The ABIC contracts have now been launched, representing the most contemporary version of the most widely used building contract in Australia. The release is the result of a comprehensive review and provides the market with an up-to-the-minute suite of standard form contracts for a variety of building works. ABIC contracts are intended for use in building projects where an architect administers the contract. They are designed to make contract administration clear and less prone to dispute or time-consuming negotiation. ABIC contracts bring certainty to the process. They have been extensively refined and field-tested, and feature: plain English and a clear, logical structure that reflects the sequence of the construction process equitable allocation of virtually all project risks to one party or the other, eliminating uncertainty and many potential disputes an integrated suite of versions for major, simple and basic works, and for housing and non-housing projects detailed supporting documents, including a user guide, template forms for the architect and the contractor Selecting the right contract There are different contracts for each state and territory and for various types of projects.
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They make the building process simpler, clearer and reduce disputes down the track. In the ABIC contracts set out below, the architect is considered the superintendent in that they have a particular role concerning the contract to administer the contract.
Choosing an ABIC contract can be confusing. There are many fundamental differences between a major works contract and a simple works contract. The first is to do with size. A simple works contract should be used for smaller projects whereas you would use a major works contract for more complex or larger projects i. You should not use this contract in Queensland. It is tailored to the legal requirements for housing work in each jurisdiction.
However, you should not use this contract in Queensland. Use this contract when the architect is administering the contract rather than a contractor. If you are using this contract in Queensland, you should also ensure that you meet the special conditions prescribed in this jurisdiction. For other states and territories, you should refer to the special conditions relevant to your state and territory and include these in the contract if you would like to use this contract for housing projects.
As with the other contracts, you should use these where the architect is administering the contract. Firstly, the schedule will set out key items of the contract including the parties named below: Architect — who administers the contract; Contractor — who will be undertaking the work; and Owner — the client who is requesting the work to be done.
Some key clauses and what they address include: Section A — Overview: Obligations and warranties of both the architect and the contractor and how the architect, owner and contractor will work together. Section D — Liability: Liability, risk and indemnity before and after practical completion. Section F — The Site: How to access the site and obligations on site. Section J — Variation to Works: How variations can be made under the contract.
Section K — Adjustment to Provisional and Prime Cost Sums: This clause relates to provisional sums and prime cost sums sums that are not defined before the project begins that are set out in the contract and how they may be adjusted.
These costs are additional to the contract price. Section L — Adjustment of Time: How the parties can alter the schedule. Section M — Completion of the Works: This clause addresses practical completion, defects relating to the works and the liability period after practical completion. Section N — Payment for the Works: Obligations concerning paying the contract price, progress claims, and the final certificate.
Section P — Dispute Resolution: The process for dispute resolution including conference, mediation and legal rights if the dispute resolution process is not successful. It is important that you are using the correct ABIC contracts and include special conditions if required, to ensure a smooth working relationship.
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