Innovative contracting for BwN


Realisation within project boundaries represents the most concrete perspective on BwN. The definition of the project boundaries is of crucial importance since this defines the domain in which procurement and contracts have to be organized. So (1) grip is needed on how project boundaries are changed by BwN and (2) procurement and contract need to be organised accordingly.’

  1. Application of Building with Nature BwN principles throughout the project phases requires new relations between governments and private parties. It thus implies other responsibilities and roles for knowledge workers, decision makers, stakeholders, consultants and contractors. In decision making on developments the public actors will stay responsible for ulimately answering the ‘what’ question. However knowledge workers, consultants and contractors might play substantial roles in the learning process on clearifying what is feasible in an eco-system, applying an integral approach on the eco-system, making use of natural forces, and harvesting valuable eco-services.These efforts on optimising seemingly the ‘how’ question will envision and influence the ‘what’ question. At least if the participatory horizontal relationships between governments, stakeholders, knowledge workers, consultants, and contractors are established as BwN principles suggest.
  2. Governments and other project developers have to follow a tender process in case of outsourcing works and contracts. The rules, procedures and requirements for this are easily traced in national legislation. Typically the bid process includes a prequalification step or integral qualification criteria; usually criteria include financial qualification for similar work, technical qualification and the financial eligibility of te contractor, expressed in terms of total turnover. Such rules, that frame competition and determine who is eligible, influence the line up of private parties such as consultants and constructors. The described developments call for redesign of the setting or frame in which realization takes place. A realisation frame has to de developed that secures that the seedbed of BwN is harvested in realisation. Dealing with contractors (used to design + construct jobs) that play a substantial role during the initiation and planning phases takes rethinking procurement and accompanying contract types.

Inevitable the issue has to be faced how to deal with procurement and contracts in the case realization takes place within enlarged and reshuffled project boundaries.

This building solution outlines cooperation and procurement strategies and elaborates contracts and suitable organisational structures.

The key questions are:

  • How can organisational structures, procurement and contracts facilitate BwN within project boundaries?
  • Which specific arrangements with regard to organisation, procurement and contracts are conditional for realisation of BwN within project boundaries?


  • Successful integration of BwN concepts in a development benefits from early involvement of all relevant players in the field, especially from the knowledge of constructing parties. This requires a sound package of agreements with commercial parties, that allows these to bring in their expertise, under a mechanism to reward them for their creativity, but without ‘open ends’.


  • Innovative contracting requires a large input, qualitatively and quantitatively, from developers in early stages of the project, often dealing within knowledge fields they are less familiar with.
  • Innovative contracting inevitably includes a certain level of uncertainty in early stages of decision making. Mechanisms to handle such uncertainties through ‘adaptive management’ are becoming general practice.