ConsensusDOCS- are they an improvement over AIA construction contracts?

Have you had occasion to use the (relatively) new ConsensusDOCS? Having just completed my manuscript for the North Carolina Construction Law seminar I’m speaking at in May, I’ve been spending a lot of time comparing the American Institute of Architect’s standard contract general conditions, the AIA A201 (2007) to the ConsensusDOCS 200 (2007) and the Engineering Joint Contracts Document Committee (EJCDC) standard general conditions of the contract, C-700 (2007).

I haven’t yet seen litigation over the ConsensusDOCS, so how courts will interpret its provisions remains to be seen. One major difference: the ConsensusDOCS do diminish some of the architect/design professional’s role on the project.

For example, in the change order process, instead of the architect being involved in the contract price and time adjustment (see AIA A201 Section 7.2.1), the ConsensusDOCS 200 calls for the owner and contractor to negotiate in good faith. No mention is made of the design professional’s role. (See 8.1.2).

If you’ve had occasion to work under the ConsensusDOCS, drop me a line and tell me the advantages and disadvantages over other form contracts.

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