EJCDC’s Knowledge Base

In this section, EJCDC provides users with valuable information on using EJCDC documents.

In addition, EJCDC’s knowledge base partner, AXA XL Design Professional Insurance, providers of professional insurance for engineers and architects, joins EJCDC in offering important risk management tools to users of EJCDC documents.   Visit AXA XL’s Loss Prevention Library to download free risk management articles or earn free learning units with AXA XL Group’s OnDemand Webinars.

NEW! Your firm’s survival in the marketplace may depend on effective risk management as anything else. A key ingredient in managing risk is having the right professional services contract in place. To help you build a better contract, AXA XL’s Design Professional team has compiled this overview of 10 clauses we consider “must-have” parts of every contract. To read the top 10 with tips on what to (and not) include in your agreements, Click here to download 10 Must have contract clauses.

What should you do with that mountain of files, documents, correspondence, e-mail and other records in your office? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it’s important to come up with a policy and stick to it. In this article AXA XL suggests how long you should keep records and, more importantly, what is worth holding on to.  Get tips here on  Document Retention.

Knowledge about the facts can provide you with the power to avoid liabilities, preserve client relationships and increase your profitability. Find an agent in your area  US AXA XL Agency Directory

NEW! DP_Article_10 Actions not to take when facing a claim_US_CA_AXAXL

NEW! How to Protect Your Copyrights There are a number of reasons owners might want (or think they want) your copyrights. Perhaps they want to prevent a design feature from being repeated on other projects, protect the privacy of their information, or facilitate operation and maintenance of the project. They may want to reuse the design on other projects without your involvement. They might think that because they hired you, they own the “product.”

When the code requires you to Design a Tornado Shelter

Top Five Mistakes Made by Design Firms and How to Avoid Them a new article by XL Catlin.

Protect Your Firm From Cyber Liability Risk a new article by XL Catlin.

Contract Insurability Negotiation Guide  and its accompanyingPower Point, XL Catlin Uninsurability – What It Is and Why It Matters – v12 The purpose of this reference guide is to help design professionals identify uninsurable contract clauses and to provide some talking points that can help design professionals negotiate more insurable agreements with their clients.  In this guide, we’ll analyze eight commonly proposed uninsurable clauses. For each of these, we’ll explain the coverage problem in simple terms and suggest alternative language that the client might accept (with the caveat that such language must be reviewed and approved by the design professional’s lawyer).1 And we’ll review arguments that the client likely will make in support of its uninsurable contract language, and some talking points with which the design professional can respond.

The Dark Side of Employee Moonlighting Find out how you can avoid water claims (as well as many other types) through effective practice management, such as providing construction observation and investigating unfamiliar materials and techniques.  Your firm could never be held liable for problems on a project designed by one of your employees at home in his or her spare time-could it? Find out why turning a blind eye to moonlighting doesn’t cut it when it comes to defending against claims.

Master Services Agreements ; Good for Business Want to reclaim valuable time? Read about what makes an effective master services agreement and how it could even help expand your business.

The High Risk of Residential Claims  Residential projects pose a variety of risks-get advice on how to protect yourself from the most damaging claims.

Fee Claims: A Cautionary Tale  Don’t begin collection procedures against a delinquent or non-paying client before you read this article. Learn how you can avoid such situations in the first place, by researching potential clients, strengthening your contracts, and shaping up your billing practices.

When Natural_Disaster_Strikes_US Victims of Natural Disasters often turn to design professionals for help.  When providing services after a disaster, keep these cautions in mind.

eGuide Excerpt DesignBuild  “Under the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method, a licensed design professional is held to a professional standard of care in the performance of services, including the preparation of drawings and specifications. Claims brought against design firms are most often based on alleged professional negligence. The general contractor, on the other hand, is usually contractually bound to construct the project on time, on budget, and in conformance with drawings and specifications. Failure to do so can result in claims against the contractor based on a variety of legal theories: breach of contract, negligence, breach of warranty and, in certain circumstances, strict liability.  The design-builder, by contrast, has full responsibility for managing, directing and coordinating both the design and the construction services. The design-builder’s exposure to claims, therefore, encompasses that of the designer and the contractor combined. Read the entire article here:  eGuide Excerpt DesignBuild

EJCDC publishes five families of documents

All of the documents are described with prices in the EJCDC Brochure.

