New Standard Document Facilitates Green Building Projects

Comprehensive standard contract document addresses challenges associated with construction of green buildings.

Anyone involved with the design and construction of green buildings can now use the first comprehensive standard contract document that addresses the many challenges associated with these complex projects. The new document, known as the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum, was developed by members of the ConsensusDOCS group to help advise the owner, set proper expectations, and avoid delays and other legal hassles in the construction of buildings seeking green certification or other sustainable goals.

"A standard of practice simply does not exist today. Publication of the ConsensusDOCS Green Addendum may help the industry avoid an avalanche of wasteful litigation by filling this void," states Steve M. Charney, Managing Partner of the New York Office of Peckar & Abramson and Co-chair of the national working committee that drafted the document.

The new green contract document is designed to respond to surging demand for green buildings, the group noted. It added that recent industry surveys have estimated that up to 25 percent of commercial and institutional construction projects will be for green buildings by 2013. While added demand for green buildings may be good for the environment, an avalanche of disputes, conflict and litigation is inevitable if order is not brought to the process of building green. ConsensusDOCS has led the way in identifying emerging advances in the building process and bringing order where standards or norms have not yet evolved. ConsensusDOCS took this lead in connection with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is doing so again the area of green building.

The Green Building Addendum mitigates risk and increases project success by clearly identifying roles and responsibilities for contractors, designers, owners and others involved in the construction project. One of the Green Building Addendum's most significant features is the introduction of the Green Building Facilitator, who can be one of the project participants or an outside green consultant. "Informing the owner of the many sustainable options presented and establishing how project participants must integrate their various responsibilities to successfully deliver a green project are now part of a documented strategy," comments Edward B. Gentilcore, Vice-Chair of Duane Morris LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Co-chair of the drafting group. The addendum is written to be easily integrated with existing ConsensusDOCS and other contract documents, the contract coalition noted.

The addendum, like all ConsensusDOCS, was developed by a team of professionals representing every part of the construction process, including owners, contractors, designers, subcontractors and surety professionals. Offering a catalog of 90 plus contract documents covering all methods of project delivery, ConsensusDOCS contracts are the first and only industry standard contracts written and endorsed by 23 leading construction organizations.

For more information about the new Green Building Addendum, visit