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24Feb94 UK: PAY UPFRONT CLADDERS TELL CLIENTS.

Curtain wallers are calling on British clients to start to fall into line with the rest of Europe by paying 15 per cent of a contract value before work starts on site.The move follows a dramatic shift in working practices in the industry, with an ever increasing effort being put into the design stages of a project.Members of the curtain wall contractors group of the Association for Aluminium Windows and Facades now want to see contractual arrangements changed to move more into line with European practices.On the Continent 30 per cent of fees are paid upfront.Group chairman Tony Tidy said: 'Today's curtain wall and cladding specialists make use of design techniques which reach the same levels of technical sophistication found in many aspects of aeronautical engineering.'This has shifted the cost burden to the early stages of the contract and, despite this extensive commitment of resources at the initial phase, UK firms are frequently not paid for the work until installation begins on site.'Mr Tidy believes a 15 per cent upfront payment is a realistic first step towards parity with the European system.The AWA will be lobbying main contractors, developers and MPs as part of its campaign. CONSTRUCTION NEWS