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Building construction contracts for tender

2nd July 2020

Building construction contracts for tender

In 2018, the construction industry contributed to 6% of the UK economy. However, in March 2020, there was a large decline in outputs due to Covid-19. There was a 6.2% decrease in new work – the largest monthly fall since records were created in 2010. Now that construction work is up and running again, you can rest assured that there will be more building construction contracts for tender.

Most tenders in the construction industry will name the form of contract under which you will operate within the tender documentation. Hitting the ‘control’ and ‘f’ keys will help you to discover which one will most likely be used.

Upon successfully tendering for a building construction contract, you will have to sign it and adhere to it. It’s important therefore to have a working knowledge of the types of contract you may have to undertake.

Contract notices

A contract notice provides information about building construction contracts for tender. In short, this is an advertisement for current tenders and therefore upcoming contracts. These are published on OJEU, and you can utilise the Government’s Contracts Finder tool to search for building construction contracts for tender. This is one of hundreds of websites where notices are published. Details often include:

  • Type of contract;
  • Approximate/estimated value;
  • Contract duration;
  • Any lot-specific information.

Similarly, a prior information notice (PIN) flags up any upcoming procurement runs. PINs let potential bidders know that they can expect the release of a tender typically within the coming 12 months. This process is optional – it merely serves to accelerate the tender timetables, as bidders have had advance notice of a tender’s release.

It’s worth keeping an eye on contract notices and PINs so that you can be sure you’re ready for when desirable building construction contracts for tender are released.

Standard forms of contract

Everyone knows a contract sets out the relationship and expectations between two parties. Critically, building construction contracts for tender outline the allocation of risk and price. Contracts will make most sense when read alongside certain tender documents such as terms and conditions, and/or the specification.

We have listed here the most popular building construction contracts for tender within the UK:

  • JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal)

JCT forms of contract are the most commonly found within the sector. It is a limited company which produces contracts and other supporting documentation, such as sub-contracts and forms of tender. JCT contracts cover the construction of all buildings, including but not limited to:

  • Standard and intermediate building contracts;
  • Minor and major works contracts;
  • Design and build contracts.
  • Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

The CIOB developed the Complex Projects Contract in 2013, but it was renamed to the Time and Cost Management Contract in 2015. Its primary aim is to organise time management in complex construction and engineering projects. Buyers may use this contract because it caters for BIM. This contract form entails close collaboration between multiple parties involved in the project. This is because of the contract’s aim to mitigate time and cost risk. Ultimately, this contract pushes for early completions of complex projects.

  • FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseil)

This is a membership organisation with a suite of contracts at its disposal for works in:

  • Construction;
  • Design and build;
  • Turnkey projects.

The organisation’s primary aim is to promote the strategic goals of the construction industry. The contract forms here are internationally recognised, as you may have guessed from the French name.

  • NEC (The New Engineering Contract)

NEC4, the latest version of the NEC suite of contracts, became available in June 2017. NEC contracts have been available for over 20 years, and thus NEC4 is the culmination of feedback from the use of the contracts in practice. The NEC4 contract aims to streamline:

  • Contract administration;
  • Risk management;
  • Key terminology.

There are various changes between the NEC3 and the NEC4 contracts. These changes all have the purpose of promoting and facilitating collaboration between all parties.

There will be other forms of building construction contracts for tender, but these are far less commonly used.

Bespoke contracts

Some companies, usually private sector organisations, will use bespoke contracts which are written specifically for the project at hand. These are riskier than signing standard forms of contract and tend not to cover as many eventualities. As the contractor, you normally have little choice about the contract you sign. As such, it’s worth considering which formats of building construction contracts for tender you are willing to bid for.

CIC BIM Protocol

CIC BIM Protocol is an additional legal agreement that can be added to construction contracts, suitable for all Level 2 BIM projects. Its main purpose is to establish obligations, limitations and liabilities which support Level 2 BIM construction projects.


