Declaration of intent ‘continues together in uncertain times’ against rising construction costs | news

News feature | 31-05-2022 | 14:00

Today, Minister De Jonge for Housing and Spatial Planning and Minister Harbers for Infrastructure and Water Management, together with the design, construction and engineering sectors, banks and industry associations, signed a letter of intent ‘Continue building together in uncertain times’. Due to the war in Ukraine and high inflation, materials are more expensive and harder to obtain, making projects more expensive. It has consequences for the continuity of construction projects that have great economic and social significance, such as housing construction and maintenance and renovation of infrastructure and the built environment. With this declaration of intent, the parties involved therefore want to make a joint effort to promote continuity so that further development can take place.

Minister De Jonge: “It is very important that the declaration of intent is signed today. We all see the consequences of the war in Ukraine and its rising costs. To prevent us from falling behind with construction projects, it is good that agreements are made with each other on how we can promote continuity. Everyone has to do their part in these uncertain times. ”

Minister Harbers: “To ensure that we can continue to travel to work, study, friends and family, we must continue to work on our infrastructure. Roads need to be maintained and many of our bridges and viaducts need major maintenance or replacement. To ensure that work on our infrastructure continues, the government and the construction sector must make good agreements on rising costs. We do this for continuity for the construction sector and for projects that are important for accessibility in the Netherlands to be implemented. ”

Continuity and agreements

The declaration of intent contains principles for arriving at workable solutions for joint projects. These solutions will be examined per. project depending on contract types and agreements already entered into. The statement therefore does not contain any new legal agreements or budget frameworks, but aims to find solutions for each individual project that are suitable for both the client and the contractor in difficult and uncertain circumstances. These can be, for example, agreements on redesign, tendering and permitting procedures, on flexibility and possible timing in programming and implementation. This means that, for example, the planning or implementation of a project can be adjusted so that the project becomes more feasible by choosing other materials or by adapting the planning to the delivery of materials that are more difficult to obtain.

Principles of the letter of intent

With this common action perspective, we focus on reducing risks, limiting damage and promoting continuity in construction production when it comes to construction projects of great social significance and employment in the construction sector. The starting point of the action framework is:

  • that financial risks are not unilaterally placed with one party in the chain; nor in its entirety to consumers, customers, contractors and / or taxpayers;
  • that builders and contractors in mutual consultation – also with subcontractors – taking into account each other’s interests, enter into agreements on how to deal with risks of price increases and supply problems in tenders and new contracts to be concluded;
  • that the parties to mutual consultation enter into agreements on how to act in the event that existing contractual agreements cannot be fulfilled (on time) due to the crisis;
  • that the parties will work together in mutual trust to keep the construction flows running as smoothly as possible.

Support parties

Aedes, IPO Interprovinsial Consultation, Koninklijke Bouwend Nederland, Koninklijke NLIngenieurs, Ministeriet for Indenrigs- og Kingdom Relations, Ministry Ministry of Økonomi og Klima, Ministry Ministry of Infrastruktur og Vandforvaltning, NEPROM Dutch Association of, Project Development Companies, NVTB Dutch Association, Supplying Building Materials Industry , Central Government Real Estate Agency, Rijkswaterstaat, Techniek Nederland, TKI Urban Energy, TNO, VNG Association of Dutch Municipalities, BNA Branch Association of Dutch Architectural Firms, Union of Water Boards.

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