by Dennis Buirge
The past several blogs mention that construction documents include both procurement documents, used primarily to secure a cost from a constructor, and contract documents, used primarily to establish a contract between an Owner and Contractor. Many believe that both document types include the project manual as a component, which in essence is the written text associated with a construction project. There is however a separation of various elements between procurement documents and contract documents in what we call the project manual. As was mentioned in the last blog, procurement documents in the project manual include the following elements with their sub-elements: Procurement Requirements, Contracting Requirements, and Specifications. Not all of these however, are included in the Contract Documents.
The question should then be: what are contract documents (CDs)? CDs are the procurement documents less the procurement requirements. Those procurement requirements, which according to MasterFormat can be found in Division 00 between Documents 001000 and 004500, include the Solicitation (Advertisement for Bids or Invitation to Bid), Instructions for Procurement, Available Information (such as Geotechnical Data), Procurement Forms, and Procurement Supplements. Contract Documents therefore include the Contracting Requirements that are found between Documents 005000 and 009400 and the Specifications. Contracting Requirements include Contract Forms, Bid Forms, Conditions of Contract, and Addenda, while the Specifications are divided into the following subgroups: General Requirements Subgroup (Division 01), Facility Construction Subgroup (Divisions 02 - 19), Facility Services Subgroup (Divisions 20 - 29), Site and Infrastructure Subgroup (Divisions 30 - 39), and Process Equipment Subgroup (Divisions 40 - 49). Note that Division 01 - General Requirements are considered part of the specifications. An illustrative graphic representing the distinction between procurement documents, contract documents, and the project manual is Figure 5.1-A in the Project Resource Manual (PRM) available from The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).
Lastly, CDs include contract drawings, but do not include resource drawings. Resource drawings are those provided during the procurement stage and assist the bidder by showing existing related information such as roads, buildings, and current construction circumstances. Resource drawings are for reference only and direct bidders to determine and confirm existing conditions for themselves as coordinated and approved by the Owner. Contract drawings are those graphic representations of the work upon which the contract is based and show the quantitative extent and relationships of elements to one another. As graphic documents of the contract, the preferred term is ‘drawings’ rather than plans or sheets.
One contract document component is The Agreement between Owner and Contractor, normally represented by an AIA Document, whose number can change based on project complexity and whether a construction manager is involved. One of more common forms is AIA A101 - 2007 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is a Stipulated Sum. That version includes the following subparagraph 9.1.7, “Additional documents, if any, forming part of the Contract Documents:” with note .2 “Other documents, if any, listed below: (List here any additional documents that are intended to form part of the Contract Documents. AIA Document A201 - 2007 provides that bidding requirements such as advertisement or invitation to bid, Instructions to Bidders, sample forms and the Contractor’s bid are not part of the Contract Documents unless enumerated in this Agreement. They should be listed here only if intended to be part of the Contract Documents.)” Therefore, any of these non-standard items must be specifically listed in 9.1.7.
There is yet a small group of outstanding documents that have not yet been mentioned. There was no definitive consensus among several local specification writers whom I surveyed whether these ‘documents’ known as Introductory Information technically constitute a part of the CDs. The PRM seems to be silent on the issue of these documents and whether they are to be considered part of the Procurement Documents, Contract Documents, or both. These Introductory Information documents include: Title Page (000101), Certification Page (000105), Seals Page (000107), Table of Contents (000110), List of Drawings (000115), and List of Schedules (000120).
In summary, while the project manual in its totality is included in the Procurement Documents package, technically only part of the project manual is included in the Contract Documents package.
Next Blog: Summary of Document Types.