The first standard partnering contract will be launched next Thursday by Sir John Egan, author of Rethinking Construction.
The document, to be published by the Association of Consultant Architects, is written in non-legal language and contains proposals such as the introduction of a “partnering adviser” to ensure relationships between members of the construction team run smoothly.
ACA president John Wright said: “This contract will accelerate culture change in the industry.”
Sir John said the ACA form would play an important role in helping the industry to improve supply-chain management and performance. The contract has been piloted on social housing projects in London and Nottingham, although it is aimed at the commercial sector. Leading clients such as Railtrack and the BBC have expressed interest.
David Mosey, head of projects and construction at law firm Trowers & Hamlins, which drafted the contract, said it includes a mechanism for bringing in all team members at an early stage. It also requires the whole team to sign off the design before work starts on site. Disputes would be resolved by a core group of named individuals.
The contract also permits the team to appoint an independent partnering adviser who has a duty of care to the whole team, although his or her fees would be paid by the client.
Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group, said: “There was a clear need for a contractual framework that enshrined partnering, and where all members of the team are treated equally.”