- The American Institute of Architects on Tuesday released 13 new and revised contract documents that the organization said would better represent construction industry "trends and nuances." AIA Contract Documents & Risk Management Managing Director Kenneth Cobleigh said the changes would "ensure the design and construction industries are working under the best agreements possible for their businesses.”
- The AIA said significant changes in this round of revisions include the option for a contractor and subcontractor to set terms and conditions for an agreement that includes multiple scopes of work (A421-2018; A422-2018) and updates to better address the legal issues involved in joint venture business relationships (C101-2018).
- "Other noteworthy changes include an alignment of master agreements with 2017 updates, allowances for electronic delivery of bidding documents and the addition of mediation to the architect-consultant agreement for special services," AIA outlined.
Most commercial contractors are likely familiar with the AIA series of construction agreements and documents as they are used often throughout the industry, although there are new publishers like ConsensusDocs that have also come to market with their own line of contracts.
The AIA typically issues updates to its contracts every 10 years, the last one in the spring of 2017. Some highlights from those revisions are:
- A provision that the architect is to act with impartiality when exercising the authority given to it in the contract.
- More opportunities for direct communication between the contractor and owner, while still keeping the architect in the loop.
- More details about insurance requirements.
- A new section on retainage, the amount typically withheld from a contractor's payment until the end of the project or until the contractor's work has gained final acceptance.
- An allowance for a termination fee.
- More references to electronic communication.
- More access to the owner's financial information.
- The addition of a sustainable projects exhibit.