The "General Conditions" section of a contract sets the rights and obligations for all parties in a project. It acts as the binding thread that binds all other contract construction documents together, from bidding to closeout.
This is one of the most crucial sections of a construction contract, and it sets the foundation upon which all other document sections are built. It outlines what is expected of the contractor, and it includes payment terms and conditions, dispute resolution provisions, and more. It also identifies which sections of the contract will govern if there are conflicts between any specific instructions.
The contract section will often contain an order of precedence, which identifies which instructions are given priority over others. This is an important feature for a contractor, as it will help them determine how to proceed on the project. The primary standard form contracts in building construction, AIA and ConsensusDocs, both have a hierarchy included in the contract section. ConsensusDocs, however, has a stronger preference for an order of precedence that gives the specifications the highest priority.
A contract will typically also include a general requirements section, which describes all of the unique elements and constraints that will impact the project. This will include things like site conditions, waste disposal policies, and environmental regulations. It may also outline additional expenses that are not outlined in the other sections of the contract, such as additional transportation costs or lengths of time required for rental of temporary facilities.