AIA to Release Model Green Contract Documents in 2012

By: William E. Kelley, Jr., LEED AP BD+C

During Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that it is releasing five AIA contract documents with model language to be used on sustainable design and construction project.  The contract documents will incorporate the model contract language and concepts outlined in AIA’s D503-2011 Guide for Sustainable Projects, which was discussed in more depth in prior blog posts here (Introduction), here (What Architects Need to Know), and here (What Contractors Need to Know).

The new contract documents for use on sustainable projects will include modified versions of (1) the A101-2007 Owner-Contractor Agreement; (2) the B101-2007 Owner-Architect Agreement; (3) the A201-2007 General Conditions; (4) the C401-2007 Architect-Consultant Agreement; and (5) the A401-2007 Contractor-Subcontractor Agreement.  As we mentioned in relation to the Guide for Sustainable Projects, the inclusion of model contract language for green or sustainable projects is an important tool for any project participant involved in these types of projects.  For example, the model contract language will provide a process for defining sustainable project goals, addressing those goals in the Contract Documents, allocating responsibility among the project participants for achieving those goals, and addressing the issue of what damages, if any, may be recoverable in the event that the project fails to meet the targeted sustainable goals.

The new contract documents are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2012.  Prudent Owners, Architects, Contractors, Subcontractors, Engineers, and others involved in green or sustainable projects should take time now to download the free AIA Guide for Sustainable Projects in order to familiarize themselves with these new concepts and model contract provisions.  Of course, for those already involved in green and sustainable projects, now is the perfect time to review your current contract forms to evaluate how those contracts address sustainable project goals.