ConsensusDocs: Training on the new forms (Tue Tip)

ConsensusDOCS logo

As previously discussed on this blog, one of the form contract sets available for construction projects is that of ConsensusDocs.  ConsensusDocs was created in 2007, based on the (now discontinued) Associated General Contractors of America forms.

The newest ConsensusDocs forms have been released–three years early.   As explained by Chris Hill on his Construction Law Musings  blog, the early release is due to the many changes in the construction industry since the release of the first documents in 2007.

Now there is a free webinar that will discuss the changes to the revised ConsensusDocs forms, including topics such as:

The webinar will take place:

Thursday, March 31st from 3:00 PM- 4:30 PM ET

Questions about ConsensusDOCS or other form contract documents?  Drop me a line in the comment section, below.


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.

Holidays and downtime on the job

google lego calendarThis time of year, folks look forward to taking time off from their jobs and spending time with family.  Most of your workers, subconsultants, and vendors do, too.  Add to that that many owners may be unreachable during the holidays, and it seems that sometimes it is impossible to get anything done during December.

Despite all the festive good cheer, be careful not to let the holiday season turn into a claim for delay on a project.  Project holidays are usually set at the beginning of a job.  It is a good idea to review your contract and any set calendars agreed to prior to making assumptions about what days will be considered non-work days.  Discuss anticipated absences early in the month, and determine back-up plans for when a needed individual (for example, the architect) is not reachable.  If the owner will be unavailable, has he delegated decision making authority in his absence?  Anticipating potential problems and solutions to them can make the difference between a productive month and weeks of float creep.

If you experience problems due to the vacation of others, be sure to document the delays and timely request an extension of time.  Under AIA A201 8.3.1, the contract time shall be extended by change order  if the contractor is delayed in the progress of the Work by an act or neglect of the Owner, Architect, or a separate contractor employed by the Owner.  Contract adjustments due to the delay are also available.  Likewise, Consensus DOCS 200, at 6.3.1, contains a similar provision for compensation for delay damages caused by others.

Under EJCDC documents, however, only an extension of time, and not an equitable cost increase to the contract, is the remedy for a delay experienced by a contractor.  EJCDC C-700 12.03.

Regardless of the form of contract on your Project, be sure do document all delays experienced due to the unavailability of others.  Make claims for time and/or money adjustments in accordance with your contract for all such delays to avoid finding yourself short on time at the end of the Project.

Oh, and happy holidays!

Photo:  google lego calendar by keso s via Creative Commons license.