Division 01 - It's not boilerplate!

Division 01 sets the basic rules for administrative procedures of a construction contract. You may think that once written for a particular firm, there should be little reason to modify Division 01. However there are at least six factors that will influence Division 01 and will likely require revisions to accommodate specific project conditions.

The CSI Specifying Practice Group discussed these six conditions preventing an office standard Division 01 from being used as boilerplate.

  • Owner written conditions of contract
  • Fast track projects with multiple work packages
  • Construction manager-advisor projects
  • Program manager contracts
  • Multiple prime contracts
  • Integrated project delivery

View the meeting recording on YouTube. Here are some highlights of the discussion.

Owner Written Conditions of Contract
Master specification systems and office masters are written to accommodate industry standard conditions of the contract such as those from the AIA and EJCDC. Any time the building owner provides custom written general conditions, Division 01 must be carefully reviewed to ensure there are no conflicts and duplications.

Check the terminology. The architect/engineer (A/E) may be identified as the "consultant" and the owner may be identified by name rather than as the "owner." Establishing consistent terminology throughout Division 01 is critical. Definitions equating the owner's terms to industry standard terms may be required to minimize the disruption to Division 01 and the technical specifications.

Fast Track Projects
Fast track projects require a method to identify the scope of work for each document issue that the contractor is authorized to construct. Drawings and specifications may include information for work beyond the boundaries of the current document issue because the documents are a work in progress.

The typical Division 01 Summary of Work that describes the overall project is not sufficient to identify the work contained in individual work packages as each package is released to the contractor. Additional sections or a completely different approach to the Summary of Work may be required to convey to the contractor what work is considered ready for construction.

Construction Manager-Advisor Projects
Construction Manager as advisor (CMa) contracts realign some administrative responsibilities that are traditionally assigned to the owner, A/E, and contractor. The CMa will assume responsibility for coordination, scheduling, payments, submittals and other administrative procedures so there is a single point of responsibility for activities affecting all the individual contractors on the project.

Division 01 typically assigns these responsibilities to the contractor rather than the CMa. And communications normally flow from subcontractors through the contractor to the A/E and the owner. A CMa is inserted between the individual contractors and the A/E and owner.  The CMa collects, assembles, coordinates, and presents consolidated information to the A/E and owner. This alternate communication flow must be specified to ensure the proper procedure exists for overall project coordination.

Program Manager Contracts
Owners may elect to hire program managers (PM) to assume some or all of the owner's responsibilities of a construction contract. When PMs are used for a project, Division 01 must define the shift of the owner's responsibilities and the communications process.

The PM may be authorized to administer the contract on the owner's behalf except for approving payments and contract modifications. When the PM has limited authority, a global assignment of the owner's responsibilities to the PM is not possible. Each responsibility must be reviewed and adjusted to suit the particular contract conditions.

Multiple Prime Contracts
Multiple prime contracts are normally encountered when dictated by state law for publicly funded projects. Multiple prime contracts impose some unique challenges of specifying work assignments and cooperation among contractors that have no direct contractual obligations to each other.

Unless the owner or A/E is willing to assume the responsibility for coordinating the activities of four or more prime contractors, Division 01 must be modified to assign work to each contractor. This may include defining one contractor as the "lead" contractor responsible for overall project administration and coordination. Other specific tasks such as providing temporary water, electricity, and heating are assigned to specific prime contractors.

Because Division 01 is typically written for a general contractor, splitting work assignments among multiple contractors requires a careful review and editing of Division 01 to ensure all the work is properly assigned. Suggestion: make use of the "residuary legatee" to be certain no work is left unassigned. See https://www.conspectusinc.com/blog/2011/06/specs-must-state-the-architects-intent.html for an explanation of residuary legatee.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
The theme is share and play nicely together. Share BIM files between the design and construction teams. Allow the construction team to assist in completing the design. And develop packages that can be released for construction, even though not "complete," when needed to support the construction schedule.

This is a completely different approach to construction - cooperation with all members of the construction team working toward the common goal of constructing the project in an efficient, cost effective manner. Certainly a different project approach suggests a different Division 01 approach. IPD is a relatively new concept, but gaining in popularity. Be prepared to adjust, perhaps rewrite, Division 01 to reflect the cooperation that will be required.

Contribute Your Ideas
Attend the Practice Group meetings on the first Thursday of each month, 3 PM eastern time. The meetings are a dialog among the group members, a round table discussion of current topics influencing those reading and writing construction specifications.

Group members receive the meeting registration announcement. You must register for the meeting to receive the login instructions.

I hope to see you next month.

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