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NEC Conference Looks Back On A Year Of Industry Best Practice

NEC’s annual users group conference addresses construction innovation across the sector, but looks ahead to overcoming sustainability challenges and delivering on net-zero commitments

NEC’s annual conference[PK1]  saw contract users and the wider construction industry come together to hear from keynote speakers across the private and public sector on industry best practice and how the construction sector can build more sustainably.

Over 250 attendees heard about real-life examples of NEC contracts being used around the world – which included a keynote address from HS2’s CEO, Mark Thurston[PK2] .

The conference played host to NEC’s annual awards ceremony, which recognises excellence in project delivery and the work carried out by individuals and teams across the world. This year’s awards were renamed in memory of the late Martin Barnes, NEC’s founder, who passed away earlier in the year.

This year’s winners include:

·       The Ministry of Justice – which received the Sustainability and Climate Resilience award for its new prison programme

·       The Authority for Reconstruction with Changes – which scooped NEC’s Client of the Year Award for its Peru Reconstruction with Changes Programme

·       The Hong Kong Drainage Service Department – which won two awards:

o   The NEC Water Contract of the Year for its work on the Tung Chung Sewage Rising Main

o   And the Contract Innovation of the Year for upgrading the Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant

·       The Hong Kong Highways Department – which took home the NEC Transport of the Year award for its enhanced monitoring strategies for new railway projects

·       And the Airport Authority, Hong Kong – which collected the Building and FM Contract of the year award for its new airport building

The international event also featured presentations on how effective use of NEC contracts can deliver better, greener solutions that can help support the drive towards net zero.

It also introduced NEC’s new secondary X29 option, which incentivises supply chains to support clients’ decarbonisation efforts.

The clause aims to help users build-back confidence in the industry as the sector moves towards more sustainable practices.

The agenda featured presentations on the effectiveness of NEC contracts in delivering greener project solutions, a further step for the industry in supporting the UK’s target of becoming net-zero by 2050.

The presentations and keynotes were followed by [PK3] industry workshop sessions in the afternoon, allowing attendees and participants to exchange practical advice on using NEC contracts for reducing emissions and early contractor involvement. This included sharing their own experiences using NEC contracts and hearing how others have used the contracts differently.

Speaking on the success of the event, Global Head of NEC, Rekha Thawrani, said: “After two and half years speaking with friends, colleagues and other people using our contracts through a computer screen, it was wonderful to see everyone at the conference.

“I’d like to thank all attendees for coming and congratulate all the winners who scooped a high-profile award this year.

“Aside from the awards, the event itself carried a serious message; that the construction industry should lead the way in delivering more sustainable projects, across all levels of the supply chain. Pushing out commitments to cut emissions by 2050 is no longer enough going forward, businesses will need to tangibly evidence stats, facts and data to back up their work.”

Chris Jeffers, Director, and Head of Facility Management Advisory at Mott MacDonald held a talk reviewing the NEC FM Contract over the past year. He said: “Some of the FM sector’s key challenges right now is the need for consistency throughout every aspect of the industry, as well as the need to understand how these contracts are delivered in terms of the requests of the client and their expectations.

“The sector needs to shift its current focus to these challenges. Supporting the UN’s sustainability goals and giving companies the tools to achieve their own social values and goals should be paramount to the FM sector.”

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Notes to editors

Notes to editors About NEC ·       In 1985 the Institution of Civil Engineers decided to lead a fundamental review of alternative contract strategies for civil engineering design and construction with the objective of identifying the need for good practice. After much discussion and consultation, this review resulted in the publication in 1991 of a consultative edition, and in 1993 of the first edition of the New Engineering Contract (NEC). Since then, in response to industry demands, further standard forms of contract have been produced, using the same principles as were used in the NEC first edition. ·       NEC is a division of Thomas Telford Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the owner and developer of the NEC. ·       The NEC family of standard contracts all have the following characteristics: o   Stimulates good management of the relationship between the two parties to the contract and, hence, of the work included in the contract o   Can be used in a wide variety of commercial situations, for a wide variety of types of work and in any location o   Is a clear and simple document – using language and a structure which are straightforward and easily understood

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