Looking into AIA’s design-build documents

The format of AIA A142-2014, Standard Form of Agreement Between Design-Builder and Contractor, is similar to the 2004 edition, and includes exhibits for the terms and conditions (Exhibit A), insurance and bond provisions (Exhibit B), preconstruction services (Exhibit C), and determination of the cost of work (Exhibit D). AIA A441-2014, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor for a Design-Build Project, incorporates by reference the terms and conditions of the A142-2014 and allows for the possibility of subcontractors providing professional services.

AIA B143-2014, Standard Form of Agreement Between Design-Builder and Architect, does not include a fixed scope of architect’s services, but rather features an extensive menu of services from which the design-builder and architect may select. The agreement can be used by the design-build entity to enter into an agreement with an architect who will perform all of the architectural services on a project, or, if the design-build entity will perform some of the architectural services, it can be used to contract with additional architects who will provide portions of the architectural services.

AIA C141-2014, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Consultant for a Design-Build Project, is a standard form for the project-related services an owner may require from a consultant. These may include programming and planning, budgeting and cost estimating, project criteria development services, the development of bridging documents, or construction contract administration services.

AIA C441-2014, Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant for a Design-Build Project, establishes the contractual relationship between the architect and a consultant providing services to the architect. It assumes and incorporates by reference a preexisting prime agreement between the design-builder and architect and was written to ensure consistency with AIA Document B143-2014.

All the new design-build documents address the use of building information modeling (BIM). The documents specify the parties will use AIA Document E203-2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit, to establish protocols for the development, use, transmission, and exchange of digital data and building information modeling.

In addition to the AIA’s six commercial design-build agreements, three forms have also been customized for use in design-build projects. These include:

  • AIA G742-2015, Application and Certification for Payment Application for a Design-Build Project;
  • AIA G743-2015, Continuation Sheet for a Design-Build Project; and
  • AIA G744-2014, Certificate of Substantial Completion for a Design-Build Project.

All of the design-build documents are available for purchase in the latest version of the AIA Contract Documents desktop software, and online through AIA Documents-on-Demand, and AIA Documents-on-Demand Plus.

Michael B. Bomba, Esq., is a director and counsel on the AIA Contract Documents team at the American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC. Bomba works actively in the creation and revision of AIA Contract Documents and provides assistance to users of AIA documents. He worked with the AIA Documents Committee on the creation of the AIA’s updated Design-Build Documents, and obtained his J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law in 2002. Prior to joining the AIA, Bomba worked at a private law firm in Washington, DC, representing design professionals in corporate and litigation matters. He is a member of the bar in both the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He can be reached via e-mail at mbomba@aia.org.

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2 comments on “Looking into AIA’s design-build documents”

  1. Architects – note that design-build sticks your neck a bit further out into the “design and construct” territory of the ADA. Not insurmountable, but tread with care

  2. I am both an architect and a General Contractor. I have been an architect for about 38 years, and a GC for about 10. I have built a lot of my designs. I use many of the AIA documents. I do not like the AIA DB contracts for the following reasons: 1) There are no real qualification requirements for DB entity. This leaves the architect in a vulnerable position. If the architect knows the DB group well, it is lessens that vulnerability, but it does not remove it. 2) I do not like the architect to have to take such a back seat position with mostly very little control of the process, budget, communication or the priorities of the decision making. Sometimes that is not the case, but mostly as practiced it is. 3) I think architects should work hard to obtain their own clients, and not have another option to not have a direct client relationship. 4) Most executed DB contracts I have seen have been contractor led with the architects and the design following a schedule and a budget. 5)The word architect means “master builder”, and it use to epitomize the skill sets of the architect. Today architects have become to detached from construction, and have given up too much professional real estate to others. I see this as another loss of real estate professionally, by adding this additional unregulated entity into the project mix – the “Design Builder”
    We design/build, but not as discussed in the AIA documents with a third party , but rather we do both activities. A lot of insurance carriers for architects do not want then to enter DB contracts because of the added risk.

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