NEC contracts—variations

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

  • NEC contracts—variations
  • What is a variation under NEC contracts?
  • Variation as a compensation event
  • Quotations for variations under the NEC ECC
  • Valuing a variation under the NEC ECC
  • Impact of a variation on time
  • Proposed instructions for variations

NEC contracts—variations

This Practice Note looks at how variations are dealt with under the NEC Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC). For a more general discussion on variations, see Practice Notes: What is a variation on a construction project?, Variation instructions on a construction project and Valuing variations in construction contracts.

This Practice Note covers both the NEC3 and NEC4 editions of the ECC and focuses on variations instructed by the Project Manager where the Contractor is not at fault eg where the Client decides that additional works are required. For consistency, the term ‘Client’ is used throughout this Practice Note as this is the term used for the developer/employer in the NEC4 contracts (the NEC3 ECC uses the term ‘Employer’). The term ‘Scope’ is used throughout this Practice Note as per the NEC4 ECC to describe the document which specifies and describes the works which the Contractor is to carry out (in the NEC3 ECC the term Works Information is used). For a glossary of NEC terms, see Practice Note: NEC contracts—glossary. Where no distinction is made between clause numbers, the clause numbers throughout this Practice Note refer to both the NEC3 and NEC4 versions of the ECC.

For details of how variations are dealt with under JCT contracts, see Practice Note: JCT contracts—variations. In relation to the FIDIC contracts, see Practice Notes: FIDIC contracts 2017—variations and

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