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Monday, December 7, 2009

Contractors Need Green Building Contracts Too - BIM for Builders

As promised, I'm moving more and more into BIM for Construction. It's not that I don't absolutely love architects, but the contractors have taken a much more proactive approach to BIM. At my Autodesk University presentation last week, I brought up in my class and then at another presentation, the role of the lawyers in a CAD vs BIM world. Aside from Chris Cheatham (blog post below) and a few other construction lawyers, MOST CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS ARE AGAINST BIM!!! Need me to repeat that?

The question is, why? The construction lawyers are making boatloads of money from the grey area between "Design Intent" and the Construction Documents." I came up with a new little phrase...BC and AD. No, it has nothing to do with the calendar, but it has everything to do with time. It's Before Construction and After Design, that lovely time when the contractors actually get awarded the project and try to figure out how to deal with all of the clashes.

In the old days, there were RFIs, letters and lots of documentation that the architects got to deal with. If they occured during construction, you can bet there are a lot of CYA moments and change orders to deal with. Now, the contractors are taking the CAD drawings, modeling the building in Revit, uncovering all of the clashes, getting their subs involved and making even more money than ever, especially on CM at Risk projects. Meanwhile, the architects are getting paid for their hours of time and not making a lot of profit.
The construction lawyers don't like this. They want you to have lots of problems, discrepancies and claims on the project. There's an entire industry around the litigation between architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors and owners. Revit and BIM are taking away their business. I was a speaker at a McGraw-Hill conference last year and the lawyers who also presented, said that BIM is bad. It took me a year to realize why they were such assholes about it and why they're trying to scare you away from BIM.

As I love to tell contractors, it's going to get worse before it gets better. Because of the recession, a lot of A&E firms have laid off staff and typically it's the more expensive project managers who know construction (and how to redline the heck out of a set of drawings). It's much cheaper to keep the CAD operators around, but who cares that they don't know how a building goes together. You just need to provide design intent anyhow and let the contractors figure it out.

As it's now time for you to read the actual blog post and let me end my rant of the day, throw in a helping of green building and it just makes it all worse. Thank you for flying Revit Airlines and enjoy the turbulence.

PS. I'm trying to figure out the differences between the AGC ConsesusDOCS and the AIA IPD documents. We'll have years of fun between those two groups as well, and either way, CAD is Bad and BIM is Beautiful.
Repost: http://www.greenbuildinglawupdate.com/2009/12/articles/legal-developments/contractors-need-green-building-contracts-too/
Posted on December 7, 2009 by Chris Cheatham

We previously reviewed a green building contract that can be used to manage the architect-owner relationship. But what about contractors?

As a member of the AGC ConsensusDOCS committee, I had the pleasure of collaborating on the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum, which was recently released:

On Nov. 10, ConsensusDOCS released the construction industry's first and only comprehensive standard contract document addressing the unique risks and responsibilities associated with building green projects -- the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum. The Addendum incorporates contractual best practices to identify the project participants' roles and responsibilities, as well as the implementation and coordination efforts critical to achieving a successful project using green building elements, particularly those seeking third-party green building rating certification. It was drafted to work well not only with the other ConsensusDOCS contract documents, but also with other form contracts.
If you have an opportunity to review or work with ConsensusDOCS 310, I would like to hear your thoughts. Based on conversations with owners, contractors and architects, there seems to be a real need for standardized green building contracts. Simple modifications to your existing contracts are not enough.

What other relationships exist on a green building project that require a contract?

Related Links:
ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum (AGC)
What Does A Green Building Contract Look Like (GBLU)
Source: Contractors Need Green Building Contracts Too

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