Subproject I: Collaboration
Subproject II: Pricing
Subproject III: Risk allocation (under construction)

Research framework: A coherent and future-proof system of procurement and legal-administrative frameworks for construction

In 2021, the IBR, in collaboration with the VU University Amsterdam (VU), launched a research project on the future of Dutch contract law in construction. This research is part of a broader research framework that includes a multitude of activities and publications and to which, in addition to researchers at the IBR and the VU, practicing construction lawyers are also contributing. This research framework attempts to contribute to a coherent and future-proof system of procurement and legal-administrative frameworks for construction.

In August 2021, a theme issue of the Magazine for Construction Law (Tijdschrift voor Bouwrecht – TBR) was published with the title “Revisiting Construction Contract Law”. In the final article of this issue, Bruggeman and Jansen propose a roadmap to achieve a coherent system of procurement and legal-administrative frameworks. Those frameworks should be aligned with the (legal) developments which have taken place over the past ten years. These developments are, amongst others, described in the articles in the theme issue preceding the roadmap. The developments show an increasing need for different and new solutions to improve the construction process and in its slipstream, the legal frameworks facilitating the process. The proposed roadmap serves as a starting point for further exploration of possible adjustments and improvements to the existing legal frameworks in order to facilitate these solutions.

Theme issue

The theme issue consists of the following contributions:


This theme issue does not stand alone. On September 22, 2021 a conference on the future of Dutch construction law, organized by the IBR, took place. The purpose of the conference was to examine whether and to what extent the current legal-administrative frameworks in construction law sufficiently meet the needs of the current world. The conference gave a glimpse into the future of themes such as cooperation, risk(sharing) and pricing systems in construction. It concluded with an initial reflection on the roadmap included in the aforementioned theme issue of the Magazine for Construction Law and, finally, the question “where do we go from here” was asked to the audience.

The three themes (cooperation, risk(sharing) and pricing systems) that were discussed turned out to be closely related in terms of subject-matter. For example, topics such as stimulating parties to try and create better cooperation and non-adversarial behavior turned out to coincide with (stimulating) communication, sharing information and identifying and discussing risks and possible risk management measures. Sharing and distributing/attributing (the consequences of) risks possibly encourages risk identification and (preventive) control. Early contractor involvement during the design stages contributes or can contribute to both risk identification, as well as collaboration. To shape that early contractor involvement and control of identified risks, looking for other methods than setting a fixed price or lump sum, but instead using a system in which differed pricing is possible, are both important and relevant.

Throughout the afternoon speakers and the audience members had plenty of time to discuss the different propositions. Unfortunately, there was too little time to discuss all the different topics. During the conference attendees expressed the need for new and appropriate solutions for the future of construction and concluded that it is very important to work out which actors should fulfill the key roles in creating a coherent and future-proof system.
The afternoon gave a clear picture of the need not only for more and different procurement and contractual “solutions”, but also a need for more standardized or “tried and tested” solutions. It was emphasized that in recent years many publications and initiatives have already found practical measures that can offer solutions to the themes and the related problems discussed during the afternoon of the conference. It was also clear that a definitive and central analysis and wide application of these solutions is lacking. An account of this conference was published in the December 2021 issue of the Magazine for Construction Law (TBR 2021/140).

Other publications

Following publications and education

In the final article of the TBR theme issue, Bruggeman and Jansen propose some steps that could lead to a coherent (or more coherent) system of procurement and legal-administrative frameworks.
The IBR plans to organize a number of follow-up meetings in the upcoming years, in which the question “how to proceed?” and the themes discussed at the conference will be discussed in more detail and, where possible or desirable, elaborated in publications.


On April 1, 2022, a conference related to Shaping Cooperation in Construction and Procurement Law was held in Utrecht.

prof. mr. dr. E.M. Bruggeman opent het IBR Congres 'Het vormgeven van samenwerking in het bouw- en aanbestedingsrecht'