Conditions of the Contract


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Conditions of the Contract

Use this 3 part SimpleSpecs specification template to specify requirements for the Conditions of the Contract, which will govern the overall Work. This section expands on AIA Document A201 – General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, which is incorporated by reference. Other General Conditions may also be utilized, with appropriate modifications.

Contract conditions can seem complex, but we’ve broken them down into three straightforward parts using the SimpleSpecs specification template. These conditions are crucial because they govern the overall work on your construction project. Let’s dive in and simplify this topic, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what’s at stake.

General Conditions – A Foundation for Your Contract

General Conditions are the foundation of your construction contract. They’re like the essential building blocks that set the ground rules for your project. One commonly used document that covers General Conditions is the AIA Document A201 – General Conditions of the Contract for Construction. But remember, there are alternatives like documents from the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Council (EJCDC) and the Design/Build Institute of America (DBIA).

Customizing General Conditions for Your Project

General Conditions are indeed “general.” They provide a framework, but the specifics can vary from project to project. For instance, while General Conditions may require the Contractor or Construction Manager to have insurance, the exact types and dollar limits of that insurance will depend on your project’s unique needs. That’s why it’s often necessary to create supplements to tailor these conditions to your project’s specific requirements.

If you’re using alternative General Conditions documents like those from EJCDC or DBIA, be aware that terminology, such as “architect” and “engineer,” may need adjustments throughout your Project Manual to align with these conditions. Moreover, keep in mind that many owners, including school districts and large corporations, may have their own General Conditions, which should be considered.

Legal Consequences and Professional Guidance

Because Contract Conditions carry significant legal consequences, it’s essential to involve legal counsel, preferably in conjunction with the Owner, in their preparation. This ensures that your project’s interests are protected and that the conditions are enforceable.

AIA Documents, like the AIA Document A201, are used in construction contracts and can be obtained from the American Institute of Architects at

Now, let’s touch on a few common modifications to AIA A201:

  • Bonuses for Early Completion: Some projects offer bonuses to incentivize early completion. For example, if a retail space can start generating income sooner, it’s a win-win for both the Owner and Contractor.
  • Equal Opportunity Employment: Many projects require statements ensuring equal opportunity hiring to avoid legal issues.
  • Weather Delays, Insurance, and Bonds: These topics are now covered alongside the Agreement as an Exhibit to AIA Document A101 – Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor.

Demystify liquidated damages

These are intended to compensate the Owner for financial losses if the project isn’t completed on time. For instance, if a tenant can’t move into a retail space as planned, the Owner might incur losses from delayed rental income and additional financing costs.

However, it’s crucial to approach liquidated damages carefully. Courts uphold them when actual losses can be proven and the damage amount is realistic. So, these aren’t meant to be punitive but rather a fair way to protect the Owner’s interests in case of delays.

In conclusion, understanding Contract Conditions doesn’t have to be daunting. With a clear breakdown and professional guidance, you can navigate this essential aspect of construction projects confidently.  Ensuring that your project proceeds smoothly and legally sound.

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