JCT provides contract input to sustainable construction forum

The role of construction contracts in furthering sustainable development, based on JCT’s guidance note, ‘Building a Sustainable Future Together’, will form part of an international forum on sustainable development taking place on 17-19 August 2015.

A paper authored by JCT past-chair, Professor Peter Hibberd, entitled ‘Sustainability – the role of Construction Contracts’ will feature as part of the ‘Future Challenges in Sustainable Development within the Built Environment Forum’, headed up by the University of Salford.

The international forum brings together experts, researchers and practitioners to present papers ranging from topics such as technological development, urban regeneration, procurement, working practices, philosophical approaches to sustainable working, and others, with the aim of discussing and exploring the future of sustainable development in the built environment, and what progress can be made.

It is also hoped that the papers presented at the forum, which summarize the challenges to the construction industry from a variety of perspectives, will be published later.

Peter Hibberd’s paper outlines the philosophical approach to embedding the ethos of sustainable working practices within the contract documents themselves, and the impact this has on the approach to procurement, and the relationship between clients and practitioners.

He also outlines JCT’s approach to date, in terms of specific provisions made for sustainability within its suite of contracts and the types of contract documentation used to secure sustainable benefits. He also explains the findings and implications of JCT’s consultation, exploring the relationship between sustainability and contracts, which was published in the 2013 report, ‘JCT Sustainability: Lifecycle Consultation’.

Peter Hibberd said:

“The question for practitioners and clients is not whether they should provide for sustainability but how they should provide for it in the contract? Documents, other than the contract conditions themselves, are thought by many to be the right place to provide for sustainability: such other documents would, in the normal course of events, form part of the tender/ bid documents. The minority view is that the contract conditions themselves should be used rather than the other documents.

“Despite the different views it is evident that a vast majority either already include provisions in their contracts or believe there should be express standard provisions in the contract to govern matters of sustainability.”