My latest exchange with Doc Info:
I don't disagree with any of your statements. I was not suggesting that you modify the B105 document, and I agree that its brevity is beneficial and desirable. I don't believe that adding language about the Assignment of the Architect's Contract would be helpful because it would complicate the document.
Furthermore expecting practitioners to add language about the Assignment of the Architect's Contract to the B105 when attempting to sign a contract with a client could likely complicate matters and make closing an agreement more difficult. One of the benefits of the B10f is that it is so breif and easy to understand. Confronting a client with added language undermines that and makes the document's standard language appear modified. This will spur more attorney reviews and complicate closing agreements.
Furthermore at the time you are closing an agreement it will not even be clear if you will face an Assignment of the Architect's Contract document from the client's lender, so it would be entirely inappropriate to start out setting terms for an unknown event.
This is why a freestanding document would be so much more useful, and helpful to small practitioners. The document could be retrieved when needed, and used to counter aggressive proposals from the lenders. Instead of burdening the nicely breif B105 with this material, it could simply be used to counter unreasonable requests.
Its clear that the language is already written, as you point out it appears in several AIA documents. And as you point out it can be distributed electronically via the link you just provided. So there would be very little cost to implement this as a free-standing document.
This would allow the profession to confront lenders consistently and put up a unified front against these unreasonable provisions. We could thwart this practice entirely if lenders saw that Architects uniformly would not stand for it. AIA Docs can help us to put up such a unified front by simply creating this document for situations just as I and many others encountered.
Now just why is it that you don't wish to help us with this?
On Jul 1, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Doc Info wrote:
Thank you for the response. In developing B105-2007, we involved a number of small practitioners to ensure that we developed a document consistent with what small practitioners wanted from a standard form agreement. Not only did the Documents Committee consist of a number of small firm practitioners, we also sought input and comments on drafts of B105-2007 from groups such as the AIA's Small Project Practitioners Advisory Group. Accordingly, the AIA Contract Documents Committee made substantial efforts to understand the expectations of small practitioners and produce a document consistent with those expectations.
In drafting B105-2007, the overwhelming consensus from the small firm practitioners we consulted was that B105-2007 should be a simple agreement consisting of only the most essential contract terms and not be encumbered by excessive contractual provisions. This is also consistent with comments we continue to receive on the document. While B105 users could benefit from a number of terms that are included in our other Owner/Architect agreements, the message was clear that in B105-2007, the preference was for the basic essentials only. Accordingly, B105-2007 is a very short document that does not include the more extensive contract provisions found in our other owner/architect agreements.
While the consensus of the small practitioners was for a short document, we understand that individual users may have unique needs or concerns that they want addressed even in a short agreement. AIA Contract Documents encourages users to modify the standard form agreements to fit their particular needs and circumstances. This is true for the B105-2007 users and AIA Contracts Documents has developed a number of resources to assist users in this regard.
Users of B105-2007 in software can look to all of our other, more detailed, owner/architect agreements for language to address particular issues of importance to them that, in the interest of brevity, were not included in B105. If, for example, you wanted to address the assignment issue, B101-2007, B102-2007, B103-2007, and B104-2007 all contain substantively similar language addressing the assignment issue. We have also published B503-2007 Guide for Amendments to AIA Owner-Architect Agreements. This document provides model language for numerous topics that users may want to address in their owner/architect agreements. B503-2007 Section 13 addresses assignment of the owner/architect agreement. Text from the B503-2007 can be copied and pasted directly into AIA Contract Documents. B503-2007 is a free document available on-line at http://www.aia.org/contractdocs/referencematerial/index.htm
. It should be noted that users of AIA Contract Documents software can actually create and save customized templates for reuse. Our upcoming software product will also allow users to create a clause library in which to collect and store key clauses they might want to reuse in the future.
We encourage AIA Contract Documents users to carefully review the text of all documents, and our related resources, and to consult with legal and insurance counsel, in order to fully understand the relationships and responsibilities established in the documents, and the impact of any edits to the standard text.
We hope this response is helpful and illustrates that while B105-2007 does not include the detail of our other agreements, there are ample AIA Contract Document resources that small firm practitioners can use in adapting B105-2007 to their unique needs and circumstances.
The American Institute of Architects
Gregory La Vardera
Gregory La Vardera Architect
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