The American Institute of Architects Unveils New and Updated AIA Contract Documents at the 2013 AIA National Convention

The guide is the result of a collaborative effort among representatives from several AIA Knowledge Communities, including the Small Firm Roundtable, Small Project Practitioners, and the Custom Residential Architects Network who worked closely with the AIA Contract Documents team to help ensure the material was relevant to their practices. The outcome of this collaborative work is a reference guide that allows busy practitioners working on small projects – where time equals money – a way to easily find a comprehensive list of AIA Contract Document resources to help them in their practice.

The new guide is:

  • Guide to AIA Contract Documents for Small Projects: Resources for Small Project Practitioners, including Small Firms, Sole Practitioners and Custom Residential Architects

The free Small Projects Guide can be found at

Updated Guide for Sustainable Projects

The updated Guide for Sustainable Projects, AIA Document D503™-2013, is a follow up to the AIA Contract Document’s popular Guide for Sustainable Projects introduced in 2011and the five Sustainable Projects (SP) documents launched in May 2012.

The new version of the guide includes the following updates:

  • An example of a Sustainability Plan, including a detailed discussion of such.
  • An expanded discussion of key Sustainability Certifications, the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), Environmental Product ratings, and insurance issues.
  • A detailed discussion of the provisions included in the Sustainable Projects (SP) documents.

The information included in this guide can assist participants in sustainable projects with ensuring that their contractual agreements don’t unnecessarily expand the risk for any one party involved in a project, and that the terms are fair when it comes to compensation, roles, and responsibilities.

Al Rabasca, Director of Industry Relations at XL Group’s Design Professional unit and an AIA Insurance Adviser who was involved in updating the Guide for Sustainable Projects, comments that, “These new updates should be of particular help to small and medium-sized firms, which often need help with questions on managing expectations, the applicable standard of care, and other topics that now arise when discussing issues pertaining to sustainability. We were happy to provide them documents that can help aid these conversations.”

The updated guide is:

  • D503 ™-2013, Guide for Sustainable Projects, including Commentary on the AIA Sustainable Projects Documents

The free Guide for Sustainable Projects can be found at

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


Scott Frank
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