Instructions: C204™ – 2020, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Sustainable Project Services



AIA Document C204–2020 addresses the consultant’s scope of services to the owner on a sustainable project. The consultant may be an architect or non-architect who specializes in sustainability. The consultant coordinates aspects such as pursuing sustainability certification with the certifying authority, conducting the sustainability workshop, and preparing a sustainability plan while interfacing with the owner and architect. As required by the owner, the consultant assists during procurement and construction by answering questions related to the sustainability plan. C204–2020 is not a stand-alone document but must be attached to an owner-consultant agreement, such as C103™-2015 Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Consultant without a Predefined Scope of Consultant’s Services.

C204–2020 can be used on a wide variety of sustainable projects, including those in which the sustainable objective includes obtaining a sustainability certification, such as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), or those in which the sustainable objective is based on the incorporation of performance-based sustainable design or construction elements. The process outlined in C204-2020 will also help owners and consultants navigate the requirements of code compliance.

Like AIA Document E204™–2017, C204-2020 relies on processes that are unique to sustainable projects. Key among those concepts is the development of a sustainability plan through a sustainability workshop. C204–2020 requires the consultant to meet with the owner and architect to discuss the sustainable design features of the project during a sustainability workshop. The ultimate outcome of the sustainability workshop is the development of a sustainability plan that outlines sustainable measures necessary to achieve the sustainable objective and allocates responsibility for each of the sustainable measures to the project participant in the best position to perform the sustainable measure. In addition, the sustainability plan includes other critical information, such as testing and implementation strategies necessary to achieve the sustainable objective. Upon the owner’s approval, the requirements of the sustainability plan will be further developed as the design for the project progresses and will be incorporated into the construction documents. 

The sustainability plan is specifically identified as a contract document. Each party is responsible for performing those sustainable measures assigned to them by the sustainability plan. It is important that all parties review the sustainability plan and understand its requirements.

C204-2020 should not be used to provide a scope of services when a consultant works for an architect. For that purpose, AIA Document C401™–2017 and C402™-2018 may be used.

For all document details and a record of changes, see the summary  »


Completing C204-2020.

Cover Page

Project. Describe the Project by including (1) the official name or title of the facility, and (2) the location or address, if known.

Article 1 – Initial Information

§ 1.1 Initial Information is provided in Section 1.1. The parties should take care to be as explicit and detailed as possible with respect to the relevant Initial Information.

§ 1.1.1 Definitions. AIA Document C204-2020 references E204–2017 for defined terms specific to sustainable projects, including Sustainable Objective, Sustainable Measure, Sustainability Plan, Sustainability Certification, Sustainability Documentation, and Certifying Authority. These concepts are important to the process described in C204-2020 and to the outcome of a sustainable project.

§ 1.1.2 This section requires the Owner to identify any anticipated Sustainable Objective it may have for the Project. The Sustainable Objective is the Owner’s goal of incorporating Sustainable Measures into the design, construction, maintenance and operations of the Project to achieve a Sustainability Certification or other benefit to the environment, to enhance the health and well-being of building occupants, or to improve energy efficiency.

§ 1.2 This language reinforces the notion that the success of a sustainable project depends on many factors beyond the Consultant’s control and the work of all participants and cannot be guaranteed by any one party. This section clarifies that the Consultant cannot guarantee or warrant that the Project will achieve the Sustainable Objective.

Article 2 – Sustainable Project Services

§ 2.1 Scope of Consultant’s Sustainability Services. This Scope of Services envisions that the Owner and Architect will complete the E204-2017 Sustainable Projects Exhibit. Therefore, it is necessary for the Owner to modify the Architect’s services in E204 to eliminate overlap with the Consultant’s services in C204.

§ 2.2 Sustainability Certification Agreements. If the Project includes achievement of a Sustainability Certification, such as LEED®, the Certifying Authority may require that the person registering the Project consent to a number of agreements with the Certifying Authority as part of the registration and certification processes. C204–2020 assumes that the Sustainability Consultant will register the Project on behalf of the Owner. The Sustainability Consultant will provide any agreements required by the Certifying Authority to the Owner for review; and the Owner agrees to execute all documents required by the Certifying Authority to establish the Sustainability Consultant as the agent of the Owner for purposes of certifying the Project.

