Consensus doesn’t mean unanimity. ConsensusDocs is the first and only broad-based coalition in the United States that publishes standard construction contract documents. ConsensusDocs has existed for over 14 years and has grown to over 40 construction organizations, including the three largest owner organizations in the U.S. One aspect that made consensus possible was allowing each participating organization the opportunity to provide their own individual comments to the standard ConsensusDocs language. This is done through the ConsensusDocs Guidebook. You can access the published ConsensusDocs Guidebook here: https://www.consensusdocs.org/guidebook/.
The Guidebook allows associations to highlight important risk allocation issues and project-specific concerns for their members. It is also a way for associations to provide their commentary on important and relevant risk allocation principles. If comments make specific revisions to the standard language, those comments are published on those associations’ particular websites. Suggested revisions may change the consensus-based risk allocation principles. A prominent example is altering the pay-when-paid language standard in ConsensusDocs 750 and 751 subcontracts to pay-if-paid language.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), one of the founding organizations of the ConsensusDocs Coalition, has been the most active organization in providing Guidebook comments. Recently, through the work of the AGC Contract Documents Forum, AGC extensively revised its comments to the ConsensusDocs 200 prime agreement. These comments were approved by the AGC CDF at its recent convention and have just been published. The occupational divisions’ leaderships within AGC were briefed on this effort and invited to make any additional comments. Construction contracts embed so many important policy decisions that impact the construction industry.
The AGC commentary provides insights from the General Contractor’s perspective on important risk allocation issues in construction contracts. The commentary references ConsensusDocs standard provisions and is organized by numeric sections of the ConsensusDocs 200 prime agreement. While the comments are tailored to address the ConsensusDocs 200, the AGC Guidebook comments will deepen the understanding of fundamental contract issues. These issues are in most construction contracts, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) A201 Terms and Conditions Document (2017), as well as “original” or “bespoke” contracts.
The AGC Comments to ConsensusDocs is a members-only resource. A member needs to log into the website to obtain access. Any questions about the document may be directed to AGC’s Senior Counsel on Construction Law, Brian Perlberg, at email@example.com.