The Engineers Joint Committee on Contract Documents (EJCDC) released E‑525, Agreement Between Owner and Engineer for Study and Report Professional Services, 2022 Edition. E-525 is for use when engaging a firm to prepare a study and report. The document addresses project feasibility studies, facility needs, or siting challenges without more detailed design services. The document is especially helpful for owners who want to start planning studies and pursue available funding streams based on the completed study. Owners are anticipating that both the American Rescue Plan Act and the Build Back Better Act will have numerous programs that allow local and state governments to pursue funding if there is a completed study showing that a proposed project meets the program requirements. Firms should use E-525 to establish the appropriate roles and responsibilities to perform feasibility studies.
This version of E-525 acknowledges the growing complexity of utility coordination needs on projects. The document adds needed consideration of utility documentation and coordination during the study phase as the initial part of progressively more detailed identification, communication, and mitigation activities as the project proceeds to construction. E-525 also prompts users to review design criteria with respect to opportunities for sustainability and resilience.
Even if your clients are not using this form agreement, firms who provide studies for their clients should review the carefully written language in the scope of services and use it as a guide for their own agreements.