Over seven years ago, COAA and several other construction organizations began a process to develop a set of model contract documents that fairly apportioned risk, represented industry best practices, and made owners an active participant in crucial decisions in project execution. The new documents released today continue to build upon this ground-breaking heritage. As the largest organization of construction project owners in the country, COAA is pleased to announce its continued endorsement of these new and updated ConsensusDocs.
These innovative documents are the result of months and years of review and negotiations with other significant partners in the construction process. Given today’s emphasis on collaboration and creating an environment of inclusiveness in projects, it is significant to note that these documents are the result of drafting sessions open to all ConsensusDocs organizations and other industry experts. These robust exchanges of positions evolved into the equitable risk and responsibility allocations contained in the contract language released today. All members of the capital project team can be confident that ConsensusDocs provides a thoughtfully considered, balanced and fair framework for a successful project.
Contractors and Owners distinguish themselves in today’s market by using ConsensusDocs contracts because they are focused on achieving better project results. AGC proudly endorses ConsensusDocs because fair contracts advance our industry
The difficult economic climate has underscored the importance of carefully-crafted, industry-accepted standard form documents. In such a climate, some parties may try to overreach on terms and conditions, adopting a short-term, and hopefully, short-lived strategy that ultimately is counterproductive to their interests. ConsensusDocs forms demonstrate the contract practices that fairly balance interests, benefitting construction projects and participants. Such a resource is invaluable to the construction industry. NASBP believes that the new agreement form editions come at an opportune time to expedite and stabilize industry transactions.
I have been preparing construction contract documents for over 15 years, using so-called “standard” forms as well as custom forms developed for particular clients. I am a big fan of the ConsensusDocs approach to contracting, because they start from a place of balance between the respective parties, and place the needs of the project above the needs of any one party. This means that the parties to the contract begin from a much less adversarial posture. This approach leads to more communication and collaboration during construction. My clients report that they have had success using these documents and that they will continue using them.
Great Recession or no Great Recession, ConsensusDocs is the vehicle for a much-needed change. Having to comb through lengthy, unfamiliar contract documents possibly containing egregious terms isn’t a good way of doing business for anyone. I can personally attest to the effectiveness of ConsensusDocs, having been in the enviable position of accepting a ConsensusDocs 750 subcontract agreement offered by a general contractor. The project was very successful. And I’m not alone. ConsensusDocs success stories are becoming common.
Although the reality of the marketplace continues to limit the ability of most contractors and subcontractors to effectively negotiate changes in the form contracts, ConsensusDocs offers the industry a more effective way to fairly allocate the risks and thereby reduce the number of claims arising from a project. ConsensusDocs offer the industry the best opportunity for a project to be completed on time and on budget, an outcome that benefits everyone on the project rather than just one stakeholder.
Our team has been very pleased with the transition from the clunky, outdated AGC software to the more streamlined ConsensusDocs web-based platform that combines with the universality of Microsoft Word. We have moved almost all our contract documents to ConsensusDocs and plan to make a complete transition over the next year.
Since using ConsensusDocs, we have been met with the utmost care and consideration from Support Specialist Lynette Nichols who goes above and beyond to assist with all our questions at any given time. Not only does she respond promptly, but she calls if need be, always provides abundant detail with our inquiries, and goes to great lengths to find a solution if we have an issue. Her customer support plays a prime role in our continued relationship with ConsensusDocs.
The Iowa Department of Administrative Services (“DAS”) is responsible for providing a wide variety of services to its State agency customers, including contracting for and administering construction projects. Prior to the Fall of 2011, DAS used modified AIA contracts for its construction projects and a traditional project delivery method (with a designer and a single prime construction contractor). In late Fall 2011, DAS switched to the ConsensusDocs 800 Program Management Series of construction contracts and to a construction-manager-as-agent centered project delivery method. The new contracts and the new project delivery method have been well received by the industry and very successful. While there is no doubt that a successful project depends more upon on good people than a good contract, DAS has found that a straight forward and risk-balanced contract (like the ConsensusDocs) gets the project off to a great start and puts project executive in a better position to make decisions.
Note: The above statements are solely based upon my personal opinion as a construction attorney and the comments I have received from other individuals who were instrumental in the changes made in our construction group.
The new ConsensusDocs platform has been instrumental in our ability to meet our client’s needs in an efficient manner. The website is easy to maneuver and offers informative webinars and great customer service to answer any question you may have. The contract negotiating process is more streamlined with ConsensusDocs. You do not have to worry if a change was made or if something was taken out without your approval as it is easy to see what changes have been made by running comparison reports right on the website. ConsensusDocs is an essential program for anyone entering into a construction contract.
ConsensusDocs have become our standard contract form template and system. The diverse constituency of 1. Authors, 2. Editors and 3. Endorsers means ConsensusDocs documents are substantially more balanced and practical. In a world of ever-increasing complexity and risk, this is a good thing indeed.