Form AIA agreements are not as impartial and balanced as they may seem. First, the AIA is an organization that, according to its website, represents « the professional interests of American architects » and the form agreements reflect such interests. In addition, since the introduction of the first forms, AIA form agreements have been subject to numerous revisions and any revisions have shifted the balance from owners to architects and contractors. This continued postponement is partly explained by the fact that the Association of General Contractors cooperates with the AIA in the preparation of several form agreements. As expected, this has resulted in formal agreements that tend to favour the architect and the contractor over the owner, as shown in the following two examples. Such an analysis is essential to ensure that the architect`s design meets the needs of the owner. Many other design tasks, traditionally considered basic services, have been recreated to the detriment of the owner. Each must be checked by an owner to ensure that the owner`s expectations are reflected in the final design of the project. So what can an owner do to ensure that their interests are properly protected? When an AIA form is submitted to an owner and chooses to use it, these forms must be amended to create a level playing field.
However, a better solution is for an owner to use their own handwritten agreement. Manuscript agreements allow owners to avoid negotiations in the mountains and can be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the owner. Anderson Kill & Olick has lawyers with extensive experience in both AIA contracts and manuscript construction contracts….