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AIA Document Commentaries

Explanations of terms and key clauses in flagship AIA documents.

A201, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction
An integral part of the contract for construction for a large project and incorporated by reference into the owner/contractor agreement. AIA Document A201™ sets forth the rights, responsibilities, and relationships of the owner, contractor, and architect. Because it is adopted by reference in owner/architect, owner/contractor, and contractor/subcontractor agreements in the Conventional (A201) family of documents, A201 is often called the “keystone” document.

B101, Owner/Architect Agreement
A one-part standard form of agreement between owner and architect for building design and construction contract administration. Services are divided traditionally into basic and additional services. Basic services are performed in five phases: schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding or negotiation, and construction. AIA Document B101™ is intended to be used in conjunction with AIA Document A201™, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, which it incorporates by reference.

C191, Multi-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery
A standard form multi-party agreement through which the owner, architect, contractor, and perhaps other key project participants execute a single agreement for the design, construction and commissioning of a Project. AIA Document C191 provides the framework for a collaborative environment in which the parties operate in furtherance of cost and performance goals that the parties jointly establish.

D503, Guide for Sustainable Projects, including Commentary on the Sustainable Projects Documents
A discussion of the roles and responsibilities faced by owners, architects and contractors on sustainable design and construction projects. AIA Document D503™–2013 includes a discussion of environmental product ratings, certification systems and jurisdictional requirements that may be applicable to sustainable projects. D503 also contains an in depth, section-by-section commentary on AIA Sustainable Project documents A101™ SP, A201™ SP, A401™ SP, B101™ SP and C401™ SP and AIA Document B214™, Architect’s Services: LEED® Certification. D503–2013 includes a sample Sustainability Plan that readers can use for assistance when preparing a Sustainability Plan unique to their project.

AIA Bond Form Commentary and Comparison (A310 and A312)
AIA Document A310™ is a simple, one-page form that establishes the maximum penal amount that may be due to the owner if the selected bidder fails to execute the contract or fails to provide any required performance and payment bonds. AIA Document A312™ incorporates two bonds—one covering the contractor’s performance, and the other covering the contractor’s obligations to pay subcontractors and others for material and labor. In addition, A312 obligates the surety to act responsively to the owner’s requests for discussions aimed at anticipating or preventing a contractor’s default.

Guide, Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents
Digital practice and the use of BIM are rapidly evolving areas of the industry. In 2013 the AIA created an updated and reconfigured new set of Digital Practice documents that includes AIA Document E203™, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit; AIA Document G201™, Project Digital Data Protocol Form; and AIA Document G202™, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form.

For questions about the content of specific documents, which document to use, or how to complete a document, call (202) 626-7526 or contact Also visit the AIA Contract Documents Knowledge Base, which answers some 500 questions about purchasing documents, using AIA Contract Documents® software, and selecting and understanding AIA documents and forms.

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