But which documents might these types of contracts contain? Possibly all, or a combination of, the following:

  • Article of agreement and conditions of contract (what needs completing);
  • Drawings;
  • Bills of quantities;
  • Schedules of work;
  • Specification(s);
  • Adjustments schedule (any changes agreed following the tender process);
  • An information release schedule;
  • A model enabling amendment and/or BIM protocol (for BIM projects).


Now that we’ve understood the popular forms of contract, let’s look at how to tender for them. Within the documentation for building construction contracts for tender, you will probably find the following:

  • A PAS 91.

The construction industry’s answer to a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. Your method statements and pricing will not be evaluated if you don’t pass this stage. Unless you have SSIP certifications like Constructionline, CHAS or Safecontractor or ISO/OHSAS accreditations, you’ll have to provide policies and answer questions on the following subjects:

  • Quality assurance;
  • Health and Safety;
  • Environmental considerations;
  • Equal opportunities and diversity.

Make sure you pay attention to detail here. It is imperative that you attach relevant evidence and accreditations where prompted.

  • Method statements.

Most buyers will want to understand your approach to delivering your services and their requirements. As such, you may have to respond to questions asking about:

  • Your proposed resourcing – qualifications, experience and training of staff;
  • Your proposed approach and how this complies with the specification and/or industry regulations;
  • Mobilisation – how you intend to ensure that the contract is ready to commence on the buyer’s stipulated date;
  • How you comply with certain legislation/regulations;
  • Quality assurance – such as minimising defects;
  • How you minimise environmental impacts;
  • Health and safety and/or risk management;
  • Social value – how you can contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of the local community.

As part of these method statements, you may be asked to (or choose to) submit supporting documentation. This could be policies, procedures, accreditations, or CVs for your staff members. If there is a question about resource, it’s possible you’ll also have to attach copies of staff’s qualifications/certifications to prove their competency.

Tender documentation may often state the importance of the claims you make in your method statements. Some or all of the content could be inserted into the contract and therefore form legally binding commitments. It’s important to bear this in mind when creating your responses. However, this shouldn’t mean that you scrimp on demonstrating your ability to provide added value and deliver the services.

  • A pricing schedule.

You will have to complete a pricing schedule as part of your tender response. Make sure you price your services competitively without making a loss.

Those releasing building construction contracts for tender will be similar to other public procurement buyers. Organisations could include:

  • Councils;
  • Housing associations;
  • NHS Trusts or CCGs;

Most buyers will have preferred contract forms – so for example, Durham County Council may only use NEC4 contracts. It might be worth considering which contract forms buyers use and bid for those with which you already have experience where possible.

Further support

Still got more questions? Why not contact the Hudson helpline. Our experts can provide you with bespoke advice about queries you have about your construction bids.

If you’re interested in building construction contracts for tender but don’t know where to start, look no further. At Hudson Succeed, we have five support packages to help you in your tendering efforts. Our team has an 87% success rate and can help you with any tender, of any size or form. Contact them today to find out more about your options.

Or if you need help finding building construction contracts for tender, Construction Tenders from Hudson Discover could be your answer. We don’t use CPV codes – we use real people to give you reliability and accuracy. Our opportunity trackers scour numerous portals every day and upload new public and private construction contracts in the UK directly to our site. It’s never been easier to source new business opportunities. Click here to contact the team and access your free demo of our time-saving tool.

Get in Touch with Construction Tenders:

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Below are previous building construction contracts sourced on our portal:

45210000-2 Building Construction Work

St. Macartan’s National School- Northern Ireland- Budget: Undisclosed

Building Construction Framework Agreement

Grwp Llandrillo Menai- Wales- Budget: £10,000,000

CREWW Research Facility Building Construction

University of Exeter- Eastern- Budget: £6,200,000

Dynamic Purchasing System for Building Construction, Design and Build Construction, Demountable (Temporary) Buildings, Asbestos Removal and Demolition

Shropshire Council- South West- Budget: £625,000,000

National Train Control Centre (NTCC) – Building Construction

Iarnrod Eireann-Irish Rail- International- Budget: Undisclosed

This includes the following:

Further Support

The industry has a wide range of building tenders on offer. If you need support in your tendering efforts, contact us today.