New Jersey Design-Build Contract Bonds (NJ A 1285)

August 26, 2021

The Design-Build Construction Services Procurement Act (New Jersey Assembly No. 1285) establishes procedures for awarding design-build contracts in the state of New Jersey.

Solicitations for these contracts are required to meet all qualifications pursuant to the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Transportation. Among other requirements, contractors must also obtain a surety bond and insurance.

What are NJ A 1285 bond requirements?

Effective April 30, 2021, solicitations for New Jersey design-build contracts require contractors and design professionals to obtain payment and performance bonds, as well as insurance.

While payment bonds protect vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors if the contracting company defaults on the payment outlined in the contract, performance bonds protect the contracting company in the event that work contracted out isn’t completed to specification.

If you're required to obtain this bond, you can get a free surety bond quote here.

How does NJ A 1285 affect build contracts in New Jersey?

Traditional build contracts are awarded using a design-bid-build system, where whoever contracts the project (hereafter referred to as the “contracting unit”) hires multiple professionals in stages.

For example, it is typical for an architect to complete the design phase before the project is put out for bid to general contracting companies for the build stage. In contrast, with design-build contracts—as outlined in The Design-Build Construction Services Procurement Act—the entire project is awarded to a single company.

A contracting company awarded a design-build contract is responsible for all design and construction work for the project. This includes hiring any architects, engineers, sub-contractors, and other professionals needed to complete the job successfully.

This type of contract allows the contracting unit to deal with a single source throughout the duration of the build project. In due regard to contracting units, this is intended to provide both cost and time savings.

What does a solicitation for a New Jersey design-build contract need?

For solicitation of design-build contracts in the state of New Jersey, contracting units shall include the following:

  • Their identity.
  • Sufficient information on procedures for admitting proposals and awarding the contract, as well as the criteria for evaluation of proposals and their relative weight.
  • Proposed terms and conditions for the design-build contract.
  • A description of the drawings, specifications, or other supporting materials to be submitted with the proposal.
  • A schedule for the planned start and end of the contract.
  • Budget limits and appropriations for the contract, if applicable.
  • Affirmative action, disadvantaged business or set-aside goals or requirements for the design-build contract (determined by the contracting unit).
  • Required qualifications for bidding contracting companies.
  • Requirements for contractors to have performance bonds, payment bonds, and insurance. As well as requirements to meet all the qualifications of the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Transportation.
  • A statement that all employees have graduated from a registered apprenticeship program—registered with and approved by the United States Department of Labor.

Note that additional information may be required by the contracting unit. They may also supply supplementary information which includes, but isn’t limited to, surveys, real estate soil reports, drawings or models of existing structures, environmental studies, photographs, or references to public records.

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