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.
We use ConsensusDocs documents whenever and wherever possible. We’ve found them to be clear, fair to all parties, and well-accepted by our clients. The content of the documents addresses all of the issues which are typically required for a good working relationship, without adding unnecessary complexity. Whether documenting the agreement between an Owner and Contractor, an Owner and Construction Manager, an Owner and Design-Builder or a Design-Builder and Design Professional, the ConsensusDocs work very well. We also use their performance and payment bond forms for all of our subcontractor bonds.
Throughout our experience in using these documents, and we’ve used them for a number of years now, we have yet to encounter a situation where the documents failed to provide proper documentation of the contractual relationship. We recommend their use to all of our clients.
I recommend ConsensusDocs to all NSA and ASM members, and to all project participants seeking a fair and balanced contract. ConsensusDocs contracts are the only industry-standard contracts drafted and vetted by representatives from all industry stakeholder groups. As such, you can be assured that the roles, responsibilities and liabilities have been allocated in the best interests of the project versus any one party. As with any contract, the parties will need to make project-specific changes to the contract, but ConsensusDocs provides a solid contractual foundation that helps save time and money. And, with ConsensusDocs’ focus on facilitating project success via direct communications, advanced conflict resolution processes and so much more, parties are empowered to spend their time and energy on building projects and relationships versus unproductive silos and fighting one another at every intersection.