Demystifying X29: What is it and what are its benefits?

Demystifying X29: What is it and what are its benefits?

According to a recent report by The Environmental Audit Committee, appointed by the House of Commons, the UK’s built environment contributes to 25% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. To combat this issue, change is needed imminently to reduce this number drastically to help to protect the globe from serious damage.

The government’s target of net zero and reducing all operational carbon emissions by 2030 is edging ever closer, but what is the construction industry doing to reduce its contribution of greenhouse gases?

Construction companies are now looking at ways to act in order for these goals to be met and the NEC is the first of the construction industry standard contract bodies to introduce new green drafting to aid with the move towards net zero.

A new clause has been added to NEC4 in order to help teams address climate change.


What is X29?

The new climate change clause, X29, was released this year to support, incentivise and demonstrate carbon reduction initiatives on future builds across the construction sector.

With the built environment being one of the most problematic for emissions, X29 has been drafted to try and combat this issue and to help companies achieve the net zero target through their build contracts.

Clients (the procurer of the works or services) will articulate their requirements for reducing the impact of climate change as part of their wider project goal. As part of X29, the Client will come up with Climate Change Requirements within the contract’s Scope.  In response, the Contractor is required to submit a Climate Change Plan, how they will meet the requirements.


What does X29 outline?

The new clause is optional and includes new definitions and a range of requirements to help reduce the impact of climate change, including:

– The inclusion of a Performance Table that incentivises the contractor’s performance of certain targets. It can reward or punish contractors if the targets are not met – it is advisable to include a maximal amount to prevent this sum from getting too high.

– 3 requires an early warning to be notified by the Project Manager and Contractor if any matter could adversely affect the achievement of the Climate Change Requirements.

– An obligation for a Climate Change Plan to be produced and updated from time to time.

– 2 introduces a requirement to collaborate with the Climate Change Partners, e.g. consultants.

– The ability for the Contractor to propose changes that may reduce the impact on climate change in both the creation of the asset and its future operation, maintenance and demolition.

 The clause does require a lot of thought and discussion between the parties as to how these targets will be both attainable and measurable for the clause to be used effectively.



Now that X29 has been officially launched, clients, contractors and consultants can take advantage of it to incorporate climate change requirements into their NEC contracts.

It is a step in the right direction for the construction industry towards reducing emissions and reaching the government’s targets of net zero by 2030, which is of course only eight years away.

At Sypro, we have our own in-house NEC expert and drafter, Dr Stuart Kings, who provides online training on the contracts.

For more information on Dr Stuart Kings’ webinars, please visit: