New and Updated AIA Contract Documents

June 20, 2013

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents team announced several additions and updates to its suite of offerings: a brand new family of Program Management documents; a new, free Guide for Small Projects; an updated Guide for Sustainable Projects; and updated BIM and Digital Practice Documents. The new documents and updates will improve the contract negotiation experience for architects, building owners, general contractors and other design and construction professionals.

The new documents and guides are available in the latest version of AIA Contract Documents software, which is now compatible with Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 8.

New Document Family for the Program Manager

The role of the program manager is one that has grown in the last decade as owners hire representatives to act as the coordinators of the design process for multiple projects, in order to ensure consistency. This has been an especially popular trend in institutional design, in which several buildings (such as those within healthcare or educational facilities) usually need to be upgraded simultaneously and share similar design elements.
Using the input of industry liaisons, the AIA Contract Documents Committee developed a family of documents so that program managers, as well as design managers, can oversee projects in a more systematic fashion.

The documents in this new family include:
• B171-2013, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Design Manager for use in a Multiple Project Program
• B172 -2013, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Architect for Architect of Record Services
• C171-2013, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Program Manager for use in a Multiple Project Program

Free samples of the Program Management documents can be found at

Updated Digital Practice Documents and New Digital Practice Documents Guide

In any project or collaboration–particularly those involving new technologies like BIM–it’s critical that all participants understand roles and responsibilities. The updated AIA BIM and Digital Practice Documents establish expectations around, and the process for, the use of digital data, including building information modeling on a project.

Rachel Riopel Wiley, AIA NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, the central region BIM director, HDR Architecture Inc. was involved in reviewing the BIM and Digital Practice Documents when they were made available for public comment in August 2012. She is among the first architects to put these documents to use in a real-world setting, recently in a multiple facilities project, including housing research facilities, outpatient treatment center and a new hospital tower–totaling 575,000 square feet. HDR Architecture has applied the new BIM and Digital Practice documents to address issues related to integration and liability between owner and architect upon the introduction of building information modeling. Specifically she says, “The AIA BIM and Digital Practice documents help by highlighting the pieces of a project that should be addressed early in the design process which can often cause unnecessary stress later, such as fee terms and scheduling. Because the forms can be customized and tailored, it provides flexible guidance which allows for all parties to come to terms that can be agreed upon from the very beginning. The ability to clarify the expectations affords all parties greater protection than was previously available.”

The updated documents and free guide include:
• C106-2013,Digital Data Licensing Agreement
• E203-2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit
• G201-2013, Project Digital Data Protocol Form
• G202-2013, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form
• New & Free–Guide, Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents

Free Samples of the BIM and Digital Practice documents and new Digital Practice Documents guide can be found at

New Free Guide for Small Projects

Designed to help small firms and small project practitioners gain awareness of the documents and resources available for their particular needs, the new Guide for Small Projects is the result of several months of collaborative work and is expected to serve as an important asset to anyone who works on small projects.
The guide is the result of a collaborative effort among representatives from several AIA Knowledge Communities, including the Small Firm Roundtable, Small Project Practitioners, and the Custom Residential Architects Network who worked closely with the AIA Contract Documents team to help ensure the material was relevant to their practices. The outcome of this collaborative work is a reference guide that allows busy practitioners working on small projects–where time equals money–a way to easily find a comprehensive list of AIA Contract Document resources to help them in their practice.

The new guide is:

• Guide to AIA Contract Documents for Small Projects: Resources for Small Project Practitioners, including Small Firms, Sole Practitioners and Custom Residential Architects

The free Small Projects Guide can be found at

Updated Guide for Sustainable Projects

The updated Guide for Sustainable Projects, AIA Document D503-2013, is a follow up to the AIA Contract Document’s popular Guide for Sustainable Projects introduced in 2011 and the five Sustainable Projects (SP) documents launched in May 2012.
The new version of the guide includes the following updates:
• An example of a sustainability plan, including a detailed discussion of such.
• An expanded discussion of key sustainability certifications, the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), Environmental Product ratings and insurance issues.
• A detailed discussion of the provisions included in the Sustainable Projects (SP) documents.

The information included in this guide can assist participants in sustainable projects with ensuring that their contractual agreements don’t unnecessarily expand the risk for any one party involved in a project, and that the terms are fair when it comes to compensation, roles and responsibilities.

Al Rabasca, director of Industry Relations at XL Group’s Design Professional unit and an AIA Insurance adviser who was involved in updating the Guide for Sustainable Projects, comments, “These new updates should be of particular help to small and medium-sized firms, which often need help with questions on managing expectations, the applicable standard of care and other topics that now arise when discussing issues pertaining to sustainability. We were happy to provide them documents that can help aid these conversations.”

The updated guide is:
• D503-2013, Guide for Sustainable Projects, including commentary on the AIA Sustainable Projects Documents

The free Guide for Sustainable Projects can be found at

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