Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) at GreenBuild 2012

By D. Brent Sauser, Architect

Of the close to 1,000 exhibits in the west, north, and south halls of the Moscone Center, I was pleased to see the AIA booth proudly located in the south hall.  I spent quite a bit of time there on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss various issues relative to my AIA registration.  While there I met with Courtney who, among other things, introduced me to something new from the AIA  . . . contract documents with sustainable design language.  This sounded very interesting to me.  She mentioned that a presentation on the subject would be given at 3pm on Thursday and I could learn a lot more about it then.  I had my iPad with me and thought that perhaps she would be willing to make a short video on the subject of AIA contract documents with sustainable design language.  Courtney told me that they had a person at the booth that was more knowledgeable on the subject and might be willing to make a video with me.  However, the person I needed to talk to was not there.  I said I would come back on Thursday.

When I arrived at the Moscone Center on Thursday I went to the south hall first and proceeded directly to the AIA booth.  Courtney was there and appeared to remember me from the day before.  I asked her if the person was hear who might be able to film a short video with me.  She pointed out Josh who was working at the main counter.  I introduced myself to Josh and asked if he wouldn’t mind explaining the new AIA sustainable contract language, and after consulting with others agreed to sit down with me to make this video (see below).  It was not as short as I would have liked, and my arms were about to fall off, but Josh did a great job on the first “take” to explain the new contract language.  Josh’s presentation later that day added more detail regarding the new documents.

As an architect I have been a member of the AIA for many years.  I have counted on their expertise in many areas of the profession.  The dues may cost a lot . . . but they do a lot!  The recent addition of sustainable language to the AIA contract documents is just one example of the things the AIA is doing to help architects remain on the leading edge of green building and sustainable design.  The future of the design industry is moving closer and faster toward NetZero solutions, not further away.  The past design “traditions” are making way for more environmentally sensitive solutions that focus on the Triple Bottom Line.  As architects in an ever changing world we need the most advanced tools and resources available to maintain a competitive advantage.  The AIA will get you there . . . and keep you there!

Refer to the following information and links for more detail regarding the new AIA Sustainable Contract Documents:

The AIA released the following five new Sustainable Project (SP) Documents in May 2012:

1. A101™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Contractor, for use on a Sustainable Project where the basis of payment is a Stipulated Sum

2. B101™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, for use on a Sustainable Project

3. A201™-2007 SP, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, for use on a Sustainable Project

4. C401™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant, for use on a Sustainable Project

5. A401™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor, for use on a Sustainable Project

Refer to the following links:

The Sustainable Project (SP) Documents are available through:

AIA Contract Documents® software:

AIA Documents on Demand®:


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