Four more associations have joined the ConsensusDOCS coalition, bringing the total number of groups affiliated with the group to 28. Established three years ago, ConsensusDOCS focus is on developing construction contract documents through a consensus-oriented approach. The group started out with 20 member associations, including the Associated General Contractors, the Construction Users Roundtable and the American Subcontractors Association.

The four new members are the American Society of Professional Estimators, the National Ground Water Association, Women Construction Owners & Executives USA and the Construction Specification Institute.

Brian Perlberg, executive director of ConsensusDOCS, says the addition of the four groups shows ConsensusDOCS is gaining momentum. “In a design and construction industry that is suffering severely, we’ve actually been able to increase our usership, which is somewhat remarkable,” he says.

The addition of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is particularly welcome, he adds, because it will bring in a large contingent of architectural and design professionals. The American Institute of Architects, which has its own contract documents, has not endorsed ConsensusDOCS.

Walter Marlowe, CEO of CSI, says his organization’s participation with the coalition “aligns nicely with its mission of advancing building information management and education of project teams to improve facility performance.”

Karen Hinen, American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) executive director, says an ASPE committee reviewed the contract documents extensively and concluded “ConsensusDOCS provide a fair and consistent approach to the administration of construction projects that is balanced and that endeavors to allocate various risks that will typically arise on construction projects to the party that is in the best position to control that risk.” She says, “We feel that it is in the best interest of our members and the construction industry to support the use of these documents.”

Perlberg says ConsensusDOCS currently is revising its core agreements, which include design-bid-build, design-build, construction management-at-risk and subcontractor contracts, based on industry trends and feedback. “We want to be on the leading edge,” he says. The revisions should be publicly available by January 2011.