The Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) yesterday launched a suite of Design & Build Standard Form of Contracts, tailored for the Asian construction industry.

The new contracts are customisable and free to use, containing over 60 definitions of words and expressions for greater clarity, comprehensive dispute resolution mechanisms, enhanced accountability and payment provisions, as well as new provisions addressing bribery and corruption. They are designed to complement existing design & build contracts issued by other industry bodies such as Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

Launched by YA Dato’ Lee Swee Seng, Judge of the Kuala Lumpur Construction Court, the new standard form contracts are tailored for contractors and sub-contractors, taking into account the modern realities of the construction industry. Flexibility, predictability, and cost efficiency principles are built into the contract, preventing deadlocks and encouraging continuity of works and working relationships.

Datuk Prof Sundra Rajoo, director of AIAC, said at the launch, “The idea for a Design and Build standard form contract stems from its increasing popularity. Successful coordination of construction projects significantly depends on effective and efficient administration of the contractual chain, including design and build contracts entered into by the Contractors and Sub-Contractors. To address the needs of the contracting parties involved in the carrying out of the design and build works, the Design and Build Contracts are designed to complement the initial set of the SFC and provide smooth administration of contractual relationships.”

The Design & Build contracts are drafted by an Expert Advisory Committee convened by the AIAC. Chaired by Datuk Prof Sundra Rajoo, the Committee consisted of luminaries in the construction law field, including Ir Harbans Singh KS, Karen Gough, Lam Wai Loon, and Kevin Prakash. The main form consists of 69 clauses, with 66 core clauses and 3 optional clauses. Definitions and interpretations clauses have also been expanded to include the particular requirements of the Design & Build nature for which the contracts are to be used for.

The AIAC Design & Build Standard Form of Contracts are freely downloadable from sfc.aiac.world. Although the contracts are designed to be user-friendly, parties to the contract are still advised to seek legal advice before using it.