Contracting with Consultants: Part 7, Other Considerations
The time when the architect and consultant enter into an agreement is the ideal time to address attribution of credit and marketing or promotion of the project. If the consultant is another architect, it is essential that the two architecture firms agree on how credit will be attributed by one another and by third parties when the project is promoted. For example, one architect may be the “Design Architect” and the other may be the “Architect of Record.” AIA C401™ § 1.7 provides a prompt saying, “If applicable, the Architect and Consultant agree to share professional credit for the Project as follows: …” It may also be important to clarify the role of the engineering consultants or an interior design consultant, especially if the consultant’s scope is limited or there is another consultant on the project with similar scope that can easily be confused with the scope of another when marketing or promoting the project. Disputes can arise when members of the project design team submit for design awards or include the project on their website or in their marketing portfolio, and represent their involvement in the project differently than the architect or the owner intends.
When the owner imposes confidentiality restrictions or limitations on project promotion in the owner-architect agreement (e.g., restrictions on publications or social media without prior owner consent), it is critical that the consultants are bound to the same restrictions as the architect or the architect may be liable to the owner for the improper disclosure by the architect’s consultant.
AIA has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors. The AIA’s Risk Management Program posts new materials and resources periodically.
Read our full seven-part series on Contracting with Consultants >
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