Contract Administration

Commentary, Contract Administration

The long and winding road…

This year, StatsLog enters its 35th year of uninterrupted use in Canada’s architectural community. Over this time, we have witnessed incredible changes in technology and business practices.

What we started back in 1984 as a relatively modest replacement to “pen and paper” approaches to tracking changes to construction contracts, is now an enterprise-ready, highly customizable solution for the contract administration and documentation needs of construction projects of all shapes and sizes. In fact, over the past few years we’ve seen the usage of our software increase dramatically – from $3.5 billion in active projects in 2016 to $9.2 billion today.

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Commentary, Contract Administration, FIVE by StatsLog

Alright Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

Collaboration is being pitched as an approach to integrate the diverse, and often divergent demands of a project team into a single vision. It’s a commendable goal, but most of software solutions that claim to help are centralized systems under the control and management of the developer or contractor. At the end of the day though, it is the design professional who is on the hook in terms of liability for the job – meaning it is in the design professional’s best interest to be in control of the project data.

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Contract Administration, FIVE by StatsLog

Change Management – the other side of the coin

We previously explored the outgoing documents of CCDC 24 – those that are initiated by the designer/design team such as Site Instructions, Change Notices, and Change Orders. Now let’s take a closer look at the incoming documents – those that you receive from the contractor, consultants, and/or your client.

Since incoming documents are coming from outside sources, they tend to be less structured. Sometimes they aren’t even documents in the traditional sense at all (phone calls, texts, and email messages). CCDC2 tends to limit all communications about the project to the contractor, while management and other contracts may have communication coming from each discipline separately. Regardless of the contract type or communication source, incoming documents usually come in one of two “flavours”:

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Contract Administration

Exploring Change “Notices”

In construction contract administration the general purpose of a notice is to document the anticipated expansion or contraction of the scope of work of a project. Notices can be used to elicit a quote from the contractor, and should contain language that explicitly forbids or permits the contractor to proceed with any work described therein without subsequent written authorization in the form of an approved Order.

Notices go by a variety of names, including: Change Notice, Contemplated Change Order, Proposed Change, Change Directive, and Bulletin. Despite the diverse nomenclature, there are three commonly issued types of Notices:

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Contract Administration

Introduction to Construction Contract Admin – Change Management

Interested in more on this topic?
Check out the next post in the series here!


During construction, clients see evidence of your services most often through the Contract Administration (CA) forms that you issue. In Canada, these forms usually begin with CCDC 24 – 1996 – a guide to model and support documents. This blog will examine a few of the common CA form types that you can quickly and easily issue and track using FIVE by StatsLog.

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Contract Administration

“I Hate Contract Admin!”

It’s a common refrain we hear from architects. Nobody becomes an architect with a dream to hack away at spreadsheets. When you first became an architect there was a decent chance you barely even knew that contract administration was a part of the job – it’s a topic that is typically given a cursory glance at best in architecture school.

That said, contract admin can account for 25% of your fee. The problem is that most architects are spending at least that much on performing their contract administration duties, often turning the construction phase into a money pit.

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Contract Administration

Build Your Skill Profile

Building your professional profile? We can help!

Contract Administration is a complex business. Each day you’re managing requests from contractors, emails from consultants, and issuing reports to clients, not to mention visiting the site to ensure everything is going according to plan. These are just some of the tasks that make contract admin professionals an invaluable part of every construction project. So why not highlight your skill set?

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Contract Administration

Withholding Funds During Construction

Holdback, retainage, and withholding are all terms used to describe monies withheld from the Contractor by the Owner. In Ontario, holdback is legislated as a percentage of the progress of work, and is intended to protect employees on a project site.

Many contracts also include special funds, and I have given them a different name to avoid confusion. In Canada I tend to use the term retainage for sums that are withheld at the discretion of the owner or consultant. Retainage (or non-legislated holdback amounts) are typically lump sums used to cover the costs of deficiencies, or for the remediation of unaccepted work.

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