July 1, 2008

Washington, D.C. — ConsensusDOCS™ today released a groundbreaking Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum which marks a significant step forward in utilizing BIM as a collaborative tool. This new document will bring the construction industry's future into reality. The ConsensusDOCS 301 BIM Addendum is the first and only industry standard document to globally address the legal uncertainties associated with utilizing BIM.

BIM is the process of generating and managing computerized, multi–dimensional models linked to databases that house the design specifications, schedules and other documents related to a construction project. BIM provides all parties involved on a project with shared, up–to–date project data, subsequently allowing for a richer design process, increased budget control through predictions about the project's construction process and fewer surprises with respect to potential design and scheduling conflicts among trades — long before ground is even broken.

"The BIM Addendum shows that there is actually less legal risk in moving from the 2–D world to the 3–D world," said Richard Lowe of Duane Morris LLP, who chaired both the ConsensusDOCS BIM Taskforce and the AGC BIM Forum Legal Subcommittee. "Introducing the ConsensusDOCS 301 BIM Addendum does much to allay these fears, by providing a balanced, fair and practical way for all in the industry to proceed with a project using BIM. Now, hesitating to act may actually pose a greater legal risk."

ConsensusDOCS, an industry–wide collaboration of now 22 leading construction associations, is dedicated to publishing best practice contracts that allocate risk fairly among all parties. ConsensusDOCS published the construction industry's first consensus standard contracts and forms on September 28, 2007. The BIM Addendum is the first addition to the ConsensusDOCS' comprehensive catalog of contracts and forms.

Gregory Sizemore, executive vice president of the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), comments, "BIM is very much in the spirit of ConsensusDOCS, helping all parties work collectively and in the best interest of all involved. It is fitting that the Addendum is an early addition to the ConsensusDOCS catalog."

"Building information modeling is changing how construction projects are planned, coordinated, and documented, and that means contracts must change accordingly," said E. Colette Nelson, executive vice president, American Subcontractors Association Inc. (ASA). "ASA endorses the ConsensusDOCS BIM Addendum, a truly pioneering effort to help construction team members define their business relationships on projects that use BIM."

BIM promises a more streamlined, less expensive and less conflict–ridden process through early clash detection of designs that contain two items taking up the same space, virtual tours of a building not yet built, virtual code compliance–checking, and many simulations, including construction sequencing, energy use and security analyses. The BIM Addendum is expected to serve as a catalyst to accelerate the pace of acceptance of BIM in many sectors of the industry.

"The challenge in the design and construction process isn't to expand our horizons, but to fix the seams," said Terry Cook, president of the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA). "BIM is an important conduit for information to flow from concept through design, construction, operations, and back to concept for the next project. I am delighted that ConsensusDOCS has issued a BIM addendum borne of this same collaborative process."

"BIM is leading edge technology and the BIM Addendum addresses it in a fashion that clarifies the responsibility and risk of the parties," said Robert Bourg, National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA). "It also does a good job of tying responsibilities back to the base contract. It maintains the ConsensusDOCS approach, which adds value to the collaborative nature of the document and the group."

Richard Foss, executive vice president of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), said, "NASBP believes the development of the BIM Addendum to be a critical turning point for the industry as it comes to consensus on appropriate ways to allocate risks among project parties using building information modeling technology."

The BIM Addendum was co–drafted with the AGC BIM Forum, a conglomeration of leaders throughout the AEC (architectural, engineering and construction) industry who have joined forces to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of BIM. The input of architects, engineers and academics through the BIM Forum were particularly important in creating an industry–wide consensus document. Several groups and industry leaders not currently affiliated with ConsensusDOCS provided resources and feedback in the drafting process: American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and several individual members of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction.

"As the construction industry moves rapidly to support the use of BIM, contract language must change to reflect the transformation that is occurring," said Mr. Dana K. "Deke" Smith, FAIA, Executive Director, buildingSMART allianceTM at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). "We applaud the BIM Addendum's embracing of many of the strategies set forth in the United States National BIM Standard Version 1, Part 1, Overview, Principles, and Methodologies as it not only supports approaches in the United States, but around the world. Clearly ConsensusDOCS' work along with other industry contract language changes will hasten the industry transformation."

The NIBS BIM standard was used to help the Addendum drafters incorporate future thoughts on BIM technology.

For a complete list of the member organizations participating in ConsensusDOCS, click here. Visit for more information and to purchase and download ConsensusDOCS.


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