Owners and Contractors Alert: AIA Construction Documents Revised for 2017
Owners and Contractors take note! The American Institute of Architects (AIA), publisher of a well-known set of standardized construction forms used widely throughout the construction industry, recently unveiled significant changes to its standardized documents for 2017. The forms revised for 2017 include the AIA’s prime contract between owner and contractor (A101-2017; A103-2017), the subcontract between contractor and subcontractor (A401-2017), the contract between the owner and architect (B101-2017; B103-2017) and the standard general terms and conditions (A201-2017). All users of the AIA standardized construction forms should be on the look-out for the new 2017 series and be prepared to address the changes, the most notable of which are in the A201-2017 general terms and conditions, generally incorporated by reference into the standard form contracts.
Within the A201-2017, special attention should be given to: (1) revisions to the Insurance provisions at Article 11, which now feature a separate Insurance Exhibit to allow for greater customization of insurance terms; (2) revisions to the Termination provision at Article 14.4, which now features a negotiable termination fee, rather than overhead and profit, in the event of a termination for convenience; (3) revisions to the Notice provision at Article 1.6, which, except for notice of a claim that still requires written notice served via personal delivery and/or certified mail-return receipt, now otherwise permits all other general notices to be served electronically; (4) revisions to the Liquidated Damages provisions in the A101 and A102 to provide greater flexibility to fix the amount and/or to negotiate the terms and rationale behind the damages; (5) revisions to the Payment provisions including owner’s right to self-perform (Article 2.5), unit pricing (Article 9.1.2), Schedule of Values (Article 9.2), architect’s certification of payment (Article 9.4.1), lien indemnification (Article 9.6.8), and owner’s audit rights after final payment (Article 9.10.4); (6) revisions to Cost of Work provisions for those using the A201-2017 with an A102 on projects with a gross maximum price (Article 7-A102); (7) revisions to prior sustainable construction exhibits and the Guide of Sustainable Projects, which have now been consolidated into to single exhibit setting forth LEED goals and procedures; (8) revisions to streamline project communication requirements contemplated by Articles 4.2.4 (owner, contractor, architect communication), 3.3.1 (means and methods safety communications) and 9.6.4 (owner to subcontractor payment communications); and (9) revisions to owner’s financial disclosure requirements, permitting the contractor to stop or suspend work pending proof of owner’s ability to pay (Article 2.2).
The foregoing overview addresses some, but not all, of the material changes to the standard AIA documents for 2017. Trenam Law has access to the AIA licensed contract drafting software and is routinely engaged in the negotiation, drafting and litigation of disputes arising out of the AIA construction documents.