contract
  • Employer's requirements (ERs)
  • Contractor's proposals (CPs)
  • Contract sum analysis
  • Bill of quantities (BoQ)
  • Specifications
  • Programme
  • BIM protocol
  • Pre-contractual/tender documentation
  • More...

Construction contract documents

In most cases, a construction contract will incorporate a number of documents that all work together to set out the obligations and liabilities of the parties and to define the works and when, where and how they are to be carried out. These are often referred to as the 'contract documents'.

In addition to the conditions of contract, the other documents that will be incorporated into the contract will depend upon the procurement route that has been adopted. They will commonly include (using JCT language for simplicity):

  1. employer’s requirements

  2. contractor’s proposals

  3. a contract sum analysis or (depending on the form of contract) bill of quantities

  4. specifications

  5. drawings

  6. the programme

  7. BIM protocol

Other ancillary documents can be used to clarify the parties' responsibilities, such as the tender, minutes of a pre-contract meeting or derogations/tender clarification—if so, these may be included as separate contract documents or incorporated within one of the documents listed above.

Conditions of contract

The conditions of contract will frequently incorporate or be based on one of the industry standard forms, for example one of the contracts in the JCT, NEC or FIDIC suites. Sometimes the employer will have its own bespoke form of contract which it proposes to use.

The conditions of contract will set out all of the terms of the contract and establish the contractual position and risk matrix that has been agreed

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