Thursday, July 17, 2008

New BIM Addendum Released by ConsensusDOCS

Innovative New ConsensusDOCS 301 BIM Addendum Released!

By: James L. Salmon, Esq., President, Collaborative Construction Resources, LLC
By: Richard D. Cardwell, Esq., President, Construction Owner Resources, LLC

(July 17, 2008)

The 22 diverse construction industry groups that jointly publish the ConsensusDOCS family of construction documents including the innovative ConsensusDOCS 300 Standard Form of Tri-Party Agreement For Collaborative Project Delivery (ConsensusDOCS 300) has now published the ConsensusDOCS 301 Building Information Modeling Addendum (BIM Addendum) to be used in conjunction with the ConsensusDOCS 300 and the other ConsensusDOCS contracts that are not collaborative contracts but still contemplate the use of BIM.

The ConsensusDOCS 301 BIM Addendum, released on June 30, 2008, was drafted jointly over the past year by a special ConsensusDOCS taskforce and a legal subcommittee of the Associated General Contractor's (AGC) BIM Forum. Representatives from 16 trade and professional organizations, as well as owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors and experts in surety, insurance and information technology firms were consulted in drafting the BIM Addendum.

The BIM Addendum generally addresses the assignment of responsibilities and legal issues surrounding the use of BIM on construction projects. The BIM Addendum does not shift or radically redefine responsibilities in the BIM environment, but rather clarifies the rights and responsibilities of the parties. One very important role and responsibility in this new BIM Addendum is that of one or more Information Managers (IM) appointed and paid for by the Owner. The responsibilities of the IM can be delegated to either the Architect/Engineer, Contractor/Construction Manager or even another party.

This new BIM Addendum also stipulates that a BIM Execution Plan is to be developed and added as an amendment to the BIM Addendum within 30 days of execution of an Owner/Architect Agreement or Owner/Contractor (or Construction Manager) Agreement. The BIM Addendum BIM Execution Plan is required to address a number of elements including participant contact information, identification and definition for what BIMs will be used, the parts of the project for which BIMs will be used, schedules for the delivery of BIMs, procedures and protocols for the submission and approval of BIMs, options for each BIM contributor's dimensional accuracy representation and many other items.

The BIM Addendum makes clear that each party (or the party’s sub) who makes a specific contribution to a BIM is responsible for that contribution. Consequential damages, waiver of claims and standard of care issues are addressed in the underlying or Governing Contract.

Finally, the BIM Addendum addresses intellectual property rights in the BIMs. For instance, the BIM Addendum states that intellectual property is exchanged among the BIM contributors through a series of limited-term licenses via which contributors work on and share models while retaining a copyright as to their individual contributions.

CCR believes this new BIM Addendum is an exciting development and a contractual giant step forward for the U.S. construction industry pertaining to the proper and full use of BIM. The BIM Addendum together with the ConsensusDOCS 300 and the AIA's new Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Documents make collaborative or integrated project delivery a viable option for all types of construction projects for the first time in our history. If you are contemplating the use of BIM on your next project contact us!

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