15 February 2016

Key clauses of the general conditions; means and methods

In the last post, we looked at the complementary clause, and saw how powerful it can be; we also looked at the limits of that power. Many architects know of that clause, and I occasionally have heard it cited, something like this: "I don't care if there is no specification for it; it's on the drawings, and you have to provide it!" In the same conversation, it wouldn't be unusual to hear, "No, I don't know how you're going to do it - that's means and methods!"

Although architects aren't shy about citing "means and methods" it seems many of them don't understand the full impact of what they're referring to. Turning again to the AIA A201, here's what Article 3 says (my italics).

§ 3.3.1 The Contractor shall supervise and direct the Work, using the Contractor’s best skill and attention. The Contractor shall be solely responsible for, and have control over, construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the Work under the Contract, unless the Contract Documents give other specific instructions concerning these matters.