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New RIBA contracts for small projects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched two innovative building contracts designed to be used in conjunction with RIBA's Architect's Appointment Agreements for Small Projects. The new contracts are fully aligned with the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 and have been designed in response to feedback from RIBA members calling for improvement and innovation within the building contracts currently available.

The RIBA Domestic Building Contract provides a simple, comprehensive and legally appropriate contract solution for all types of non-commercial work, including renovations, extensions, maintenance and new buildings. The contract is endorsed by the HomeOwners Alliance.

The RIBA Concise Building Contract provides a complete contract solution to cover small scale commercial building projects of a standard and straightforward nature.

The new contracts were launched on 5 November and are available in both print and online formats. They form part of a move towards a suite of project contracts that can be prepared and stored digitally and are more relevant and focused around the needs of those undertaking smaller projects. The RIBA is also working on updating the suite of RIBA agreements, to be available as an online tool.

RIBA president Stephen Hodder MBE, commented: 'The new RIBA building contracts are a major step forward for the RIBA, our members and more importantly our members' clients. The contracts complement our existing suite of architect's appointment agreements for small-scale residential and domestic building projects and have been written in straight forward language that can be completed with confidence, without the need for legal advice.'

Jane Duncan, director of Jane Duncan Architects and RIBA president-elect added: 'The RIBA building contracts are fair and balanced, supporting and enabling the work of the contractor whilst protecting the rights and interests of clients. This offers appropriate provisions for the major risks that either parties may encounter, including the risk to the contractor of failure by the client to pay for the work done and the risk to the homeowner of defective or incomplete work.

'I am proud to have been instrumental in the development of these two new forms of building contracts and very much welcome their publication.'

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance commented: 'Most homeowners do not have experience in carrying out major building work, like an extension or loft conversion, and we therefore strongly support this new form of contract. It will help homeowners protect their home, help them have a better understanding of their and their builder's obligations and ensure that the result is a dream come true.'

For further details on the new contracts visit

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2015 09:55