Part one in a two-part series: Progress, Quality, Deviations, Defects and Deficiencies…
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) B Series of contract documents structures the standard relationship between the owner and the architect. B101–2007 (formerly B151–1997), “Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect” is the basic agreement, a one-part standard form of agreement between owner and architect for building design and construction contract administration. Generally, in the U.S. today, B101–2007, and variations thereof, serve as the standard contract template for the majority of agreements between owners and architects.
Many architects and many sophisticated owners, who put a high volume of construction in place on an annual basis, use customized versions of the B Series of documents, tailored to corporate best practices and risk management programs and based on lessons learned across decades of experience.
Other variations of the B Series of contract documents include: B102–2007 (formerly B141–1997 Part 1), Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect without a Predefined Scope of Architect’s Services; B103–2007, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for a Large or Complex Project; and many others.
Five Phases of Services. Services are divided traditionally into basic and additional Services. Basic services are performed in five phases:
- Schematic Design (SD)
- Design Development (DD)
- Construction Documents (CD)
- Bidding or Negotiation
Many architects and authors focus on the design and documentation responsibilities of the architect, phases one, two and three of the basic services, SD, DD and CD, as this is the architect’s forté – and one generally gravitates toward the areas where one excels. Pragmatically, the first three phases are also the areas where the architect differentiates services, win jobs (and sometimes awards), invests the majority of time, resources and creative energies, and earns out the majority of the fee from the owner.
Focus on Construction. However, in my blog posting for today, I will address services in the fifth phase, construction, critical to successfully ushering a design from concept to reality; from renderings, drawings and specifications to concrete, steel and glass. In particular, I will focus in on the Architect's Field Report, as one key service, sometimes undervalued, that the architect performs during the construction phase. Understanding, defining and communicating client expectations for the architects’ services performed during the construction phase is critical, in particular around observing and reporting on progress, quality, deviations, defects and deficiencies.
AIA B101™ – 2007 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect. § 3.6.2 EVALUATIONS OF THE WORK states:
“§ 188.8.131.52 The Architect shall visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction, or as otherwise required in Section 4.3.3, to become generally familiar with the progress and quality of the portion of the Work completed, and to determine, in general, if the Work observed is being performed in a manner indicating that the Work, when fully completed, will be in accordance with the Contract Documents. However, the Architect shall not be required to make exhaustive or continuous on-site inspections to check the quality or quantity of the Work. On the basis of the site visits, the Architect shall keep the Owner reasonably informed about the progress and quality of the portion of the Work completed, and report to the Owner (1) known deviations from the Contract Documents and from the most recent construction schedule submitted by the Contractor, and (2) defects and deficiencies observed in the Work.”
Architect's Field Report. The Architect's Field Report, in addition to regular job site meetings, is the primary means by which the architect delivers the services described in § 184.108.40.206:
- Visiting the job site;
- Observing the work;
- Informing the owner about progress;
- Informing the quality of completed work;
- Reporting deviations to the owner;
- Reporting defects and deficiencies to the owner.
G711™. Accordingly, to help structure the process of observing, informing and reporting on the work in progress and the completed work to date, the AIA offers the AIA® Document G711™ – 1972 Architect's Field Report – an outdated and outmoded paper-based standard for field reporting. Many architects create versions of the G711 form in MS Word or in MS Excel, copying the Word or Excel templates from project to project and modifying the templates as needed based on unique project conditions, atypical owners’ requirements, and in some cases, week by week ad-hoc.
More in Part 2 of the series…