The ‘conditions’ of a construction contract are typically broadly based and recognized and developed by the design and construction industries. They are intended to address all of the fundamental activities, duties and responsibilities associated with a construction project. ‘Conditions’ are the backbone for various forms of construction contracts. In CCDC 2 the ‘conditions’ are called out as General Conditions and while standardization is desirable to foster consistent understanding, a method is required for adapting the General Conditions to the specific needs for different projects.
Supplementary Conditions provide the vehicle for modifying the General Conditions to reflect project, client and consultant specific needs. Most consultants have developed a master specification section for Supplementary Conditions which represent desirable amendments learned from long experience. Care must be used in preparing Supplementary Conditions to prevent distortion of fundamental meanings and activities. Bidders are particularly unhappy when they encounter many changes to the General Conditions which fundamentally alter industry accepted standards.
The construction contract administrator has to be familiar with and understand the meaning and purpose of all Supplementary Conditions in a contract. Significant changes to General Conditions should be reviewed at the pre-construction meeting. Standard CCDC contracts are, in general, balanced documents that work for all parties, and as such are best used with as few supplementary conditions as possible.
The OAA has recommended amendments and supplementary conditions to the CCDC 2 contract that are supported by the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA). Please see Practice Tip PT 23.1
In the typical order of priority of documents, the Supplementary Conditions have priority over the General Conditions, but not the Definitions or the Articles of the Agreement. Often the only supplementary document issued is titled Supplementary Conditions with changes to the Articles and Definitions included in it. Since the changes are issued as part of the Supplementary Conditions, they only have the priority of the Supplementary Conditions even if the intent was for them to have a higher priority. Changes to the Articles or Definitions should be issued and titled appropriately to avoid conflicts in the hierarchy. Refer to Priority of Documents for more information.