Public sector procurement organisation Scape Group has launched two new construction frameworks worth a total of £13bn.
The £11bn construction framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will run alongside a £2bn framework for Scotland. Both will operate for four years with an option to extend for a further two years.
The framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland builds on Scape’s existing National Construction and Minor Works frameworks which have seen over 800 projects delivered to date by Willmott Dixon, Robertson, Wates, Lendlease and Kier. Projects have been supported regionally by Farrans, McLaughlin and Harvey, Henry Brothers and a UK-wide network of SMEs.
A new feature of the new Scape Construction framework is a parallel lotting structure that will give commissioning clients the option to engage early with multiple contractors before awarding a project.
Scape Group said this element of the framework has been designed to stimulate innovation and a reinforced commitment from contractors to maintain the highest possible standards.
The new framework will also be ‘digital as standard’ with a pre-qualifying requirement that all delivery partners must be Level 2 BIM compliant and that contracts can be digitally exchanged through e-document agreements.
And Scape will be unveiling its new sustainability plans this summer, which bidders will be expected to respond to as the contracting authority looks to help the public sector address the climate emergency.
While this framework will continue the fully managed, direct award, it has also been designed to support the growing list of project objectives that the public sector seeks to address. These include enhanced local economic engagement and supporting the achievement of the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon commitments.
Users of the framework will also have a wider range of NEC contract options, aimed at boosting collaboration and flexibility across the supply chain on longer-term, higher-value projects or for specifying performance objectives that cover the full life cycle of an asset.
The new £11bn framework will be structured into seven lots; two of which are specific to Northern Ireland.
John Simons, head of procurement and audit at Scape Group, said: “This is by far the most innovative framework in our 15-year history and, importantly, offers more choice and control to the public sector, whilst maintaining our heritage in framework and performance management.
“Our public sector colleagues have a diverse mix of challenges that they have to tackle as a part of the projects they commission. By introducing what we believe is the first ever parallel lotting structure within a direct award framework, we feel that we can help to clear a path to achieving those objectives, whilst maintaining a bedrock of rigour, compliance and client support.
“By providing clients with the flexibility to decide how success is defined, be that related to local spend, social value or low carbon initiatives, we can help the public sector to meet their strategic goals.
“For contractors, the new framework will enable them to do what they do best. They will continue to have the opportunity to engage early, collaborate with clients and to deliver project excellence at pace, that shows the industry at its most innovative and impactful.
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The construction industry has a clear mandate from the Prime Minister to build back better.
“The entire sector has experienced a shock to the system over recent months. As a public sector organisation, we have a duty to play our part in accelerating project delivery and to ensure that the right mix of contractors is available to support the sector with a real commitment to innovation and local delivery.
“Importantly, we need to ensure that the wide range of adjacent social, economic and environmental objectives are uncovered upfront; that they are planned in and treated with the same rigour as time, cost and quality.
“Our role is to broker the right relationships and conversations between the private and public sector. Underpinned by a delivery model that has a proven track record of successful delivery, we believe that our new Construction frameworks will not only nurture those partnerships and deliver great buildings but that they will ensure each and every project plays its part in driving the economic recovery.”