AIA Document B103–2017 is a standard form of agreement between owner and architect intended for use on complex projects. B103–2017 assumes that the owner will retain third parties to provide cost estimates and project schedules, and may implement fast-track, phased or accelerated scheduling. Basic services are performed in five phases: schematic design, design development, construction documents, procurement, and construction. Supplemental Services are services that are not included as Basic Services but are identified as the architect’s responsibility at the time the agreement is executed. Additional Services are services that may arise as the project proceeds. This agreement may be used with a variety of compensation methods, including percentage of the budget for construction cost and stipulated sum. B103–2017 is intended to be used in conjunction with AIA Document A201®–2017, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, which incorporates by reference. For use and execution of a document, see its instructions »
AIA Document B103–2017 is a standard form of agreement between Owner and Architect for building design and construction contract administration for large or complex projects. B103–2017 is a one-part document that was developed to replace AIA Documents B141™–1997, Parts 1 and 2, and B151™–1997 specifically with respect to large or complex projects. B103–2017 returns to the traditional division of services into Basic and Additional Services. Basic Services are based on five traditional phases: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding or Negotiation, and Construction. This document may be used with a variety of compensation methods, including percentage of construction cost and stipulated sum.
In B103–2017 the Architect does not prepare cost estimates, but agrees to design the Project to meet the Owner’s budget for the Cost of the Work at the conclusion of the Design Development Phase Services. B103–2017 assumes that the Owner will retain third parties to provide cost estimates and Project schedules, and may implement fast-track, phased or accelerated scheduling. If the Architect will provide cost estimates and will design the Project to meet the Owner’s budget for the Cost of the Work at the conclusion of the Construction Documents Phase Services, the parties should consider using AIA Document B101™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect.
B103–2017 is intended to be used in conjunction with AIA Document A201–2017, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, which is specifically referenced. B103–2017 also can be used with Architect-Consultant agreements such as AIA Document C401™–2017. Before transmitting Instruments of Service or other information in digital form, parties should establish protocols for that transmission using AIA Document E203™–2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit. If the Owner intends to pursue a Sustainable Objective, the parties should identify the Sustainable Objective in B103 and use AIA Document E204™–2017, Sustainable Projects Exhibit, to establish the process for creating a Sustainability Plan that will define the parties’ responsibilities for pursuing the Sustainable Objective. Additionally, the AIA publishes AIA Document B503™, Guide for Amendments to AIA Owner-Architect Agreements, which discusses a number of topics common to Owner-Architect relationships and provides model language.
Changes from the previous edition.
AIA Document B103–2017 contains many significant changes in format and content from the former B141–1997 and B151–1997. A key change between B103–2017 and B141–1997 is that B103 returns to a unitary standard form agreement rather than the two standard forms and thus B103–2017 more closely follows the B151–1997 format. B103–2017 arranges the Architect’s services in terms of “Basic Services” and “Additional Services.” Basic Services are described within the five traditional phases of a Project: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding or Negotiating, and Construction. Additional Services consist of any services not described as Basic Services. B103–2017 assumes that the Owner will retain a third party to provide cost estimates, or that the Project will implement fast-track, phased or accelerated scheduling. The Owner’s responsibilities and the Architect’s services have been revised to conform to those assumptions.
There are many other changes to foster clarity in the Owner-Architect agreement as well. Described below are highlights of major changes in B103–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for a Large or Complex Project.
Article 1 – Initial Information
§ 1.1.7 Sustainable Objective. Sustainable design and construction continues to rapidly evolve as owners are increasingly interested in incorporating sustainable features into projects. B103–2017 addresses current industry practices relating to sustainable design. Section 1.1.7 requires the Owner to identify any anticipated Sustainable Objective it may have for the Project. The Sustainable Objective is the Owner’s goal of incorporating Sustainable Measures into the design, construction, maintenance and operations of the Project to achieve a Sustainability Certification or other benefit to the environment, to enhance the health and well-being of building occupants, or to improve energy efficiency. If the Owner identifies a Sustainable Objective, the parties will incorporate AIA Document E204–2017, Sustainable Projects Exhibit, into the Agreement to establish a process for creating a Sustainability Plan that will clearly define the parties’ responsibilities in terms of pursuing the Sustainable Objective. For more information on participating on a project with a Sustainable Objective, please see AIA Document D503™, Guide for Sustainable Projects.
