Every 10 years or so, the American Institute of Architects updates its primary contracting forms. Years ending in a “7” are especially noteworthy because that is the year the AIA revises its most common forms, including the A201 “General Conditions of the Contract for Construction” (OK, there was the 1976 version, but all editions since have lined up with “lucky 7” – 1987, 1997, 2007, and now the 2017 version).
You are probably familiar with the A201. It is the most-used construction contracting form in the United States. The most recent version was released by the AIA in 2017, but a new edition normally takes 6-12 months to gain general market acceptance as everyone continues to use the prior edition as long as possible. (Most likely to avoid having to prepare a new, electronically-modified version of the form).
Well, that time is now. The 2017 edition of the A201 will become pretty much inaccessible starting October 1. That means that if you have not done so already, you need to plan to switch to the A201-2017 form very, very soon. And if you use a modified A201 – and that includes most developers and contractors – you need to get started now to make sure your new A201-2017 is ready to roll by October 1.
In addition to the A201, the most commonly-used AIA “Standard Forms” will also need to be revised. That includes the Owner-Contractor A101, A102, and A103, the Owner-Architect B101-2017, and the Contractor Subcontractor A401-2017.
It is particularly important to get started early with the 2017 forms because of one extremely-important change made to the forms: The insurance provisions have been taken out of the A201 and moved to their own exhibit. The new “Exhibit A Insurance and Bonds” has expanded significantly the insurance products and options available to the user, with more attention given to the scope, policy limits, and other terms of insurance. Now more than ever it is critical that your insurance program be reviewed by your insurer early and dovetailed with the new insurance Exhibit A.
It may still feel like summer, but fall is right around the corner so get started now!
By: J. Greg Easter