Member Login Menu

Policy Statement 256 - Alternative Dispute Resolution


Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 15, 2018
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 6, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2018


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution techniques such as those contained in the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee's (EJCDC) documents to bring disputes related to engineering and construction to a fair, timely, and cost-effective conclusion without litigation.


Resolution of engineering and construction related issues through litigation can be costly and time consuming. Time delays and the cost of litigation may be disproportionate to the issues involved.  Dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution techniques are accepted in the industry. There is a need to continue development and implementation of methods that produce timely and cost-effective resolutions of engineering and construction disputes. Methods of resolution are becoming more important as contractual relationships are rapidly changing and/or expanding as the use of green technology, sustainability, design-build, and P3/DBOM increase.


ASCE participates in the National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Arbitration Association and has contributed to many of the techniques currently used in alternative dispute resolution procedures.  ASCE believes barriers to cooperative relationships and voluntary resolution of disputes can best be eliminated if all parties -- as a matter of policy, in advance of any problem or dispute -- agree to consider using good dispute avoidance and resolution practices in their project relationships. There is a need to use methods of dispute resolution that directly address to the problem in a fair, immediate, and cost-efficient manner. The use of the dispute resolution provisions in the EJCDC documents achieves these objectives. The continued development and implementation of effective methods is encouraged.

ASCE Policy Statement 256
First Approved in 1979