January 14, 2010

Demand for ConsensusDOCS template contract documents grew by nearly 20 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year despite significant declines in construction activity, the organizations that developed the documents reported. The jump in users comes as private, public and not-for-profit groups have begun using the standard documents and getting positive results.

“Today’s market conditions are forcing people to reevaluate the outdated model of drafting documents from scratch for every construction project,” said Brian Perlberg, executive director of the ConsensusDOCS coalition. “These documents offer an easier, faster and more efficient way to go from concept to construction.”

The number of subscribers for ConsensusDOCS documents climbed from 3,291 at the beginning of 2009 to 3,895 at the end of the year, an increase of over 18 percent, Perlberg noted. He added that in December 2009 alone, the coalition saw a 28 percent increase in sales compared to the previous December.

The growth occurred even though construction spending hit a six-year low in 2009. Perlberg noted that the jump in users was impressive given that demand for competing standard contract documents was down significantly during 2009.

One factor driving growing demand for the documents is that public and not-for-profits groups increasingly allow the use of ConsensusDOCS documents. The federal government recently authorized the use of ConsensusDOCS documents for up to $20 billion worth of Agriculture Department projects. States like South Dakota, Michigan and North Carolina have all recently allowed the documents as well. And not-for-profits, including Florida Habitat for Humanity chapters, now routinely use ConsensusDOCS contracts for key projects.

“In a year of little good news for the construction industry, it is encouraging to be the exception instead of the rule,” said Perlberg. “Using these documents will make it easier for owners and contractors to survive and thrive during these difficult days.’

Offering a comprehensive catalog of more than 100 contract documents covering all project delivery methods, ConsensusDOCS contracts are the first and only industry standard contract documents written and endorsed by 23 leading construction organizations. For more information, visit ConsensusDOCS.org.