AGC’s BIM workshop was a hive of planning for the BIM revolution.
A consortium of 22 industry groups developing a set of best-practice contracts for construction has published a stand-alone building-information-modeling addendum that it says can be attached to any governing contract to help structure collaborative BIM projects.
The ConsensusDOCS 301 BIM Addendum was published on June 30 and announced at an Associated General Contractors’ workshop in Lake Tahoe, Calif., a few days before. It is intended for use as an addendum to contracts between all parties in a collaborative project. Its purpose is to gather and record agreement on the assignment of responsibility and rights with respect to a range of legal issues that may arise in BIM-based projects. The document is the product of a year-long effort by a legal subcommittee of AGCs’ BIM Forum and a ConsensusDOCS task force.
“The BIM Addendum gives people a fair and comprehensive way to deal with all the concerns they have legally, using BIM,” says Richard H. Lowe, an attorney with Duane Morris LLP, Philadelphia. Lowe chaired both the AGC and ConsensusDOCS committees. He says the issues addressed were identified by studying legal journals in which the subject has been discussed, as well as through industry interviews.
The committee included representatives of 16 trade and professional organizations, as well as owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors and experts in surety, insurance and information technology, Lowe says.
“The document is not suggesting or asking for anything out of the ordinary,” says Willem Kymmell, a professor of construction management at California State University (Chico) and author of a newly published book on planning and managing construction projects with BIM. Kymmell’s book, “Building Information Modeling,” is published by McGraw-Hill Cos., parent company of ENR. “It does more to clarify responsibilities than to shift them, which is right,” he says. “It is more a hand-holding document.”
The addendum calls for a BIM execution conference with all project participants within 30 days of contract signing. Its purpose includes defining what digital models will be created, their purposes and who is responsible for them. It poses questions about whether a model is to be considered a contract document and the degree of detail it should have.
The document calls for the owner to designate and pay for a single information manager to maintain a federated model of the linked models that would be created. It does not prescribe whether that person should be the architect, construction manager, contractor or someone else, but it calls for a decision. That is the approach it takes to a long list of potential issues, including the question of dimensional accuracy. It offers options that range from no representation to each contributor representing that its contributions are accurate and take precedence over measurements called out or inferred from drawings.
The addendum addresses risk allocation by holding each party responsible for its own or its subs’ contributions to a model. It refers questions of consequential damage waivers and standard of care to the governing contract. It addresses intellectual property issues by providing for an exchange of limited-term licenses for the participants to use their partners’ models, with each retaining copyright to their own contribution.
Other standard contract and agreement forms are on the market, notably those of the American Institute of Architects, which released a set of integrated project-delivery documents in May. But Lowe claims the new BIM Addendum is different in that it focuses exclusively on BIM. Single-use copies are available for $10 at the ConsensusDOCS Website.