Analyzing the second release of 2017 AIA Contract Document updates

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This fall, AIA Contract Documents will release the second part of its once-in-a-decade update of the A201 design-bid-build family of documents. Many of the updates involve AIA “scope” documents, which are documents that describe, in detail, specialty services an architect can provide on a project. These AIA “scope” documents can be added to any base owner/architect agreement to form a contract.  

Some notable features of the updated documents include:

Site evaluation and project feasibility services

Through B203-2017, an owner can hire an architect to determine the development potential of a site, and to determine whether a site is suitable for a particular project. B203-2017 is set up as a menu of services, so the owner can precisely select the services required. In addition, B203-2017 was updated to clarify the architect’s responsibility to prepare a site evaluation and feasibility report as a deliverable as part of its services. B203-2017 also includes a simplified list of services and an enhanced initial information section.

Historic preservation services

Through B205-2017, an owner can hire an architect to perform evaluation and design services on a building with historic significance. The services in B205-2017 are arranged into four main categories – (1) Historic Assessment, (2) Existing Buildings Assessment, (3) Preservation Planning, and (4) Specific State and Federal Services. The Existing Buildings Assessment services were revised so the architect can provide a preliminary evaluation of the site’s historic buildings, then provide more detailed services as necessary. B205-2017 also clarifies the architect’s responsibility regarding hazardous materials on a project with historically significant buildings or features.

On-site project representation services

Through B207-2017, an owner can hire an architect to perform on-site presentation services during the construction phase of a project, beyond the architect’s customary periodic site visits. Notably, B207-2017 was revised to allow the owner and architect to establish the scope of the representative’s authority to act on behalf of the architect. B207-2017 also includes enhanced and clarified responsibilities for the on-site project representative to keep a daily log of site activities, prepare monthly written progress reports, perform certain off-site activities, and observe on-site tests and inspections.

Facility support services

Through B210-2017, an owner can hire an architect to perform services to support an existing, or recently constructed, facility or group of facilities. B210-2017 is set up as a menu of services with six main categories of services - (1) Facility Condition Assessment, (2) Facility Performance Assessment, (3) Operations Assessment, (4) Space Management, (5) Maintenance Management, and (6) Digital Facility Management System. The first three service categories where included in the 2007 version of B210 but have been expanded in the 2017 version. The later three service categories are new to the 2017 version of B210.

Commissioning services

C203-2017 has been significantly updated to reflect changes in the industry that have taken place since the prior version. For example, C203 now includes: (1) provisions describing the consultant’s role to assist in preparing the owner’s project requirements; (2) a more detailed description of the consultant’s commissioning plan; (3) updated provisions related to commissioning-related design reviews; and (4) updated provisions related to the consultant’s role in commissioning during the construction phase of the project.

In developing C203-2017, the AIA Documents Committee recognized that professionals from a variety of backgrounds perform commissioning services. Thus, C203 is no longer written as an architect’s scope of services in the B-Series of documents. Instead, C203 is silent as to the professional background of the person or entity performing the commissioning services and is categorized as a consultant document in the C-Series of documents. An owner can still use C203 to hire an architect to perform commissioning services, but C203 can also be used to hire professionals from other backgrounds to perform these services.

Certificate of substantial completion

G704-2017 was reorganized so the architect can sign the form, and include the date of substantial completion, immediately after the description of the work the architect is certifying. Also, the paragraph regarding warranties was updated to clarify that warranties commence on the date of substantial completion unless the parties indicate otherwise.

Notice of additional services

G801-2017 was updated to allow an architect to satisfy the additional services notice requirements included in B101–2017, B103–2017, and B104–2017. Note that amendments to the owner/architect agreement that do not contemplate additional services should be accomplished with G802-2017.

Amendment to the professional services agreement

G802-2017 was revised to simplify the process to amend owner/architect agreements when additional services are not contemplated as part of the amendment. For such amendments, the owner and architect need only to describe the amendment, indicate changes to the architect’s compensation and schedule, and execute G802-2017 according to the underlying owner/architect agreement.

This fall’s release includes the following documents:  

  • C203-2017, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Commissioning
  • B201-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Design and Construction Contract Administration
  • B203-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Site Evaluation and Project Feasibility
  • B205-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Historic Preservation
  • B207-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: On-Site Project Representation
  • B210-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Facility Support
  • G612-2017, Owner's Instructions to the Architect Part A
  • G612-2017, Owner’s Instructions to the Architect Part B
  • G701-2017, Change Order
  • G701S-2017, Change Order (Subcontractor Variation)
  • G702S–2017, Application and Certificate for Payment, Contractor-Subcontractor Version
  • G703S–2017, Continuation Sheet, Contractor-Subcontractor Version
  • G704-2017, Certificate of Substantial Completion
  • G710-2017, Architect’s Supplemental Instructions
  • G714-2017, Construction Change Directive
  • G715-2017, Supplemental Attachment for ACORD Certificate of Insurance 25
  • G801-2017, Notice of Additional Services
  • G802-2017, Amendment to the Professional Services Agreement
  • G803-2017, Amendment to the Consultant Services Agreement
  • G808-2017, Project Directory and Design Data Summary

For more information, please click here.

Caitlin Sweeney is a marketing and education specialist on AIA's Global Innovations team.