§ 2.3 Sustainability Workshop. This section requires that the Consultant conduct a Sustainability Workshop with the Owner, the Owner’s consultants, the Architect, and the Architect’s consultants to establish the Sustainable Objective and discuss potential Sustainable Measures for the Project. It is important to note that the Sustainability Workshop could be one meeting or a series of meetings as necessary to clearly establish the sustainability goals for the Project.

§ 2.4 Sustainability Plan Services

§ 2.4.1 Following the Sustainability Workshop, the Sustainability Consultant will develop a Sustainability Plan that will act as a roadmap that identifies and describes: the Sustainable Objective; the Sustainable Measures targeted; implementation strategies selected to achieve the Sustainable Measures; the Owner’s, Sustainability Consultant’s, Architect’s, and Contractor’s roles and responsibilities associated with achieving the Sustainable Measures; the specific details about design reviews, testing or metrics to verify achievement of each Sustainable Measure; and the Documentation for Certification required for the Project. Once completed, the Sustainability Plan is submitted to the Owner for approval.

§ 2.4.2 The Consultant will submit the Sustainability Plan Services to the Owner and Architect in conjunction with the Architect’s submission of the Schematic Design Documents.

§ 2.4.3 The Consultant must review the Architect’s Design Development Documents and Construction Documents, advise the Owner and Architect of adjustments to the Sustainability Plan, and request the Owner’s approval.

§ 2.4.4 The Sustainability Plan may allocate responsibility for certain Sustainable Measures to the Consultant. This provision requires the Consultant to perform the Sustainable Measures identified as its responsibility.

§ 2.4.5 The Sustainability Plan is an evolving document that may require adjustment as the design and construction of the Project progresses. The Consultant is required to revise the Sustainability Plan based on changes approved by the Owner.

§ 2.5 Procurement Services. During Procurement, the Consultant is responsible for attending the pre-bid conference or selection interview, if requested by the Owner, to receive questions regarding the Bidding or Proposal Documents. The Consultant is also responsible for assisting the Owner and Architect with clarifying and interpreting the Bidding or Proposal Documents, reviewing substitutions, and evaluating bids or proposals related to the Sustainability Plan.

§ 2.6 Construction Services. During construction, the Consultant is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Owner and Architect regarding the Contractor’s submittals for the limited purpose of checking for conformance with the Sustainability Plan; assisting the Owner and Architect in reviewing and responding to requests for information by the Contractor related to the Sustainability Plan; providing advice and recommendations to the Owner and Architect about changes in the Work related to the Sustainability Plan; and notifying the Owner of changes that may materially impact the Sustainability Plan.

§ 2.7 Project Registration and Submissions of Sustainability Documentation to the Certifying Authority

§ 2.7.1 Section 2.7 sets forth specific services the Consultant will perform if the Sustainable Objective or Sustainable Measures require achievement of a Sustainability Certification. It is important to note that each of these services is performed as an agent for the Owner. An agency relationship creates certain legal rights that may differ based on the jurisdiction where the Project is located. Users are urged to consult with an attorney regarding the specific legal implications of this relationship.

§ 2.7.2 The Consultant is required to register the Project with the Certifying Authority. Acting as the Project registrant can have ramifications that are explored in greater detail in AIA Document D503, Guide for Sustainable Projects, which can be downloaded free of charge at

§ 2.7.3 The Consultant is required to collect Sustainability Documentation from the party responsible for producing it in accordance with the Sustainability Plan and submit the Sustainability Documentation to the Certifying Authority. Submissions beyond the limitations set forth in Section will be compensated as Additional Services.

§ 2.7.4 The Consultant is required to prepare and submit the application for certification to the Certifying Authority. This activity can have ramifications that are explored in greater detail in AIA Document D503, Guide for Sustainable Projects, which can be downloaded free of charge at

§ 2.7.5 The Consultant is required to prepare responses and submit additional documentation required by comments or questions received from the Certifying Authority, subject to the limitations set forth in Section

§ 2.7.6 Provided the Consultant receives timely notice of denial of a credit or point necessary to achieve the Sustainability Certification, the Consultant will prepare and file the appeal of the credit or point ruling to the Certifying Authority. The number of appeals to the Certifying Authority are subject to a limitation under Section Appeals in excess of the number set in section will be compensated as an Additional Service. Note that the Consultant’s obligation under Section 2.7.6 does not extend to prosecuting appeals to the Certifying Authority or taking any other actions determined by the Owner to be necessary or desirable, arising from the reduction of points or revocation of an awarded Sustainability Certification.

