WIESBADEN, Germany – An agreement signing Aug. 4 between U.S. forces and the German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building revised an almost 50-year-old agreement improving construction processes for U.S. installations in Germany.
“This agreement represents a lot of great work by our staff and host nation partners. We’ve been working on this for two years, and the flexibility provided by the new agreement is absolutely essential,” said Tommy R. Mize, Installation Management Command-Europe director who signed the agreement on behalf of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.
The Auftragsbauten Grundsätze 1975, (Principles of Construction Contracting 1975), lays out how U.S. forces and the German government manage construction processes including design approval, cost thresholds and contracting for host nation construction companies.
Under the old agreement German and American design approval, funding and construction timelines often didn’t line up causing projects to be lost in the process. A minimum threshold for smaller projects also did not accommodate current construction costs making that piece of the aged agreement mostly unusable.
Negotiations led to two major changes in the agreement. For indirect projects which are executed by the host nation on behalf of the U.S., design changes often caused delays with cost and time impacts. A more flexible process was agreed upon to compensate for delays and lost effort during project design phases.
The second change increased the direct construction threshold from €375,000 to €1.2 million, which will allow more renovations, demolitions and new construction projects to be executed using direct procedures via U.S. contracting at garrisons in Germany. Projects in direct execution generally proceed more quickly than indirect projects, especially in the design phase of the project.
The U.S. and host nation teams will continue to meet to find new opportunities to strengthen their partnership and improve design and construction procedures.