A growing number of construction projects are coming together under contracts that require unique partnership agreements to assemble all parties as early as possible and even share risks and rewards. Being able to manage the specifics in the contracts becomes vital for every member of the project, and now there is a collaborative Web-based system specifically dedicated to managing contracts in the cloud.

For today’s construction team, standard contract agreements are available that address IPD (integrated project delivery), BIM (building information modeling), green construction, and other new methods of collaborative project delivery. ConsensusDocs, www.consensusdocs.org, Arlington, Va., which consists of a coalition of 35 associations representing varying interests in design and construction, continues to deliver these new types of contracts, offering more than 90 different templates.

Keeping in line with the rising contractual trend to address synergy and communication among all parties while aligning interests, ConsensusDocs announced last week a new Web-based platform to share contracts in the cloud.

Brian Perlberg, executive director and senior counsel, ConsensusDocs, says the new cloud-based technology platform transforms how contracts are delivered, allowing users to collaborate and negotiate contracts more efficiently.

Through a secure portal, users simply log into a personalized dashboard and locate projects, edit contracts, review changes, or start a new contract using one of the ConsensusDocs templates. The platform can be accessed while the user is either online or offline.

With the technology, teams can work on standard construction contracts using Microsoft Word. One of the biggest draws of the system is users can collaborate and easily see changes between different document versions.

In addition, users can organize contacts, projects, and negotiations in the central dashboard; create favorite templates for future projects; convert scanned paper and PDF documents into text; and access new and updated standard contracts.

The platform is available at no additional cost and contains embedded instructions to help teams get started. Users will still have access to ConsensusDocs’ on-premise system, DocuBuilder, for projects that may have contracts in process, but the organization does not plan to update any new or revised contracts in DocuBuilder.

ConsensusDocs is continually updating standard contract agreements for BIM and IPD, among others, and is now giving the construction community an easier way to manage those contracts.

For the industry, being able to use Microsoft Word and a collaboration platform to facilitate contract negotiations is the next step in enabling teams to become more connected from the onset of a project.