In the countries contributing to this publication, alliancing is at varying stages of development and adoption. In some countries, alliancing or co-operative contracts of some form are being used and in others, it is not a concept which is well recognised. There is no country where alliancing is significantly developed and adopted in the construction industry but there are many examples of individual projects where this is being used or employers who are taking the lead in using this form of contracting.
What follows are three specific country case studies where alliancing has been more readily used (Australia, Austria and Finland) as well as a snapshot of the experience in a number of other countries listed below.
See the case studies:
Alliancing is not currently widely used in the construction industry in Singapore but it is gaining interest. There are plans for the Singapore Building and Construction Association (“BCA”) to pilot a contract alliance model for future public projects. This is due to come into force by early 2020. The BCA has also initiated the Construction Industry Transformation Map which has, as a component, a push toward a collaborative approach to increase productivity in the construction industry.
A Working Committee on Collaborative Contracting (“WCCC”) comprising government agencies and industry associations/practitioners was set up in September 2017 to study the collaborative contracting forms used overseas for adoption in Singapore. As initiatives such as these progress, the use of contract alliancing in Singapore is expected to increase significantly.
The focus in Singapore is to introduce contract alliancing into public development projects. The Singapore Government has identified that alliance contracting is useful in allowing involvement from engineers and contractors early in the project, providing feedback on areas which require refinement to design before construction work begins, facilitating integration of the design and construction process and reducing unnecessary delays and costs. A collaborative approach is already encouraged through the use of Early Contractor Involvement (“ECI”).
ECI allows contractors to provide input into the design stage, promoting greater coordination and collaboration between stakeholders. All public agencies in Singapore are required to consider ECI upfront if possible.
The Singapore Government has stated that the building time for public sector projects such as transport infrastructure could be shortened by reducing inefficiency and waste which can be caused when parties to a construction project work in “silos”.
In order to boost construction productivity, the Singapore Government has been looking at the adoption of collaborative contracting models used in the United States and in Hong Kong, where the New Engineering Contract (“NEC”) form is used for all government projects tendered from 2015.
The BCA believes that the use of collaborative contracting will encourage the project parties to work together in a spirit of mutual trust toward a common goal, and encourage better cost and risk management, with disputes avoided or resolved at an early stage.
The BCA has noted that there must exist a fair system of allowing contractors to participate at the design stage and that there still exist co-ordination and operational issues in handovers from architects to engineers downstream.
In relation to public sector development, it will require specific digital software to facilitate collaboration. The government is in the process of developing this software.
The Singapore government will implement the pilot alliancing model in public sector projects by 2019 with the hope that this will motivate the private sector to follow suit.