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| 3 minutes read

JCT DB 2024 - what’s new and how will it affect my existing contract forms?

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has now published its first contracts in the 2024 suite: the Design and Build Contract 2024 (DB 2024) as well as the Design and Build Sub-Contract 2024 (DBSub 2024).

The last suite of JCT contracts was published in 2016 so they were long overdue an update, but do the new JCT 2024 changes go far enough? 

The key changes to note are:

Collaborative working and environmental considerations

As part of the updates, there is a new Article 3 ‘Collaborative Working’ which requires the Parties to ‘work with each other and with the other project team members in a co-operative and collaborative manner, in good faith and in a spirit of trust and respect.’ This should come as no surprise as in the press release about the JCT 2024 Edition, JCT expressed that it wanted to reflect the Construction Playbook objectives by incorporating these changes into the main document (rather than through optional supplemental provisions as in the 2016 edition). 

There are also new provisions in relation to the contractor being encouraged to suggest economically viable amendments and the contractor providing information to the employer on the environmental impact of the supply and use of materials and goods. 

Building safety

JCT has made changes to reflect the new Part 2A of the Building Regulations 2010, introduced by the Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 in relation to dutyholders. There is a new Article 7 in relation to appointing a principal designer and principal contractor and amendments to the parties’ obligations, in line with their duties under the Building Regulations. 


Another aim of the DB 2024 was to modernise. JCT has done this by adopting gender-neutral language, providing for execution by way of electronic signatures, and including an option that notices can now be served via email.

Extension of time

To help streamline and speed up the process of extensions of time, JCT has included a requirement for the contractor to respond to the Employer’s information request within 14 days. In addition, the employer now must notify the contractor of its decision for each extension of time notice no later than eight weeks from receipt of the notification or further information (whichever is later), down from the previous requirement of 12 weeks. 

Relevant events/relevant matters

An update which should not come as a surprise, following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, is the new ‘relevant event’ for an epidemic causing unavailability of labour and/or materials. Also, the relevant event dealing with the exercise of any statutory power has been expanded to include changes in law. Finally, there is a new relevant event dealing with employers’ instructions with respect to unexploded bombs and unanticipated contamination and asbestos.

Relevant matters are also included to cover the same points, while the first of these two relevant matters only applies if selected in the contract particulars, some of these changes may be inconsistent with the existing schedules of amendments used by many employers with the 2016 suite and so should be considered carefully before old schedules of amendment are brought over for use with DB 2024. 

Termination – accounting and payment provisions

JCT has made changes in relation to termination payments in section 8 (final date, notices and amount) to remove any doubt as to whether the contract processes are compliant with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the Construction Act).


Fluctuations (i.e. changes to the contract sum to recognise inflation) have been deleted from the printed contracts, but they are still available on the JCT website as an option. 

Overall, the changes are welcomed and reflect what the industry was calling for, with the exception, perhaps, of building safety. Disappointingly, the updates do not cover Higher Risk Buildings so users will need to seek their own legal advice and prepare bespoke amendments where required. 

The JCT states in its contract guides that it does not believe that any of the 2024 edition amendments materially affect risk allocation in the unamended JCT contract. However, as noted above, users will need to carefully consider how/if these updates align with any existing schedules of amendments which they are using and consider further amendments as necessary.

Please get in touch if you require advice regarding amendments for the DB 2024 (or if you need your previous JCT DB 2016 schedule of amendments updated in line with the new form of contract).


jct, design and build 2024, building safety, construction, contracts, all sectors