Summary: B121™–2018, Standard Form of Master Agreement Between Owner and Architect for Services provided under Multiple Service Orders




Related documents

Changes from the previous edition

Dispute Resolution—Mediation and Arbitration



AIA Document B121–2018 is a Master Agreement Between the Owner and Architect. It is intended for use when the Architect’s scope of services will subsequently be specified through the use of one or more Service Orders. B121-2018 provides only the common terms and conditions that will be applicable to each Service Order. Use of B121 plus a Service Order creates a contract, referred to as the Service Agreement, that includes both the terms and the scope of services. B121-2018 is coordinated for use with AIA Document B221™–2018, Service Order for use with Master Agreement Between Owner and Architect. The Master Agreement plus Service Order contracting method allows multiple scopes of services to be issued quickly without the necessity to renegotiate the terms and conditions of the Service Agreements. For use and execution of a document, see its instructions  »


AIA Document B121–2018 does not include an Architect’s scope of services. The scope of services must be added by use of an executed Service Order to form the Service Agreement for a Project. B121–2018 has been coordinated for use with AIA Document B221–2018, Service Order for use with Master Agreement Between Owner and Architect. When used with a non-AIA Service Order, it is important that the documents are carefully coordinated.

Before transmitting Instruments of Service or other information in digital form, parties should establish protocols for that transmission. 


Changes from the previous edition.

AIA Document B121–2018 revises AIA Document B121–2014 to parallel the 2017 revisions made in B104–2017, Standard Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect and A201–2017, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction. It incorporates alterations proposed by architects, contractors, owners, and professional consultants. Some of the significant differences in content between AIA Document B121–2014 and B121–2018 are listed below.

Article 3 – Architect’s Responsibilities

§ 3.3 Architect’s Insurance Requirements. Section 3.3 contains a new provision wherein the parties may set forth the types and limits of insurance the Architect is required to carry for the Project. Specifically, B121–2018 lists General Liability, Automobile Liability, Workers’ Compensation, and Professional Liability.

Article 8 – Termination or Suspension

§ 8.6 Costs Attributable to Termination. This provision has been revised to clarify that costs payable to the Architect under a termination for convenience include costs attributable to terminating consultant agreements.

§ 8.7 Termination Fee. A fill point has been added for the parties to identify the termination fee that the Owner would pay to the Architect in the event of a termination for convenience or if the Architect terminates because of an extended suspension of the Project, as well as a Licensing Fee if the Owner intends to continue to use the Architect’s Instruments of Service.

§ 8.8 One-year Termination. A provision was added that terminates the Agreement one year from the date of Substantial Completion, unless otherwise stated in the Agreement. There are a number of provisions throughout the Agreement, such as Article 6 Copyrights and Licenses, where the terms and conditions will survive termination of the Agreement.

Article 10 – Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 10.9 Use of Digital Data. This section requires the development of protocols for the transmission of Instruments of Service or other data in digital form.

§ 10.9.1 This new section requires the parties to develop protocols for the use of, and reliance on, a building information model or portion thereof. Use of, or reliance on, a building information model without established protocols will be at the using or relying parties’ sole risk. 


Dispute Resolution—Mediation and Arbitration.

This document contains provisions for mediation and arbitration of claims and disputes. Mediation is a non-binding process, but is mandatory under the terms of this agreement. Arbitration may be mandatory under the terms of this agreement. Arbitration is binding in most states and under the Federal Arbitration Act. In a minority of states, arbitration provisions relating to future disputes are not enforceable but the parties may agree to arbitrate after the dispute arises. Even in those states, under certain circumstances (for example, in a transaction involving interstate commerce), arbitration provisions may be enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act.

The AIA does not administer dispute resolution processes. To submit disputes to mediation or arbitration or to obtain copies of the applicable mediation or arbitration rules, contact the American Arbitration Association at (800) 778-7879 or visit the website at

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