The effect of Amendment 11 to the JCT '81 design and build contract

United Kingdom
Getting to know Amendment 11: JCT '81 and the Joint Fire Code

Stephen Tester of the Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Area looks at the effect of Amendment 11 to the JCT '81 design and build contract

The JCT 81 form of building contract provides that the works to be carried out under the contract must be insured against risks such as fire, storm, flood etc. to deal with any loss or damage to the works caused by the occurrence of such risks. Such insurance cover is meant to provide financial resources for the restoration of any damaged works. Clause 22 in particular sets out three different options of insurance: for new buildings, where the Contractor is to be responsible for all risks insurance of the works clause 22A applies, while clause 22B should be used if such responsibility is to fall on the Employer. For works in or extensions to existing structures, clause 22C applies.

Amendment 11 and the Joint Fire Code

Amendment 11, sets out an additional insurance clause 22FC to take into account the Joint Fire Code and to establish a regime of compliance with it. The Joint Fire Code deals with the protection of construction sites and buildings undergoing renovation from fire, and is published by the Building Employers Confederation, the Loss Prevention Council and the National Contractors' Group (with the support of the Association of British Insurers, the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association and the London Fire Brigade).

Insurers are likely to insist that the insured parties comply with the Joint Fire Code, and the construction industry may well find that non-compliance with the Code could result in insurance ceasing to be available. Where insurers require that the Code is to be complied with, it will be necessary to state in the appendix to the contract that the Joint Fire Code is to apply (and clause 22FC is also to apply).

AMENDMENT 11

Sets out compliance with the Joint Fire Code;


  • insurers likely to insist the industry complies with the Code;
  • both parties, the employer and the contractor, required to comply with the Code;
  • indemnity to be given by one party to the other regarding any breach of the Code;
  • insurer to specify remedial measures in cases of breach and a time limit for their completion, and contractor to ensure that these are carried out within the set time limit;
  • if contractor fails to proceed with remedial measures within 7 days of receipt of insurer's requirements, employer to employ others to do so, and to deduct cost from money due to contractor or to treat cost as a debt from the contractor;
  • any extra cost of compliance by the contractor with future amendments of the Joint Fire Code to be added to the contract sum;
  • Code sets out additional requirements regarding large projects, and the appendix of the contract must specify whether a large project or not.

Amendment 11 requires that both parties, the employer and the contractor as well as their respective employees, agents etc, comply with the Code. Indeed each party is liable to the other for such compliance by providing for an indemnity to be given by one party to the other regarding any breach of the Code.

Breaches of the Joint Fire Code

In the event of a breach of the Code, the insurer, under the joint names policy, may specify a number of remedial measures to be taken and set a time limit for the completion of such remedial measures. In such cases, the contractor must ensure that the remedial measures are carried out by the date set by the insurer. If the contractor fails to proceed with the remedial measures within 7 days of receipt of the insurer's notice requesting such remedial measures, the employer may employ, and pay, other persons to carry out these remedial measures. The cost of employing such other persons is to be deducted by the employer from any monies due to the contractor or to be recoverable as a debt from the contractor to the employer.

Other provisions

If the Joint Fire Code is amended in the future, any (net) extra cost of compliance by the contractor with the amended Joint Fire Code is to be added to the contract sum.

Finally, as the Code sets out additional requirements regarding large projects, the appendix of the contract must specify whether the works are a large project or not.