NEEDDA’s Top Engineering and Environmental Consulting Firms Announce Standard Contract Language

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The National Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence Association (NEEDDA) takes its first step as an industry leading association; creates standardized contracts.

The National Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence Association (NEEDDA), formed on December 19, 2012, has made its first move today with its founding members, seven of the nation’s largest due diligence consulting firms, announcing uniform contract templates available for use on engineering and environmental due diligence contracts.

NEEDDA’s founding members met throughout the last year to create bylaws for the non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote the common interests of engineering and environmental consulting firms who provide due diligence for real estate transactions.” These members include Partner Engineering and Science, Inc., EMG, Nova Consulting, IVI International, Inc., AEI Consultants, Dominion Due Diligence Group (D3G), and PM Environmental and Engineering. Clients of the founding member firms include many of the nation’s largest lenders, investors, brokers, attorneys, and other real estate transaction parties.

As a first act, NEEDDA is taking steps to promote greater consistency in the practices of due diligence consultants with standardized contract documents including a Master Services Agreement, Terms and Conditions, a Reliance Letter, and a Non-Reliance Letter. These documents form the agreements between consultants and their clients to provide due diligence reports such as Property Condition Assessments, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, and Seismic Probable Maximum Loss Reports.

Similar to contract documents available from the American Institute of Architects, NEEDDA’s industry-accepted contract templates are intended to reduce the time and money spent by both consultants and their clients on developing contract language and the legal review that occurs with each new contractual relationship.

The association states that, “The creation of these templates was informed by the combined experience of NEEDDA members. As such, we aimed to keep them short and simple, incorporate court-tested language to reduce uncertainty and ambiguity, and take a fair and balanced approach to risk management to encourage acceptance by most clients.”

The documents are available for public review at the association’s website, http://www.NEEDDA.NET.

Future plans for NEEDDA include providing education, publications, conferences, research and accreditation and certification programs. Membership is open to high ranking or C-level executives of firms that provide both engineering and environmental due diligence and meet the membership criteria.

For more information about the National Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence Association, visit http://www.NEEDDA.NET.

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