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Real Estate Law

ConsensusDOCS Updates its Forms

As reported recently in ENR Magazine, among other publications, the ConsensusDOCS folks have updated their contract forms. Why is this news?

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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