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The 5 Different Types of ABIC Contracts – Which One is Right for You?

Australian Building Industry Contracts (ABIC contracts) are documents that are specifically created to simplify the contract administration process when architects are administering building contracts. ABIC contracts use plain English and a clear, logical structure that reflects the sequence of the construction process. This reduces the likelihood of disputes between builders, architects, property owners, and other relevant parties, in the long run, saving everybody time, money, and frustration. In this blog, Boutique Lawyers explores the different types of ABIC contracts and discusses some parameters that can help you choose the right contractor for your project.

1. Major Works Contracts
ABIC MW 2018 Major Works

This contract is suitable for major non-housing or non-domestic projects in all areas of Australia. It should be applied on an individual project basis and take into consideration the value, complexity, and any unique issues and/or requirements that are specific to the project.

ABIC MW 2018 H Major Works – Housing

This contract is state/territory-specific and applies to housing or domestic work only. It includes the relevant housing legislation conditions for each state/territory to ensure area-specific compliance.

MW contracts are the most comprehensive ABIC contracts available and include the following provisions for contract mechanisms:

  • Urgent instructions
  • Separable parts to the works (when practical completion of the project occurs in stages)
  • Change of type of security given by the contractor to the owner
  • Provision of security for payments for off-site plant and materials
  • Provision by the owner of security to the contractor
  • Dangerous/contaminated materials
  • Encroachments
  • Quality assurance systems
  • Separate contractors
  • Identification of project-specific potential causes for delay that entitle a contractor to costs
  • Amendments to programs and the consequences of any amendments
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Expert determination of disputes
  • Arbitration of disputes
  • Contract confidentiality

2. Simple Works Contracts
ABIC SW 2018 Simple Works and ABIC SW 2018 H Simple Works – Housing

Simple works contracts follow the same guidelines as MW contracts but do not include any of the same mechanical provisions. Generally, smaller projects are worth $500,000 – $3,000,000, but this does not necessarily apply to all cases. If you’re not sure where your project fits into all this, consider seeking legal advice from a law firm that is experienced in construction and property matters.

3. Basic Works Contracts
ABIC BW 2018 C Basic Works Commercial

This contract is recommended for small or simple projects valued at up to approximately $50,000, such as commercial office fit-outs or alterations and additions for non-domestic building work. It is a short-form contract where almost all the details and contract information are known and specified when the work commences.

4. Commercial Cost Plus Contracts
ABIC CP-2014 C Commercial Cost Plus

This contract is suited to circumstances where there is insufficient detail at the commencement of work for a final cost to be calculated. Depending on what options are laid out in your specific contract, the fee could be either a fixed amount or a percentage of the total cost of the works.

5. Early Work Contracts
ABIC EW-1 2003 Early Works

This contract is suitable for early works including temporary works, groundworks, demolition, and so on, as well as for certain housing projects, depending on the state/territory-specific special conditions included in the contract.

If you would like assistance with selecting the correct ABIC contract for your project, consult the legal professionals at Boutique Lawyers. Our team is highly experienced in building, construction, and property law, and we believe your peace of mind should always come first. Contact us via our online contact page, call 1300 556 140, or visit our Collins Street office in the Melbourne CBD.

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