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National tour offers overview of major new CCDC documents

Don Wall
National tour offers overview of major new CCDC documents

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) has announced a nationwide barnstorming tour starting later this month to update owners, contractors and construction lawyers on a stack of new CCDC contract templates.

The first session will be held in the Niagara Region on April 29 and the road trip wraps up with sessions in Rimouski, Que. and Medicine Hat, Alta. on May 17.

Toronto-based construction lawyer Geza Banfai, a committee member who has been involved in rewriting a number of CCDC documents, suggested the construction landscape is increasingly complex, necessitating new contract documents.

The national tour with 27 seminars will be addressing eight new CCDC forms that are being published in May while he has been involved in updating another three existing documents that are now out for review by constituent organizations and will likely be the subject of a future seminar tour.

“I wouldn’t call it an explosion, but there’s certainly more coming on board,” Banfai said. “The demand for new contract forms is out there. It’s keeping us busy.”


‘Owners went overboard’

The new documents are: CCDC 16, Guide to Changes in the Contract; CCDC 20, Guide to Construction Contract Administration; CCDC 220, Bid Bond; CCDC 221, Performance Bond; CCDC 222, Labour and Material Payment Bond; CCDC 2MA, Master Agreement between Owner and Contractor; CCDC 4, Unit Price Contract; and CCDC 18, Civil Works Contract.

Banfai said the three other updated documents include changes to the construction management (CM) suite — CCDC 5A, Construction Management Contract for Services; CCDC 5B, Construction Management Contract for Services and Construction; and CCDC 17; Stipulated Price Contract Between Owner and Trade Contractor for Construction Management Projects.

In general, Banfai said, the updates are intended to refresh the documents and bring them in line with the new Ready-for-Takeover milestone introduced in the CCDC 2 – 2020 Stipulated Price Contract.

The CCDC introduced Ready-for-Takeover in 2020 to give the parties greater certainty about their relationship at the end of the project and eliminate the need for supplementary conditions to deal with them, he explained.

Previously, CCDC was essentially silent on a number of matters important to the owner, such as occupancy, final cleaning, delivery of operating and maintenance manuals and as-built drawings, and training, leaving these to be dealt with by reference to the “substantial performance” milestone stipulated in lien legislation.

Banfai said the problem with substantial performance is that, as a milestone, it does not deal explicitly with those end-of-projects items, leaving owners to use supplementary conditions of various kinds — some reasonable, others unnecessarily onerous, he said.

“The problem with the supplementary conditions in some cases was that the owners went way, way overboard,” said Banfai.


Ready-for-Takeover a new triggering milestone

CCDC’s Ready-for-Takeover milestone is an attempt to establish order in a way that meets the needs of both owners and contractors, Banfai explained.

“Eventually we got to a place everyone can live with.”

Substantial performance remains as the trigger date for holdback release purposes, he said. But Ready-for-Takeover now serves as a triggering milestone for such matters as commencement of warranty and duration of insurance coverages.

Ready-for-Takeover has been introduced in each of the new CCDC 5A, CCDC 5B and CCDC 17 documents, and probably represents the most significant change in the documents, said Banfai. Other reforms include the introduction of a target price option into CCDC 5B in addition to stipulated price and GMP, and greater clarity about the distinction between pre-construction services and the construction work which the CM is to perform.

In CCDC 17, there is now greater clarity about the roles of the CM and the consultant in their impacts on trade contractors, Banfai said.

The cross-Canada sessions are the first in-person seminars since the pandemic.

Follow the author on X/Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

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