1.1 Reviewing the Contracts

The construction contract administrator needs to get well organized prior to construction start up. One of the first steps should be reviewing the contracts. Sometimes the practice or partners will be reluctant to hand over copies of the client/ architect or architect / subconsultant agreements because they contain fees and other confidential information. You may need to ask for a copy of the scope of work sections only or simply have a review meeting to ask the appropriate questions.

The Client / Architect agreement:

Often there is nothing unusual or non-standard, but on occasion the following issues need attention or clarification:

  • Are the architect’s services during the construction phase standard (i.e. per the OAA 600) or, as is often the case in Design-build, limited in any way such as General Review limited to code related matters only?
  • The client/architect agreement normally indicates what form of construction delivery was anticipated – the standard being stipulated price CCDC 2, but the project has evolved into (as an example) Construction Management with either no certification of payments or conversely certification of payments and Substantial Performance of many separate trades. If there is a difference, someone may need to amend the agreement, clarify fees and/or budget hours for the construction contract administration activities.
  • Is there anything in the design work, RFP or Proposal that will require special inspection, reporting etc., such as off-site review of manufactured items in the factory or shop? They should all be included in the specifications for the work, but it’s a good idea to check.
  • Are costs for travel and other expenses reimbursable?

The Architect / Subconsultants agreements:

  • Similarly are the conditions in the architect/sub-consultant agreements (OAA 900-2014) the same as the architects conditions or are they different such as having a limited number of visits.
  • Is the architect the coordinating consultant, responsible for collecting engineering site reports and forwarding all to various parties including the building dept? This item could also be noted in Building Permit Commitment of General Review forms. 

The Site Plan Agreement:

  • Most, if not all, larger projects will be subject to Site Plan Control and require that the Owner and the Authority Having Jurisdiction enter into a Site Plan Agreement. The Site Plan Agreement covers the site and building design and would typically include parking, landscaping, storm water management and the building plan and elevations.
  • The construction contract administrator should review the Site Plan Agreement to be aware of any requirements therein that could affect the construction phase.

The Construction Contract:

It is very important to review the Construction Contract before construction begins because it outlines the responsibilities (and therefore possibilities for liability) of the consultant in administering and managing the construction phase of the project. Although the architect is not required to sign this contract they must be clear about what the contract stipulates is required to bring a project to completion.
If there is anything in the Construction Contract that appears to oblige the architect to a different standard of performance than that described in either the Client/Architect Agreement and/or the Architect/Sub-consultants Agreement, be sure to being it to the attention of the practice or partners immediately.

The construction contract administrator needs to find out exactly what is in or what will be in the construction contract. It may be the role of the construction contract administrator to put the construction contract together.

i) Supplementary Conditions
ii) Priority of Documents
iii) Schedule of Values


CHOP 2.3.10 p3