DBIA contracts are among the most popular types used in construction jobs today. These contracts were developed by the nonprofit organization Design Build Institute of America (DBIA). Both the building owners and the design professionals typically prefer using these types of contracts because they are designed to clearly outline all steps from the preliminary agreement all the way through to the final payment.

As the construction industry began using design-build strategies for their project delivery, a new type of contract was needed to ensure all parties were protected. In 1993 the DBIA was formed to not only provide structure to contracts, but also to promote the value of this type of project delivery.

Benefits of the DBIA Contract

When design-built projects were just getting started, building owners and design professionals would write up their own contracts to manage the deal. In the vast majority of cases, there were disagreements over the details because the contracts weren’t typically balanced. In order to avoid these types of problems, the Design Build Institute of America began producing easy to follow, and properly organized, contracts that could be used.

While the contracts have been updated over the years, they continue to be flexible enough to use on just about any job. They also do a great job of documenting the relationship between the various parties, including the design-builders, architects, and the trade contractors. This all helps to make the legal side of these projects much easier for everyone.

Terms & Conditions of a DBIA Contract

Each contract will have a number of different terms and conditions included based on the details of the project. Almost all examples of a DBIA contract will include the following items:

  • Change Options – The contract will identify how the project owner can make reasonable changes to the project.
  • Discovering Hazards – In the event that unknown, previously existing, hazardous conditions are found at the job site, work must stop and the owner notified. The owner is then responsible for remedying the situation. The contract will also identify what compensation the owner must pay to the design-builder for their down time.
  • Option to Stop Working – These contracts identify situations where the design-builder can stop work and terminate the contract. This will typically include things like when the owner fails to make payments, or provide agreed upon resources.
  • How to Resolve Disputes – No contract can address every situation, so it is important to identify how potential disputes will be resolved. The DBIA contract will include details of the agreed upon dispute resolution process.

There are many other details that can be included in a DBIA contract. Using the standard formatting will help to ensure all critical issues are covered. If you need help having a DBIA contract written up, or you need one reviewed, please contact FCLG to schedule a consultation today.