Using Industry Standard CCDC Contracts

What are CCDC Contracts

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) develops, produces, and reviews standard construction contracts, forms and guides. It is a national joint committee, formed in 1974, and includes representation from across the Canadian construction industry.

The committee includes two construction owner representatives from each of the public and private sectors, as well as representatives from four national organizations. All CCDC Documents are endorsed by these national organizations:

CCDC representation also includes a lawyer from the Canadian Bar Association (Construction Law Section), who sits as an ex-officio member.

 

Accessing CCDC Contracts

Descriptions of the various CCDC contracts and explanatory guides can be accessed here

To download and use the following documents you will need to purchase a registration number from any of the Alberta Local Construction Associations 

 

Benefits of Using CCDC Contracts
 
CCDC documents are used in contractual arrangements across the Canadian construction industry. They provide cost savings through balanced standard contract forms, and help to ensure standardization for bidding and contracting procedures. Each year, more than 50,000 copies of CCDC documents are sold.

By using uniformed and standardized documents from CCDC, practitioners in the Canadian construction industry are using documents that are:

• relied upon as familiar industry standards,
• developed through a collaborative and consensus-based approach that allows for the serious consideration of rights, interests and obligations of all parties,
• protect the interest and preserve the rights of all parties involved in a construction project, and
• provide balance, uniformity and standardization for bidding and contracting procedures.

CCDC documents can help reduce claims and disputes, and the added expense and time associated.

 

Understanding the Risks of Non-standard Contract terms
 
With funding support from Alberta Economic Development and Trade, ACA has undertaken an initiative to improve understanding of risk allocation within the terms of non-standard commercial contracts.

Approximately half of Alberta contractors have 20 or fewer employees and nearly 80% have fewer than 100 employees.  Many of these contractors lack access to legal expertise to help them understand and appropriately price in their bids the risk that they are obliged to carry, arising from non-standard commercial construction contracts.  This problem is not unique to Alberta, indeed, the Canadian Construction Association, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Consulting Engineers Canada, Construction Specifications Canada, and owner groups established years ago the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) to create and promote standard CCDC contracts and guides.   CCDC contracts have been tested in the courts and are generally well understood by all stakeholders.

While some owners (procurers of construction) embrace CCDC, many have retained counsel to create non-standard contracts which generally oblige contractors to carry all risks. Large well-resourced contractors can retain counsel and frequently negotiate different terms.  Small to medium sized contractors frequently bid work without an understanding of the risks they may bear and fail to price accordingly.

This leads to unsatisfactory performance in the construction market in the following ways:

  • Many sophisticated contractors will refuse to bid, limiting the pool of bidders, and are frustrated that the subsequent bidding distorts the true market price
  • The winning bidder frequently underprices the true cost, and either fails to perform, or can only perform after expensive disputes and rework through change orders. Jobs are at risk due to failure of the bidder, and / or the purchaser is dissatisfied with poor performance and unanticipated problems of quality, schedule, and cost.

ACA’s initiative includes the following:

  • Collect, analyze, and publish the risk and cost implications of terms frequently found in commercial construction contracts in Alberta,
  • Publish and disseminate the findings of the analysis,
  • Support workshops or other discussion forums to review findings of construction value chain stakeholders, including owners, consultants, and contractors,
  • Develop new or add to existing educational seminars for Alberta contractors to educate contractors, and
  • Develop an online repository of the preceding and recognize users of standard contracts in order to sustain the initiative

 

Further Information