New 2017 AIA Documents Released – Are You Prepared?

Construction Contract

The construction contracts created by American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) have, for several decades, been established as the industry standard for contract forms.  There exist AIA forms for every imaginable project relationship and delivery method.  Every ten years or so, the AIA releases revised documents, in order to keep the terms current with industry norms and trends.

This year, the AIA has released several new 2017 editions, including the A201 family of documents, the flagship documents, developed for the design-bid-build delivery model.  New forms were also released for cost-plus contracts, with and without a guaranteed maximum price, abbreviated and short form owner-contractor agreements, contractor-subcontractor agreements, owner-architect agreements, and architect-consultant agreements.

Some of the major changes that require immediate attention include the following:

  • A single sustainable project to address the risks and obligations generally associated with sustainable design and construction services;
  • Agreements now include a prompter for parties to negotiate and insert a “termination fee” in the event of an owner’s termination for convenience;
  • The architect is now entitled to additional compensation for re-design services, so long as the architect could not have reasonably anticipated market conditions that caused bids to exceed the owner’s budget;
  • A new category of design services has been introduced – any services beyond basic services identified at the time of agreement are now termed “supplemental services,” to avoid confusion with “additional services” that may arise during the project;
  • A new exhibit with comprehensive insurance and bonds provisions that can be attached to many of the owner-contractor agreements;
  • New provisions relating to direct communications between the owner and contractor; and
  • Revised provisions related to the owner’s obligation to provide proof of financial arrangements to pay for the project;
  • Simplified provisions for the contractor to apply for and receive payments.

Many of these forms have been released, and more are scheduled for release throughout 2017.  As of October 2017, the prior (2007) versions of the AIA family of documents will no longer be available. Our Construction Group has been and continues to stay very much at the forefront of these changes.  If you have questions, or if you would like to discuss these changes and what you should be doing to protect your company’s interests, please contact our Construction Group directly.

About David Fine

David is an partner in the firm's Litigation Group and is chair of the Construction Law Group. David serves as litigation counsel for contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and other business concerns within the construction industry. He regularly advises his clients on matters such as contract drafting and dispute resolution, surety bond claims, mechanics liens and bid protests. David works closely with a number of local and regional trade organizations, and he often lectures and writes about topics pertinent to the construction industry.
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