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ABIC building industry contracts

 

The Australian Building Industry Contracts (ABIC) are jointly published by the Australian Institute of Architects and Master Builders Australia.

ABIC contracts are intended for use in building projects where an architect administers the contract. They are designed to make contract administration clear and less prone to dispute or time-consuming negotiation.

ABIC contracts bring certainty to the process. They have been extensively refined and field-tested, and feature:

  • plain English and a clear, logical structure that reflects the sequence of the construction process
  • equitable allocation of virtually all project risks to one party or the other, eliminating uncertainty and many potential disputes
  • an integrated suite of versions for major, simple and basic works, and for housing and non-housing projects
  • detailed supporting documents, including a user guide, pro forma notices and certificates for the architect and the contractor

Selecting the right contract

There are different contracts for each state and territory and for various types of projects. Selecting the right ABIC contract can be critical to the success of a project.

Research ABIC contracts at the Acumen knowledge base.

Know the ABIC contract you’re after? Search for and buy your contract at Architext.

ABIC contracts

Description

ABIC MW-2008 major works contract Standard contract for non-housing work (not to be used in Queensland), In WA this contract is suitable for housing projects over $500,000.
ABIC MW-2008 major works contract – housing  State and territory specific contract for housing work, with appropriate conditions integrated into the contract to address legal requirements of state and territory housing legislation. (Not to be used in Queensland or in WA for projects over $500,000.)
ABIC MW H 2011 
Major Works Housing Contract
(Queensland only)
Major works ABIC MW-2011 H Qld (Queensland only) To be used for housing and other domestic projects in Qld to which the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld) applies.
ABIC MW C 2011 
Major Works Commercial Contract
(Queensland only)
Major works ABIC MW-2011 C Qld (Queensland only) To be used for non-housing or non-domestic projects in Qld which do not come under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld).
ABIC SW-2008 Simple works contract Standard contract for non-housing work. (Not to be used in Queensland)
In WA this contract is suitable for housing projects over $500,000.
ABIC SW-2008 Simple works contract – housing State and territory specific contract for housing work, with appropriate conditions integrated into the contract to address legal requirements of state and territory housing legislation. (Not to be used in Queensland or in WA for projects over $500,000.)
ABIC SW H 2011
Simple Works Housing Contract
(Queensland only)
Simple works ABIC SW-2011 H Qld (Queensland only) To be used for simple housing and other domestic projects in Qld to which the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld) applies.
ABIC SW C 2011
Simple Works Commercial Contract
(Queensland only)
Simple works ABIC SW-2011 C Qld (Queensland only) To be used for simple non-housing or non-domestic projects in Qld which do not come under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld).
ABIC EW-1 2003
Early Works Contract
This contract is suitable for early works (demolition and/or groundworks including temporary works) where an architect administers the contract.

When purchased for use in Queensland, unique special conditions for commercial and industrial projects are included with the contract.

EW-1 2003 is also suitable for housing projects using the relevant special conditions included in the pack for the relevant state or territory, other than Queensland. (In Queensland, only single dwellings and duplexes are ‘housing’ in this sense, for which there is seldom a need for this form of contract.)
ABIC BW-1 2002
Basic Works Contract
ABIC BW-1 2002 is suitable for small commercial projects or single trade activities where an architect administers the contract in all states and territories except Queensland, where there are compulsory contract conditions it does not comply with.

It is also suitable for residential building throughout Australia, as state and territory special conditions are ‘embedded’ in the document as a Schedule.

The tender form and contract schedules are provided with the contract, and become part of the contract on signing by both the contractor and owner.

Non - ABIC Contracts

Description

FF/C
Cost plus Contract
FF/C is a contract administered by an architect intended for commercial building works including alterations, where payments to the contractor are on the basis of the actual cost of the work, plus a fee. The fee may be a lump sum or a percentage of the cost of the work.

FF/C does not allow for GST, so must be used with caution to deal with GST exclusive amounts only, with GST added according to law when payments are made to the contractor.

FF/C may be suitable for housing projects, subject to legislative provisions in the relevant state or territory. For example, it may not be used without amendment where arbitration is disallowed - namely Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

For these reasons, legal advice is recommended and special conditions may be required.

FF/C is not usable in Queensland for either domestic or commercial projects.