1. Engineering (Owner-Engineer, Engineer-Subconsultant)

These documents were updated recently (2018 – 2020). They include: Owner-Engineer Agreements (“full”, short-form, for studies, task orders) and Amendment form Structured as basic terms plus contract-specific exhibits with detailed menu of tasks/functions (scope of services). Most exhibits provide options (e.g., compensation methods). This family also includes Agreements with Consultants (geotech, architect, others), Joint Venture Agreement, Peer Review Agreement, and Program Management Agreement.

2. Construction (Owner-Contractor)

The new 2018 edition of the C-series documents comprises 25 documents.

The current edition was written in 2018. It includes an integrated series of 25 documents coordinated with Engineering Agreements and assumes the design Engineer is involved during construction. These documents are intended for engineered construction. Document number C-700, General Conditions, is the keystone of C-series and other EJCDC document families. The document include provisions for payment alternatives such as Lump Sum and Cost-Plus, and consider risk allocation consistent with industry norms. They are CSI-endorsed. How to Specify Alternates   tells how EJCDC C-Series documents provide for specifying alternates and which documents to use.

3. Design/Build

The latest edition of EJCDC®’s Design-build family of documents was written in 2016.  This family includes 18 documents addressing agreements (lump sum and cost-plus), general conditions, performance bond, payment bondOwner-DB, DB-Engineer, DB-Subconractor.  Ten of the documents in the 2016 edition are completely, including a teaming agreement and a progressive design-build agreement.

The following video is a presentation given at the CI Summit in March 2016 by Brian Johnson,who is a Professional Engineer and Senior Attorney with HNTB Corporation, a company that specializes in infrastructure solutions.  Brian is a member of EJCDC and served on the committee that wrote the update to EJCDC’s 2016 Design-Build documents.

A new document, EJCDC® P3-508, Public-Private Partnership Agreement for use in establishing a Public Private Partnership (“P3”).  A P3 is a contractual arrangement between a federal, state or local government entity and a private sector partner.  Through a P3 agreement, the skills and assets, as well as the risks and rewards, of both the public and private sector partners are shared.  EJCDC’s newest standard agreement responds to the growing use of P3s by government entities to finance, construct, maintain and provide public improvements and infrastructure.  Read how municipalities can benefit from using P3-508 in this article from the Spring 2015 Surety Bond Quarterly.

4. Procurement (Buyer-Seller)

The current edition was updated in 2019.  See the   Summary of Changes P Series 2019 from 2010 here. These documents are specific for engineer-designed or -specified equipment, usually procured with a long lead time. The documents include ITB, bid form, agreement, performance bond, payment bond, GCs, SCs, narrative guide Documents use UCC terminology

USDA Rural Utility Service Preapproved Documents

It is the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service’s policy that the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) documents be used as the foundation for the engineering and construction contract documents for all Water and Waste Disposal program actions.  EJCDC has developed a set of documents which are considered previously approved by the Agency for use by applicants, owners, and borrowers in the Rural Utilities Service’s Water and Waste Disposal program.  

When these documents are properly coordinated with other documents in the EJCDC set of Construction Related Documents, the documents are acceptable for use by RUS applicants and borrowers in the procurement of engineering professional services and utility construction services for projects with financial assistance under the Water and Waste Disposal programs.

A detailed review of these documents can be found here


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utility Service (RUS) has preapproved the use of certain standard EJCDC engineering and construction series documents for use in projects funded under the RUS Water and Waste Disposal program as described in RUS Bulletin 1780-26 2020.

The American Bar Association participation

EJCDC encourages the participation of representatives and liaisons from related organizations including the American Bar Association, that has published a book entitled The Construction Contracts Book: How to Find Common Ground in Negotiating Design and Construction Clauses by Matthew A. Gillies, R. Harper Heckman, Brian M. Perlberg. This book includes  A Matrix of Selected Clauses in Three Standard Form Contracts that compares of over 30 select clauses in EJCDC documents and similar clauses in two other standard form documents.