§ 1.3 Use of Digital Data. This section requires the development of protocols for the transmission of Instruments of Service or other data in digital form through use of AIA Document E203™–2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit.
§ 1.3.1 This new section requires the parties to develop protocols for the use of, and reliance on, a building information model or portion thereof. Use of, or reliance on, a building information model without established protocols will be at the using or relying parties’ sole risk. This provision requires the use of AIA Document E203–2013 and AIA Document G202™–2013, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form, for the establishment of these protocols. For more information on using the AIA’s Digital Practice Documents, including E203–2013 and G202–2013, please see AIA’s Guide, Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents.
Article 5 – Owner’s Responsibilities
§ 5.13 Direct Communications. New language has been added clarifying that the Architect must be directly involved in any communications that relate to or affect the Architect’s services or professional responsibilities on the Project. To the extent direct communications between the Owner and Contractor otherwise occur, the Owner is required to subsequently notify the Architect as to the substance of any such communications relating to the Project.
Article 8 – Miscellaneous Provisions
§ 8.1.3 Architect’s Indemnity Obligation. New language has been added to clearly state that the Architect’s duty to indemnify the Owner does not include the additional duty to defend the Owner, which was the intended meaning of B103–2007.
Article 9 – Termination or Suspension
§ 9.6 Costs Attributable to Termination. This provision has been revised to clarify that costs payable to the Architect under a termination for convenience include costs attributable to the Architect’s termination of consultant agreements.
§ 9.7 Termination Fee. A fill point has been added for the parties to identify the termination fee that the Owner would pay to the Architect in the event of a termination for convenience or if the Architect terminates because of an extended suspension of the Project.
§ 9.8 One-year Termination. A provision was added that terminates the Agreement one year from the date of Substantial Completion, unless otherwise stated in the Agreement. There are a number of provisions throughout the Agreement, such as Article 7 Copyrights and Licenses, where the terms and conditions will survive Termination of the Agreement.
Article 11 – Compensation
§ 11.1 Compensation for Basic Services. Fill points have been added for two of the more popular methods for compensating Architects for Basic Services: Stipulated Sum and a Percentage Basis. Section 11.1 also includes a space for users to insert another compensation method, such as hourly billing rates or a multiple of direct salary expense, if the parties so choose.
§ 11.6 Calculation of Progress Payments For Percentage Basis Compensation. Language has been added to clarify how progress payments to the Architect are calculated when the parties have chosen a percentage basis as the method of compensation for the Architect’s Basic Services. Progress payments are calculated by applying the percentages set forth in Article 11 to the Owner’s most recent budget for the Cost of the Work. Section 5.2 requires the Owner to update its budget for the Cost of the Work as part of its budget for the Project throughout the course of the Project.
Section 11.6 also clarifies that once a progress payment is made, it shall not retroactively be adjusted based on subsequent increases or decreases to the Owner’s budget for the Cost of the Work.
Dispute Resolution—Mediation and Arbitration.
This document contains provisions for mediation and arbitration of claims and disputes. Mediation is a non-binding process, but is mandatory under the terms of this agreement. Arbitration may be mandatory under the terms of this agreement. Arbitration is binding in most states and under the Federal Arbitration Act. In a minority of states, arbitration provisions relating to future disputes are not enforceable but the parties may agree to arbitrate after the dispute arises. Even in those states, under certain circumstances (for example, in a transaction involving interstate commerce), arbitration provisions may be enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act.
The AIA does not administer dispute resolution processes. To submit disputes to mediation or arbitration or to obtain copies of the applicable mediation or arbitration rules, contact the American Arbitration Association at (800) 778-7879 or visit the website at adr.org.