Change Order Provisions under National and International Standard Forms of Contract


Changes after the work starts are not unusual in the construction industry. In fact, in some types of underground construction, changes are the standard. These variations affect the project total cost and time for completion. This might instill conflicts, claims, and disputes between all associated parties. The objective of this paper is to analyze the change order provisions under most widely used standard construction contracts both nationally and internationally. This study is part of a series that attempts to analyze different contractual and legal matters under various national and international standard forms of contract. As dictated by the descriptive nature of this paper, the authors used a desktop analysis involving three dimensions for studying change order provisions that included reviewing the change order provisions as related to power and authority, execution and procedures, and the adjustments to contract sum and time for completion. This paper studies the extension of variation provisions under traditional standard construction contracts including those published by: the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ConsensusDocs, the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC), the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), the World Bank, the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT), and the New Engineering Contract (NEC). Ultimately, the study concludes with a comparative analysis between all contracts under investigation that show similarities and differences among the changes/variations mechanism of the subject contracts. This study should enable all associated contracting parties to better manage their respective rights and responsibilities during the handling of variation orders.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Comparative studies; Underground construction; Change orders; Consulting services; Contracts; Standards and codes; Building codes; Joints

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1943-4162; 1943-4170

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2016