The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released nine new standard contract documents, including a new owner/consultant agreement, the C103–2015, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Consultant without a Predefined Scope of Consultant’s Services, and two accompanying scope of service exhibits. The C103 establishes expectations between an owner and a consultant on a project. The agreement contains basic business terms related to copyrights and licenses, claims and disputes, termination or suspension, and compensation. Although the form specifies that the consultant owns the copyright to its instruments of service (and provides the owner with a license to use them for a particular project), the actual scope of a consultant’s services must be inserted in the document or attached as an exhibit. As attachments, the AIA developed exhibits that aid an owner in acquiring land surveying services and geotechnical engineering for the site: C201–2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Land Survey, and C202–2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Geotechnical Engineering.
The surveying scope was developed in conjunction with the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and its committee that worked with the American Land Title Association (ALTA) on the new ALTA/NSPS standard being introduced in 2016. C201 allows users to choose between three options:
- a boundary survey that shows the property’s boundary lines, easements, structures, fences, walls, setback, and zoning classification;
- a topographic survey that shows the property’s contours, elevations, utilities, and significant vegetation; and
- the rigorous ALTA/NSPS survey in which the surveyor must meet ALTA/NSPS standards in addition to the C201 boundary survey requirements.
The scope also allows the owner to negotiate with the consultant for research items included in the survey with provisions regarding the site utilities, such as information sources and operating authorities of the utilities.
C202 spells out four phases of the geotechnical engineer’s services. First, this consultant is required to lay out a plan of exploration and testing and execute that plan. Next, the geotech must prepare a detailed list of items in the geotechnical report, including foundation evaluation and recommendations. Finally, during the subsequent design and construction phases (the third and fourth phases), the geotech must remain available for consultation. Conversely, the owner is responsible for providing project-specific information to the geotech. The AIA Contract Documents program worked with a group of geotechnical engineering firms to develop C202.
The AIA also made six new administrative forms for use on design-build projects available. These additions finish the new design-build family of documents.
All of the new documents are currently available through the latest version of the AIA Contract Documents desktop software, as well as individually through AIA Documents-on-Demand and AIA Documents-on-Demand Plus. For more information, go to www.AIA.org/contractdocs. In addition, the AIA has posted a question and answer interview with one of their members, James Grundmeier, on the new documents.