§ 2.7.7 This provision makes clear that any certification, declaration, or affirmation the Consultant makes to the Certifying Authority does not create a warranty or guarantee to the Owner.

§ 2.8 Copyrights and Licenses

§ 2.8.1 For sustainable projects where a Sustainability Certification is sought, the Owner may be required to submit the Consultant’s Instruments of Service to the Certifying Authority to comply with the documentation requirements. Therefore, the Owner’s non-exclusive license to use the Consultant’s Instruments of Service must be expanded to include transmission of the Consultant’s Instruments of Service to the Certifying Authority to comply with the requirements of the Certifying Authority. In addition, the Consultant grants the Owner a non-exclusive license to allow the Certifying Authority to publish the Consultant’s Instruments of Service as required by the Certifying Authority.

§ 2.8.2 This section recognizes that the Owner may submit the Consultant’s Instruments of Service to the Certifying Authority without violating the Consultant’s reserved rights to the Instruments of Service.

Article 3 – Supplemental and Additional Services

§ 3.1 Supplemental Services. This table lists certain other services that are not described in this scope of services document, but that may be needed for the Project. The Consultant and Owner should discuss the list and complete the table by indicating whether the services will be provided and, if so, by whom. The Consultant shall not perform any listed service unless specifically designated in the Responsibility column of the table.

§ 3.1.2 Descriptions of Supplemental Services. Provide detailed scope of services descriptions of any other services designated in Section 3.1, unless such descriptions are provided in an exhibit attached to the document.

§ 3.2 Additional Services

§ 3.2.1 C204–2020 identifies two potential Additional Services that may arise during a Project with a Sustainable Objective. Section adds changing or editing previously prepared Instruments of Service, including the Sustainability Plan, necessitated by changes in the requirements to achieve the Sustainability Certification for the Project. Section adds assisting the Owner or Contractor with the preparation of the Sustainability Documentation for which the Owner or Contractor are responsible under the Sustainability Plan.

§ 3.2.2 Insert an agreed-upon number in each of the spaces provided.

§ 3.3 Insert the number of months beyond which the Consultant shall be entitled to compensation as Additional Services.

Article 4 – Owner

§ 4.1 The success of sustainable projects depends on each party performing those tasks assigned to the party in accordance with the Sustainability Plan. Section 4.1 places an obligation on the Owner to perform those Sustainable Measures identified as the obligation of the Owner in the Sustainability Plan.

§ 4.2 Sustainable projects may require additional information about the Project site or existing construction. Section 4.2 requires the Owner to provide relevant and necessary information upon the Consultant’s request.

§ 4.3 Because the various Sustainability Certifications may place requirements specifically on the Owner in addition to those related to the design and construction of the Project, such as the requirement to provide utility bills, this section states that the Owner will comply with the requirements of the Certifying Authority before, during, and after construction.

§ 4.4 Section 4.4 obligates the Owner to pursue any appeals or other actions with the Certifying Authority necessitated by the revocation or reduction of a Sustainability Certification.

§ 4.5 Commissioning is an important aspect of sustainable design and construction. If required, the Owner will provide a commissioning agent for the Project.



Modifications. Particularly with respect to professional or contractor licensing laws, building codes, taxes, monetary and interest charges, arbitration, indemnification, format and font size, AIA Contract Documents may require modification to comply with state or local laws. Users are encouraged to consult an attorney before completing or modifying a document.

Reproductions. This document is a copyrighted work and may not be reproduced or excerpted from without the express written permission of the AIA. There is no implied permission to reproduce this document, nor does membership in The American Institute of Architects confer any further rights to reproduce this document. For more information, see the document footer and the AIA Contract Documents® Terms of Service.

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