Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

ConsensusDOCS Goes Green

ConsensusDOCSRecently, the ConsensusDOCS, a set of form documents that compete with the older (though in my opinion, no more useful) AIA contract documents with which all general contractors and subcontractors are familiar, released a Green Building Addendum(the ConsensusDOCS 310). In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the working group on this addendum for the AGC and ConsensusDOCS, however, these opinions are my own.

As discussed in various venues around the web, including by my friend Stephen Del Percio, this document does a good job of specifically allocating the risks between and among the parties in explicit terms. Specifically, it moves all tax and financial long-term consequences (i. e. the cost savings over time) into the category of consequential damages that are subject to waivers of such damages in other construction documents.

It also creates a position of “green building facilitator” to coordinate the project and take the responsibility for meeting the owner’s green building goals and dealing with various project initiatives. A key point to this position is that it is not defined as a LEED AP. ConsensusDOCS takes great pains to make this addendum rating system neutral. In my opinion, this addendum is therefore more flexible can more easily conform to an owner’s sustainability and energy performance goals. The facilitator can be one of several types of construction professionals. However, the facilitator takes on certain liabilities so any candidate for this position on a project using the ConsensusDOCS 310 should read these provisions carefully.

These risk allocation provisions are in many ways music to the ears of a construction lawyer like me that represents contractors. The Addendum lets the other contract documents control many of the time horizon issues and energy reporting issues that can plague a contractor if they are not properly addressed. The simple allocation of most, if not all, of these issues to a category of damages that can be, and often are, waived by the parties is an elegant manner of addressing these issues. It puts the parties in control, and that is a good thing.

In short, I recommend reading the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum to contractors and construction attorneys alike. Green building and energy reporting are here to stay and this document moves a good way toward dealing with the issues inherent in such requirements.

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9 Responses to ConsensusDOCS Goes Green

  1. Thanks for the update, good treatment. I agree with you that the AIA docs are useless on green building issues, pretty criminal they have not really addressed it.
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Local Contractor Shells Out Cash To Settle Wage Class Action Suit =-.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christopher Hill, Christopher Hill, Christopher Hill, Christopher Hill, Christopher Hill and others. Christopher Hill said: New Musings: ConsensusDOCS Goes Green […]

  3. Michaels' Practice » The New ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum: Avoiding Green Legal Liability With Actions Over Words says:

    […] ConsensusDOCS Goes Green ( […]

  4. “It also creates a position of “green building facilitator” to coordinate the project and take the responsibility for meeting the owner’s green building goals and dealing with various project initiatives.” – This is very and and a great thing. Having a green building facilitator can aid in the growing green initiative and provide insights on better products that will help out the owner save additional money.

  5. […] ConsensusDOCS claims to have an industry first with its form 310 “Green Building Addendum.” This is the first of its kind and something that is needed with the rise of green projects and interest. More on this form atChristopher Hill’s blog. […]

  6. […] the addition of mandatory green building design as a basic service (these forms already have a Green Building Addendum) if included in the Owner’s plan and the ability to provide for prevailing party attorney […]

  7. Are “Green” Building Designations and Certifications Truly Necessary? | Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA says:

    […] headline for today’s post. After all, I am a LEED AP and assisted in the drafting of the LEED/Green Building addendum to the ConsensusDOCS so I must be pro LEED (or any other) certification of buildings. To the extent that such […]

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