AIA Releases Updated Construction Management Contract Documents

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released 13 new and updated construction management documents, including the construction manager as constructor (CMc) and the construction manager as adviser (CMa) families.

CMcs are brought on in the beginning of the preconstruction phase of a project to provide collaboration and input, which allows for greater efficiency from project inception, according to the AIA. They also perform the construction. The AIA Documents Committee received input from representatives of major CMc firms to update the CMc documents. Substantive changes that were made to thesedocuments include greater flexibility to establish the CMc’s preconstruction phase services, and a provision permitting the parties to agree on startup of some of the work before execution of the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) amendment. Documents A133 and A134 each have a new insurance and bonds exhibit. Additionally, a sustainable projects exhibit, E234-2019, has been developed to incorporate the CMc into a sustainable project.

According to consulting architect Arlen Solochek, who spoke about the documents in a webinar for AIA titled, “AIA 2019 Documents: Understanding the Changing Roles of the Construction Manager,” project delivery methods such as design-build, CMc and CMa are becoming more attractive to owners who want to reduce disputes and claims, have better budget results and improved schedule results. He added that just over a third of all nonresidential construction is being provided through CMc.

The AIA Documents Committee also met with industry representatives to obtain input for updating the CMa documents. In this model, the CMa provides preconstruction phase collaboration but does not provide the construction. Documents for this model are intended to be used on projects where more than one contractor is used, but can also be used if there is only one contractor. The CMa provides coordination of the contractors and other services in the construction phase. Revisions to these documents include expansion of the CMa’s scope to include more review and analysis, in addition to coordination and management.

One of the updated CMa documents is the owner/contractor agreement A132 with a new insurance and bonds exhibit. A sustainable projects exhibit, E235-2019, was also developed to incorporate the role of the CMa in both the preconstruction and construction phases of a sustainable project.

Other new CMa documents include the following:
• A232–2019, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, Construction Manager as Adviser Edition
• B132–2019, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, Construction Manager as Adviser Edition
• C132–2019, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Construction Manager as Adviser
• G731–2019, Change Order, Construction Manager-Adviser Edition
• G733–2019, Construction Change Directive, Construction Manager-Adviser Edition
• G734–2019, Certificate of Substantial Completion, Construction Manager-Adviser Edition

The revised 2019 CMc documents are now available on the AIA contract document’s website. The CMa documents will be released on February 6, 2020.

CCI: Extreme Weather Impacts Contractor Schedules, But Few Have a Plan in Place

Resiliency has become a topic of interest among stakeholders in the construction industry due to a recent increase in severe weather and attention to natural disasters. As a result, the Q3 2019 Commercial Construction Index (CCI), released by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, focuses on resiliency in two aspects for its quarterly spotlight: strategies for making contractors’ own businesses more resilient and their perception of efforts to make buildings more resilient.

Both the majority of GCs and trade contractors rank building owners as the most influential in making projects resilient. Out of eight project team member roles, architects were the only other group selected by a notable percentage. None of the respondents ranked contractors first interms of influence on project resiliency.

Most GCs and trade contractors believe that building owners are interested in resiliency as a project outcome, however less than a quarter of both groups believe that interest is growing.

While nearly all of GCs and 82% of trade contractors believe that architects and engineers design at least some of their projects with resiliency in mind, they do not see this as a common practice, with less than one-third reporting that it happens on 25% of more of all projects.

More trade contractors than GCs agree that resilient building codes are necessary to help buildings withstand natural disasters/severe weather and only a few find resiliency codes burdensome. According to the CCI, small firms are more likely to find these codes burdensome.

The West has the highest percentage of contractors (77%) who believe resilient building codes are necessary while the South has the lowest at 58%. Forty-four percent of contractors in the Northeast most frequently disagree that their company has to devote significant resources to keep up with resiliency codes while only 25% of contractors in the South disagree with that statement.

Most GCs and nearly half of trade contractors fi nd resiliency codes to be moderately effective. Less than a quarter of both groups find them to be highly effective.

When it comes to drivers for contractors to learn more about resilience, 64% of general contractors reported that having a competitive advantage of demonstration expertise on resilience was a major driver. Trade contractors were not as interested in competitive advantage (only 32%) and are also driven by:
• More work with existing clients (30%);
• Building better projects (25%);
• The ability to charge more (24%);
• Improved client relations (22%);
• More information on how to build resilient projects (12%); and
• Improved ability to win green projects (15%).

However, a quarter of trade contractors said that none of these would encourage contractors to learn more compared to only 5% of GCs. According to the CCI, this suggests that GCs consider knowledge about resilience to be more relevant to their business.

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