As a small project architect, you may find yourself in need of an Owner-Architect Agreement (OAA) to ensure that both parties are on the same page in terms of project scope, timeline, and budget. An OAA is a legal contract that outlines the responsibilities and obligations of both the architect and the owner throughout the duration of the project.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has developed a standard OAA specifically for small projects. This agreement is designed to simplify the process for both parties and minimize the potential for misunderstandings or disputes. Here are some key aspects of the AIA Owner-Architect Agreement for Small Projects.
Scope of Work
The OAA should clearly define the scope of work for the project. This includes the services the architect will provide, such as design, construction documents, and site visits, as well as any additional services that may be required. The agreement should also outline the responsibilities of the owner, such as providing necessary information and securing permits.
The OAA should establish a timeline for the project, including key milestones and deadlines. This allows both parties to stay on track and ensures that the project is completed in a timely manner. The agreement should also outline what happens if there are delays or changes to the schedule.
The OAA should clearly outline the compensation for the architect`s services. This includes the architect`s fee, any additional expenses, and any payment terms. The agreement should also specify how and when payments will be made, such as a lump sum or installments.
Liability and Indemnification
The OAA should address liability and indemnification. This includes the architect`s responsibility for errors or omissions in the plans or specifications, as well as the owner`s responsibility for any damages that occur during construction. The agreement should also outline any insurance requirements.
The OAA should include a termination clause that outlines the circumstances under which either party may terminate the agreement. For example, if there are significant delays or if the architect is not meeting the expectations outlined in the agreement. The agreement should also specify what happens if the agreement is terminated, such as the payment of any fees or expenses.
The AIA Owner-Architect Agreement for Small Projects is a valuable tool for small project architects and owners. It provides clear and concise guidance throughout the project, helping to ensure a successful outcome. By using this agreement, both parties can move forward with confidence, knowing that their responsibilities and obligations are clearly defined.