The Key Standard Agreements for Construction Works in Kenya

Beginning a construction project as a developer or individual necessitates a well-crafted construction project contract to govern the entire endeavor. These agreements delineate the terms and conditions that will govern the engagement between you and the contractor. It also defines the terms with the other professional service providers involved in the project. 

The construction agreements can be tailored by your legal representative. But the utilization of standard construction contracts is a prevalent practice due to their accessibility, and cost-effectiveness. It also instills trust through their preparation in consultation with various professional bodies involved in the construction process.

Given the diversity of construction projects, parties may choose from a variety of standard contract templates. In Kenya, several common types of standard construction contracts are widely employed. Each contract serves a specific purpose. Today we are going to address the important agreements for construction works in Kenya.

Types of Construction Project Contracts in Kenya: A Comprehensive Overview

When embarking on a construction project in Kenya, selecting the right contract is a pivotal decision. It can significantly impact the project's success. Various standard construction contracts are commonly used in the Kenyan construction industry. Each caters to specific needs and scenarios of construction company services.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of three prominent types of construction contracts in Kenya. We will also underscore the importance of legal guidance in navigating these agreements.

1. Agreement and Condition of Contract for Building Works (JBC Contracts):

Full Name: Joint Building and Construction Council Contracts (JBCC)

The JBCC stands as a cornerstone in the realm of construction contracts in Kenya. It is formed collaboratively by the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) and the Kenya Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (KABCEC). The JBCC has a paramount objective—to promote the consideration and discussion of all questions affecting the building industry.

Key Features:

Primary Contract for Private Construction Projects: The Agreement and Condition of Contract for Building Works, often referred to as "The Green Book," is a standard contract widely adopted in private construction projects in Kenya. Its comprehensive framework addresses various aspects crucial to the successful execution of such projects.

2. Public Procurement Oversight Authority Standard Bid Document for Procurement of Works (PPRA Contracts):

This construction project contract was developed in strict adherence to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, of 2015. The PPRA Contracts play a pivotal role in public construction projects in Kenya. These contracts are meticulously crafted by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and are widely preferred, especially in government projects.

Key Features:

Legally Compliant: PPRA Contracts are designed to comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act. It ensures legal adherence in public construction works.

3. FIDIC Forms of Contracts:

Acronym: Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC)

The FIDIC forms of contracts represent an internationally recognized set of templates developed by the Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC). This is an international federation of consulting engineers. These contracts are particularly favored in projects involving multinational or multi-corporate stakeholders, where different legal, regulatory, and trade practices come into play.

Key Features:

Global Applicability: FIDIC contracts have gained global acceptance and are widely used in various international construction and project work contracts.

Multinational Project Suitability: The adaptability of FIDIC contracts makes them ideal for projects that necessitate interaction with diverse legal and regulatory frameworks.

4. Other Professional Bodies:

Beyond the mentioned contracts, the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya contributes to the field of standard construction contracts. It provides a repository of templates tailored for construction projects. This showcases the collaborative effort across professional bodies to ensure a comprehensive array of options for construction stakeholders.

Importance of Legal Guidance in Standard Agreements:

The standard form contracts serve as a convenient starting point. However, seeking legal counsel is imperative to tailor these agreements to specific project needs. Here's why legal guidance is crucial when it comes to contracts for construction company services:

Customization and Negotiation:

Lawyers bring expertise to the table. They ensure that standard contracts are reviewed and adjusted to align with the unique nature of your project. Negotiating fair terms that meet the specific requirements of the construction endeavor is a key strength of legal professionals.

Clarity on Legal Jargon:

Contracts are often laden with complex legal terms. Lawyers play a vital role in translating this jargon into comprehensible language. This ensures that all parties involved fully understand the implications of each contractual term.

Dispute Resolution Support:

Disagreements are an inherent part of complex construction projects. Involving a lawyer from the outset enhances the chances of a favorable outcome in dispute resolution processes, whether through court litigation or arbitration.

Navigating the arena of construction contracts in Kenya requires a nuanced understanding of the available options. It also requires the ability to tailor these agreements to specific project requirements. Legal guidance ensures compliance with legal frameworks. It also provides a strategic advantage in negotiations and dispute resolution. It ultimately helps in contributing to the successful realization of construction projects.

How Advocates Can Assist in the Case of Legal Contracts?

The team of lawyers collaborates with individual and corporate developers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and contractors. Many legal companies offer the following services:

  • Contract Agreement Review and Advice: The lawyers review and provide advice on construction work contract agreements.
  • Bespoke Agreement Drafting: They draft customized agreements tailored to the specific needs of your project.
  • Consultation Services: One can book a consultation to speak with the advocates for more information on the legal services and contracts.

While standard construction agreements provide a foundation, the expertise of legal professionals is important. The legal experts ensure that these agreements are adapted to your project's unique requirements. 

It is also important that you hire a reliable construction company that abides by all the legal formalities. Reputed companies like Ebullient Investments Limited always follow all the legal regulations. They are also known for their exceptional construction services.

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