Industry Priorities

The most used ConsensusDocs standard contract document is the ConsensusDocs 751 Standard Short Form Subcontract. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), through its Contract Documents Forum, has just released comments to this popularly used standard subcontract document. These comments can be found at www.agc.org/contract as a member-only download on the bottom-right side of the webpage. General contractors will want to consider these comments in tailoring subcontract language for their own project-specific purposes – regardless of whether they are using a standard form or bespoke contract.
ConsensusDocs and JAMS share common dispute mitigation and resolution goals and bring together a talented group of neutrals to contribute to better and more efficient construction contracting. ConsensusDocs (a family of standard form construction contracts promulgated by 40+ participating construction industry associations) provides form contracts that foster open communication pathways among the parties, a balanced allocation of risks, and avoidance or early mitigation of disputes. JAMS (a leading provider of arbitration, mediation, and related dispute resolution services through a select panel of distinguished neutrals) shares common goals with ConsensusDocs in promoting efficient and cost-effective resolution of the disputes that arise on construction projects – when they are unable to be avoided. Recognizing these shared interests, ConsensusDocs forms specifically identify JAMS mediation and arbitration among the types of alternative dispute mitigation and resolution offered.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), through a working group of the AGC Contract Documents Forum, has just released comments to the ConsensusDocs 750 Standard Agreement Between the Constructor and Subcontractor. These comments follow on to comments AGC adopted in January of this year related to the ConsensusDocs 200 prime agreement that includes general terms and conditions. General contractors will want to consider these comments in tailoring standard ConsensusDocs contract document language for their own project-specific purposes. ConsensusDocs publishes contractual best practices that are fair to all parties and are created by a coalition of over 40 organizations. AGC’s comments provide a general contractor-specific perspective.
AGC of America’s (AGC) advocacy fund is proactively seeking to improve general contractors’ business environment by participating in a case before the Supreme Court of Tennessee. AGC and the AGC of Tennessee jointly submitted an amicus (or friend of the court) brief to preserve a general contractor’s right not to be sued for the damages twice under different legal theories by its contracting partner seeking to receive a double recovery.
Price escalation and supply chain disruptions continue to register as the number one issue in construction contracts today. The absence of a price escalation clause is considered a “killer clause” for many general contractors working on private vertical construction. Public owners are taking notice as well.
AGC goes to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the practice of pre-bid interaction between public owners and contactors that ultimately leads to better RFPs and projects.
Do the risks outweigh the benefits of using prefabricated construction on your next project? ConsensusDocs recently held a webinar and emphatically concluded that, yes, the benefits far outweigh the risk so long as you have the right contractual tools to address the many small and large issues that arise when using prefabrication. In addition, new proposed federal rules may change how off-site work is treated under Davis-Bacon and the application of prevailing wages. However, the trend toward prefabrication, especially in a post-Covid-19 outbreak construction world, will undoubtedly continue.
More than 700 conference attendees gathered at a recent American Bar Association (ABA) Fidelity and Surety Law annual meeting to share insights and information on the "Construction Document Toolkit: The Documents Behind the Decisions.” ConsensusDocs’ Executive Director Brian Perlberg and Adam Tuckman, a construction and surety law attorney at Watt Tieder LLP, gave an overview of ConsensusDocs and some of the key differences with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) A201. ConsensusDocs’ recently updated performance and payment bonds also were featured prominently at the plenary educational session.
Trusting that your fellow contracting party will act ethically and in good faith is essential. Aligning the parties’ interests with the project’s success creates the right foundation to build successfully. Setting the right tone and expectations between party relationships is one of the reasons that ConsensusDocs contracts have been used on construction projects worth more than $50 billion but have yet to be the subject of a reported court decision.