Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Collaborative Project Delivery

One of the new ConsensusDOCS contract forms is entitled "Standard Form of Tri-Party Agreement for Collaborative Project Delivery" (ConsensusDOCS 300). The tri-party, as one would expect, consists of the Owner, the Designer, and the Constructor. The contract form incorporates many concepts that are foreign, and probably antithetical, to traditional project delivery methods.

What, really, is Collaborative Project Delivery (CPD)? To understand the concept (at least from the perspective of the drafters of Form 300), a good place to start is to examine the "Collaborative Principles" set out in Article 3 of the contract form. Section 3.2 describes a number of attributes of CPD, many of which seem truly revolutionary when compared with the attributes of traditional project delivery.

Section 3.2 declares, for example, that CPD recognizes that "each Party's success is tied directly to the success of all other members of the CPD team and encourages and requires the Parties to organize and integrate their respective roles, responsibilities and expertise, to identify and align their respective expectations and objectives, to commit to open communications, transparent decision-making, proactive and non-adversarial interaction, problem-solving, the sharing of ideas, to continuously seek to improve the Project planning, design, and construction processes, and to share both the risks and rewards associated with achieving the Project objectives."

And what are the "shared Project objectives"? According to the Collaborative Principles, the Project objectives (Section 3.1) are to "design and construct the facilities called for in the Owner's Program, within the Project Target Cost Estimate and the Schedule developed under the Agreement."

Reading each phrase of Section 3.2 carefully and reflecting on the meaning of each, I think most experienced construction professionals and their advisors would agree that many controversial concepts were expressed in just these two sections; the audaciousness of the drafters of this document is truly amazing.

More about the ConsensusDOCS tri-party agreement in future blogs. (This entry published by Karen Estelle Carey, a member of the Real Estate Development group.)


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