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New AIA 2017 Construction Contracts, Part II: General Conditions of the Contract

August 11, 2017

[This is Part II of a four-part series discussing the new AIA 2017 forms. Part I discussed the agreements between the Owner and Contractor (A101-2017 and A102-2017); Part III will discuss the Owner—Architect forms (B101-2017, B102-2017 and B103-2017); Part IV will discuss miscellaneous new forms, including the new insurance exhibits and consultant forms]

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) form construction contracts are the predominant family of forms in the construction industry. AIA recently issued its decennial updates to some of its forms. This article discusses changes to the 2017 version of the AIA form A201, the General Conditions of the Contract for Construction that is incorporated into many of its family of forms. The A201 is probably the most important form in the family of documents as its terms can be incorporated into multiple agreements.

AIA’s most significant change to the A201 involves the parties’ insurance obligations. As will be discussed in Part IV of this series, insurance is a separate exhibit to the contract with much more detail and many more options in coverage than in any prior iteration of the AIA forms. Other than the insurance provisions, many of the substantive changes to the 2017 A201 include the following (all capitalized words in this article refer to capitalized and defined terms in the contracts; all references to contract sections refer to the 2017 version unless otherwise noted):

Many substantive revisions to the A201 are procedural in nature. For the 2017 changes that shift risk of the parties, these revisions, while nuanced, could impact the liability of the Owner, the Contractor and their subcontractors and suppliers. 

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