First of all, it’s only been around three and a half years since these documents were officially released and this release is about 18 months sooner than anticipated (the original revision cycle was to be 5 years). Why the revision? According to my friend and counsel to ConsensusDOCS, Brian Perlberg, one major rationale is that
the economics of the construction industry today looks nothing like it did [in 2007]
Among the changes are several terminology changes (“constructor” instead of “contractor” for instance), 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 fees (before both sides of a dispute bore their own fees).
A couple of other notable provisions allow an Owner to audit a contractor’s books and a better placed and defined definition of Contract Documents. These are not all of the changes, and the revisions are fairly extensive.
I recommend that you review the ENR article, any sample forms, and consult with a construction attorney to determine how these changes affect your present use of the ConsensusDOCS (if you use them) or if you should consider using them for your projects.
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