“Complying with all Laws”; Contract Language for Architects and Engineers
One of the most difficult aspects of any design project for design professionals has nothing to do with the design itself, it has to do with the contract.
Most owner-architect contracts use the AIA’s Standard Form of Agreement B101 as this has been viewed as the “standard” language deemed acceptable by both parties.
However, any architect or engineer has undoubtedly been presented with the difficult situation where the owner proposes “a few changes” to the standard contract.
This is where alarm bells should start going off in the design professional’s head and also when they should contact their Professional Underwriters producer to help assist with the “changes”.
A large number of laws apply to the design and construction of buildings. These laws govern:
• life safety (national model building codes as well as local variations)
• fire protection
• accessibility (ADA as well as local requirements)
• occupant safety (e.g., OSHA)
• sustainable design
• wetlands preservation
• public health
• historic preservation and
• employment (federal, state, and local)
While it is nearly impossible to comply with all laws that apply to your project, it is very easy to add provision that help protect the design professional from errors and omissions claims arising from their work.
But this all needs to be brought to PUI’s attention from the start of the project, we are happy to review and critique any and all contract agreements.
For more information on “Complying with All Laws” with regard to your contract, along with other interesting articles, please click HERE to view an article from the aeProNet website.