The first standard form partnering contract has been launched, and here the man who helped to draft it explains why the industry is going to like what it sees.

On 14 September, Sir John Egan will launch PPC 2000, the first standard project partnering contract, which has been drafted by Trowers & Hamlins in collaboration with the Association of Consultant Architects.

PPC 2000 is a multiparty document governing the whole procurement process and is a direct result of the Egan report, Rethinking Construction. It provides the foundation for the project partnering process, and can be applied to any type of partnered project.

The new form embraces a number of radical ideas formulated by the Construction Industry Council’s partnering taskforce and set out in its Guide to Project Team Partnering, launched by construction minister Nick Raynsford. PPC 2000 is the product of nine months’ collaboration between Trowers & Hamlins and the ACA and the piloting of early drafts by a series of Trowers clients with their project partnering teams. These pilots have covered a range of projects, including housing, offices and schools.

So, in what way does PPC 2000 differ from other standard form contracts?

  • PPC 2000 allows the client, the contractor and all consultants and key specialists to sign a single partnering contract. This avoids the need for two-party professional appointments and a separate building contract and/or partnering agreement, substantially reducing paperwork, encouraging a team-based commitment and reducing the temptation to hide behind loosely connected two-party agreements.

  • The new form provides for the early selection of a project partnering team and the collaborative finalisation of designs, prices and selection of members of the supply chain, encouraging the contributions of the contractor and subcontractors, suppliers and subconsultants (specialists). This applies during the key period before the start on site, as well as during supply and construction.

  • The contract expressly recognises the recommendations in the Egan report and links these to the objectives of the partnering team on each project – achievement being measured against agreed key performance indicators.

    PPC 2000 allows the client, contractor, consultants and key specialists to sign a single partnering contract – reducing the temptation to hide behind loosely connected two-party agreements

  • Provision is made for finalising the supply chain on an open-book basis, encouraging partnering with all specialists, and allowing key specialists to become full members of the team.

  • It provides for a core group of key individuals representing the team members, who serve as an early warning system for problems and undertake regular progress and performance reviews.

  • The new form provides for a partnering timetable to govern the contributions of all partnering team members to partnered activities, including development of designs, and for a project timetable to govern their activities once work has begun on site.

    Signature of the project partnering agreement initiates the partnering process, with flexibility for the contractor to undertake

    early work on site under a pre-possession agreement. However, all necessary project details need to be finalised and agreed before the team signs an agreement to begin.

  • PPC 2000 provides for agreement of profit, central office overheads and site overheads, and encourages partnering team members to agree shared savings and added-value incentives. Payments can also be linked to performance against performance indicators. Value engineering and value management exercises are expressly recognised.

  • The new form provides a clear system for reducing, managing and sharing risks and for agreeing changes openly and equitably. Risk management is a duty of team members. Risk allocation is tailored to individual projects.