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New Standard Design-Assist Contract Document is First Industry Standard Document to Address Growing

Posted 10/05/2018, by COAA

Amy Hager, ConsensusDocs

New Standard Design-Assist Contract Document is First Industry
Standard Document to Address Growing Practice

The ConsensusDocs 541 gets Constructors and Trade Contractors involved earlier in the project and collaborating successfully with Design Professionals
Washington, D.C.– The Construction Owners Association of America (COAA), as part of the ConsensusDocs Coalition, is publishing the industry’s first standard contract document addressing design-assist. The ConsensusDocs 541 Design-Assist Addendum creates a contractual structure to better coordinate design professionals, construction managers, and subcontractors in developing and constructing design documents. The range of services including constructability reviews before design completion; owner’s program review; recommended procurement of materials; prefabrication recommendations; cost estimating; integrated value analysis; design-build packaging; and coordinated milestone scheduling. The document tackles the difficult task of defining the range of design-assist services. Optional design-assist services are identified including life cycle cost analysis; risk analysis; sustainability; and production planning.  By gaining the early involvement of builders’ expertise and coordinating those efforts with design teams, greater project cohesion and efficiency is achieved.

Joe Leone, partner at Drewry Simmons Vornehm, LLP in Indiana, served as chair for the ConsensusDocs Coalition working group comments, “Design-assist is the most important development in the design and construction industry not addressed in a standard form contract document. Contractually isolating the efforts of architects and engineers and the expertise of constructors and trade contractors has proven detrimental to creating quality design documents that can be built on time and on budget. This first of its kind design-assist addendum, which brings all of the key project participants together in a collaborative environment, helps bridge this gap.”
This design-assist addendum coordinates with the recently released ConsensusDocs 305 Lean Construction Addendum by allowing users to opt into several Lean construction tools and processes. The Lean and design-assist Addendums work well together or independently.
COAA is a proud member of the ConsensusDocs, a unique coalition of 40+ design and construction industry associations that produces industry-standard contracts that are fair and facilitate project better results. The ConsensusDocs Coalition has published 100+ standard contracts that incorporate fair risk allocation and best practices to represent the project’s best interests. Coalition organizations represent hundreds of thousands of design professionals, owners, contractors, subcontractors and sureties. For more information, please visit www.ConsensusDocs.org, call 866-925-DOCS (3627) or email support@ConsensusDocs.org.