In October, AIA Contract Documents will release a new owner-consultant agreement and two accompanying scope of service exhibits for land surveying and geotechnical engineering.

AIA Document B101™-2007, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Architect, requires the owner to provide land surveying and geotechnical engineering services. The AIA’s existing documents are structured such that an owner would use RFPs to hire these consultants. 

However, these existing documents are more than 20 years old and cannot account for every owner-consultant scenario that arises on a contemporary project. Furthermore, contracts that are based on a consultant’s proposal often lack essential contracting terms or conflict with the expectations set forth in the RFP. 

To address these shortcomings and modernize the nature of owner-consultant agreements, AIA Contract Documents has developed AIA Document C103™-2015, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Consultant without a Predefined Scope of Consultant’s Services. The C103-2015 contains basic business terms that describe the general responsibilities of the parties and set expectations for dispute resolution, termination and insurance. The C103-2015 also specifies that the consultant owns the copyright to its instruments of service and provides the owner with a license to use those instruments of service for a particular project.

To accompany the new C103-2015 agreement, AIA Contract Documents will release exhibits for the two most common scopes of service: land surveying and geotechnical engineering.

AIA Document C201™-2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Land Survey, will include:
  • the option to choose between a basic boundary survey that shows property lines and existing structures, an ALTA/ACSM survey that includes relevant title information, or a topographic survey that displays elevations, contours and utility information;
  • provisions that clarify the surveyor’s role to research items included in the survey; and 
  • enhanced provisions related to site utilities, including requirements that the surveyor note the sources of information used to identify utilities and the related operating authority.
AIA Document C202™-2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Geotechnical Engineering Services, will include:
  • provisions directing the owner to provide project-specific information to the geotechnical engineer;   
  • a detailed list of items that the geotechnical engineer must include in the geotechnical report, including foundation evaluation and recommendations; and 
  • a requirement that the geotechnical engineer be available for consultations during design and construction.  
The C201-2015 and C202-2015 function solely as exhibits to the C103-2015 owner/consultant agreement. For other consultant services (e.g., environmental or BIM), the parties may insert a specific scope of service into the agreement or attach a separate exhibit that they create.

The new documents will be released in October and will be available in AIA Contract Documents software and on Documents on-Demand and Documents-on-Demand Plus.


Mike Koger is manager and counsel at the American Institute of Architects. For more information, visit aia.org/contractdocs or follow @AIAContractDocs.



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