What is a Potential Change Order (PCO)

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in Change Orders Tags: Preconstruction

A PCO or potential change order is a work condition which is over and above the base contract of one or more subcontractors. After the change has been reviewed, a Potential Change Order Number (PCO) is issued to track the change or issue. The PCO NUMBER process is a method to track ANY ITEM that has the potential to affect the COST or SCHEDULE of the Project. The item may be a formal Bulletin from the Architect or as informal as the results of a conversation with a Subcontractor:

Formal
Formal change requests typically take the form of drawings and/or other documents issued by the Architect or their consultants commonly referred to as bulletins.

When a BULLETIN is issued, all drawings and specification pages are to be marked with a PCO NUMBER; for example PCO-001. The numbering is to be sequential. This marking is to be on the document in the lower right hand corner, using a thick marker or stamp.

Informal
A PCO NUMBER should be also assigned to ANY AND ALL ITEMS that have the potential of impacting cost, schedule, or quality. The following are examples where a PCO NUMBER may be assigned.

  • Sketches issued by the Architect or Consultants
  • Notes on shop drawings by the Architect or Consultants where the notes may cause a change in scope.
  • Informal or formal verbal instructions by the Owner, Architect or Consultant.
  • Informal or formal communication from a subcontractor that has the potential to increase or decrease costs.
  • Informal or formal communication from a Building Inspector, Fire Marshall or Department of Health Inspector that has the potential to increase costs.

Review the change to determine the number of subcontractors that will be impacted. Send out the sepias with the PCO NUMBER on them to the blueprinter for additional sets.

It is better to assign a PCO NUMBER and void it later than to have never assigned the PCO NUMBER and potentially lose track of the cost impact until a later date!