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The American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) has for many years drafted contract documents that can be utilized by the construction industry for a multitude of different construction projects. These AIA documents are frequently used in Indiana.
The AIA currently has in excess of 100 different contract documents for use on construction projects. These different contract documents are divided into nine different families of documents based on the project type or delivery method. The ones that are seen most in the construction industry are the owner/contractor agreements, the owner/architect agreements, and the owner/construction manager agreements.
Within the owner/contractor agreements, the AIA has different contracts that apply to a fixed price project, a cost plus contract, and a cost plus with a guaranteed maximum price contract form, just to name a few. There are many different factors that impact the determination of which of these different contract forms is best for your particular construction project. Consultation with an experienced construction lawyer would be well advised in determining the appropriate contract document to utilize for your particular project.
In addition to making the determination of what contract form to utilize for a project, if you desire to use the AIA contract documents, one should also consider what modifications should be made to these standard contract forms to make the contract more favorable to your position and/or to make the contract include provisions that apply to the specific facts involved in your project. Consultation with an experienced construction lawyer to assist you in finalizing these contract documents will likely produce a contract that better allocates risk and lessens your company’s potential contractual liabilities.