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CCDC 2 - Contracts and Perceptions


As an individual working in the residential construction sector, it would be safe to say that I have hardly had any experience with CCDC. Contracts in the residential sectors are more fluid, dependent highly on the scale and description of the project. There were some pre-conceived notions in my mind of contracts or CCDC specifically being complicated and complex to understand or write about. Furthermore, upon scouring the construction world to get an honest opinion on the topic, I could only gauge one thing - CCDC are simplified documents, and the history of their culmination has an even simpler objective: harmony.



Recalling the history of CCDC

CCDC or Canadian Construction Documents Committee was first established in 1974 with representation from the following groups: Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC), Canadian Construction Association (CCA), Construction Specifications Canada (CSC), Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC); with their primary responsibility focused towards development, amendments, and enhancements of the Canadian Standard Construction Documents used by owners, consultants, contractors, and other stakeholders from the public and private sectors throughout Canada.

Traditionally, there was nothing parallel to these standard forms of contracts: as architects, engineers, contractors, and owners were using their own versions of “standard” form contracts in accordance with their respective associations.

Essentially, there exists a “working group” within CCDC that is responsible for preparing the drafts of the various contract types which in turn is examined in detail by CCDC. The process of development of these contracts is collaborative, as these drafts are further submitted to the representing associations for comment. Upon further deliberation and integration of the received comment from the associations, the draft is then approved awaiting consent from the associations, with the final step assuming publication.


The star contract: CCDC 2

If you are currently working in the ICI (Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional) Construction sector, there are high chances that you would have come across or worked with the CCDC 2 while acting as a key stakeholder in one of your projects.

As one of the widely used formats of contract documents in Canada (estimated 15,000 uses per year), CCDC 2 or ‘Stipulated Price Contracts’ is the conventional contract between the Owner and the Prime Contractor instituting a ‘lump sum’ for the project. It fundamentally outlines high-level administrative pre-requisites and processes for projects in the Construction industry.



The motivation behind CCDC’s institution is to provide an unbiased security of the rights of the parties involved in the process of a construction project. Moreover, working with contracts can also mean a different perception when representing alternate side of the project teams.

An industry professional representing the owner’s team says, “In our line of business, we predominantly use CCDC 2, though I’ve dabbled in CCDC 3, 4, and 5B only to realise that every agreement has its unique administrative structure and associated criticisms. I truly believe that the characters of each project team involved ultimately determine the way a project functions despite the contractual terms. CCDC’s terms are often misinterpreted and taken out of context. So often I find myself searching and citing terms that I never thought existed solely so that I can justify my position on a matter. The cavemen of the Construction industry tend to rely on their memory of the original CCDC, when a handshake was the contract.”

Since 2008, Canadian Construction Documents Committee has published a revised CCDC 2 format to calibrate with the recent changes and developments in contracting, and to further modernize the contract.

On April 19, 2021, PMIT Toronto's Construction Community will be hosting a virtual session that will be discussing complaisant and uncomfortable changes of the CCDC 2, along with their impact on the way contractual obligations will function. We encourage you to join us for this event to hear more about these changes from our panel that consists of leaders who have been an influential part of the “working group” in bringing about these transformations.

For more info and registration > http://ow.ly/AQDd30rAZ0c

Photo Credits

Cover photo 
by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Agreement close up by Pixabay from Pexels

Construction site
 by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash


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