Important Updates to AIA Construction Manager Documents

Construction managers (CMs) play an important role in the construction industry by overseeing the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end. To help facilitate the effective utilization of CMs in construction projects, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes various standard form construction contracts and documents relating to the CM. The most common AIA documents between the owner and the CM are the A133 and C132. These documents recently were updated in 2019, and the updates made some important changes to these contract documents that not only CMs should be aware of, but also owners, architects, and contractors on a project as well.

When the CM is also acting as the constructor (CMc), the most common form used in the A133. Some of the most important updates to the A133 are that the 2019 version now provides the parties more flexibility in crafting the scope for preconstruction services, and also gives the CMc a greater role in providing advice and recommendations to the owner and architect. The updated A133 also imposes a new standard of care on the CMc, providing that the CMc is now required to exercise reasonable care in performing its preconstruction services. The 2019 updates also add new insurance requirements for CMc during the preconstruction phase. In all, the updates to the A133 grant the CMc even greater responsibilities in the project than they had previously. With the greater responsibility, however, the CMc now takes on more risk and liability in the event the project encounters certain problems.

Likewise, the other common CM role is that of the CM as the advisor (CMa), which is provided for in the C132 contract between the owner and the CMa. Some of the more important changes to the C132 are that the CMa now has a more expanded scope in the review, analysis, and recommendations in the preconstruction phase, especially relating to the cost, scope, schedule, constructability, or quality of the project. During the construction phase, the CMa now provides more review and analysis, and coordinates and provides on-site observation of tests and inspections. A new section was also added to the C132, which now requires the CMa, without additional compensation, to assist with Project revisions, update the cost estimate, and obtain additional bids or proposals if the bids or proposals received exceed the owner’s budget.

Other parties involved in the project, and the contractual relationships between them, also affect the responsibilities of the CMa with respect to the other parties. For example, the B132, which is between the owner and architect, with a CMa on the project, was also updated to be consistent with the updates to the C132. Similarly, the A132 (between owner and contractor, with a CMa) and the A232 (general conditions, with a CMa) were also updated to be consistent with the C132.

The 2019 updates also included updates to the G-Series forms, insurance provisions, Sustainable Projects Exhibits (E234 and E235), and the Supplementary Conditions (A503 and A533), all of which include important updates specifically dealing with the CM.

The recent updates to the AIA contract documents relating to construction managers are significant and affect the rights and responsibilities of not only the construction manager on a project, but also the owner, architect, contractor, and subcontractors. Therefore, it is important that all parties to a construction project become familiar with these updates and understand how they can affect the project and all parties involved.


If you or your business have questions related to the 2019 updates to the AIA CM or other AIA contract documents or a construction law issue, please contact Anderson Jones Attorneys by email or phone at (919) 277-2541.