Book and Exhibits

A book entitled “A Guide to Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts – What Every Project Manager Needs to Know” is available to assist design professionals in managing their professional services contracts.

About The Book

This book is a resource to design professionals as they manage their professional services contracts. Its more than fifty topics address the process from being selected, through the design process, and to preparation of record documents after construction.

The book also contains twelve sample documents (exhibits) intended to improve effectiveness and efficiency during the design and construction process. The sample documents (exhibits) are available for download in their native format here.

This book can be used in several ways:

As a primer on professional services contracts –The topics are arranged in the chronological order commonly experienced during a project. Accordingly, they can be studied without reference to a specific project from start to finish.

As a text to introduce college students to the basics of contracting for professional services – Although recent graduates will not need the information in the book for several years, an early introduction to the terms and having the book when needed will be of great value.

As a resource during a project – As certain contracting topics come into play during a project, the Table of Contents of the book can be referred to for guidance.

As a source of topics that can be used to create a culture of professional liability issues awareness – By discussing one of the book’s topics at a weekly staff meeting throughout the year, everyone involved in the design process can be sensitized to the importance of correctly dealing with contractual issues that may otherwise result in a professional liability claim.


All the suggestions in this book are sound and correct. It was a fast read and the bullet point format makes it very easy to go through quickly.

I wish I had been required to read this book early in my career. However, until you have experienced all the reasons you need to adhere to these guidelines, I can imagine a young professional would not be able to grasp their importance.

I have learned most of the things in this book over my 36 years of practice. Every professional would benefit from reading this book early in their careers and yearly as a refresher.   Because, face it, this book will make your life easier and keep you out of trouble. In reading it, I read several things I’m going to implement in my office – specifically with our contracts.

This book could be called a “Pocket” Guide, as it is easy enough to carry around – also implying it is important to do so.

Michael S. Teller, AIA

Principal, CBI Consulting Inc.

This book is intended to provide a primer for young engineers on the important aspects of design services contracts.  It also introduces the importance of creating and maintaining a culture of professional liability awareness within a design office to minimize the risk of a claim.  The book is concisely written and broken into five sections: An introduction, a brief description of the basic elements of a design services contract, common issues with implementing the contract, requirements during bidding and construction, and a summary and recommendations section.

Young engineers rarely have any formal instruction on the subject of contracts and liability and this book provides a useful introduction to these topics.  Too often these lessons are learned “the hard way” through claims and disputes.  Gaining a basic understanding of the principles of design service contracts before one takes on the responsibility of project management can be invaluable and this book covers all the basic concepts.  This reader was hoping to see more real-world case studies and “horror stories”, however, the text is to the point and well worth the couple hour read for a young professional entering the world of project management.

Keith Bouchard, P.E.

Structural Engineer, CBI Consulting, Inc.

This is a very readable and straight-forward primer that covers many of the basic contractual and legal issues confronted by a design professional. Above all it emphasizes the importance of careful, concise, and timely communications as the hallmark of a good professional relationship.  

 It further provides the newly minted architect and engineer with basic liability principles and cautions – “do’s and don’ts,” if you will – in the principal areas of exposure. This includes standards of care, ownership of design documents (or “deliverables”), limitations of liability and disclaimers, indemnification obligations and perils, and dispute resolution, and how those principles intersect with professional liability insurance.  

 On a more fundamental level, the guide also alerts the young design professional to the basic importance of getting paid.

It is a good and simple “read” – 76 pages or about a 90 minute commitment – for any new design professional.

Russell F. Conn, Esquire

Partner, Conn, Kavanaugh, Rosenthal, Peisch & Ford, LLP, Boston, MA


The book also contains the twelve exhibits (templates) listed below, a complete set of which is available for $9.95 US. To download the exhibits in their native format (MS Word, MS Excel), click the “Buy Now” button.

List of Exhibits:

  1. Change of Scope Form
  2. Contract Amendment Form
  3. Meeting Checklist
  4. Meeting Agenda
  5. Generic Sign-In Sheet
  6. Frequent Attendee Sign-In Sheet
  7. Seminar Sign-In Sheet
  8. Meeting Summary
  9. Issues Tracking Log
  10. Site Photos
  11. RFI Tracking Log
  12. Shop Drawing Review Log

Get In Touch

Lowe Consulting, LLC
John M. Lowe, Jr., P.E.
Happy Valley, OR