By Steve Rizer
A new standard agreement from the ConsensusDocs coalition is expected to make it easier for design professionals and design-builders to contract on federal design-build projects. The comprehensive agreement provides the business and contractual terms and conditions for a design-builder to hire an architect or engineer on a design-build project in a manner consistent with federal contracting laws and practices. It is believed to be the first standard design-build agreement for design professional services on federal projects.
The document, published late last month, includes language that addresses new regulations for affirmative action requirements for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities from the US. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
In commenting on the need for the new document, ConsensusDocs Executive Director Brian Perlberg told ConstructionPro Week (CPW) that design-builders and design professionals have spent “a lot of money” hiring people to create contracts for this type of work from scratch on a project-by-project basis. "Moreover, it is hard to keep that custom contract up to date with the myriad of new laws and regulations that federal contractors are faced with every year."
The new document is one of several standard agreements that ConsensusDocs has released in recent weeks. Among the other new documents is a standard contract for testing laboratory services. This particular standard agreement is expected to provide a fair and balanced contractual foundation for contractors and testing labs to ensure that both parties understand their roles and responsibilities. The group of 40-plus design and construction industry associations also has published a standard contract with integrated general conditions for a public works project. ConsensusDocs believes this document will prove to be “particularly helpful” for local and state governments that are looking to use an off-the-shelf contract solution.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes a transcript of CPW's interview with Perlberg.