Summary: C404™–2021, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Consultant for Delegated Design Services


AIA Document C404™-2021 is a standard form agreement where a contractor can hire a consultant to perform delegated design services on a project. The terms “contractor” and “consultant” are intentionally flexible, as numerous parties in a project could hire someone, or be hired, to perform delegated design services. The “contractor” could be a general contractor, construction manager, or subcontractor, whereas the “consultant” should be a design professional who is properly licensed to perform the design services described in the C404-2021 agreement.

Delegated design describes a form of design collaboration where the contractor assumes responsibility for an element or portion of a project’s design. Delegated design is commonly used for the design of retaining walls, trusses, mechanical systems, fire suppression systems, curtain walls, and many other building components. Given this, C404-2021 is a flexible agreement that allows the parties to define the portion of the design that will be performed by the consultant.

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AIA Document C404-2021 is suitable for use as a stand-alone agreement. However, C404-2021 can be used as a complimentary document to many owner/contractor or owner/construction manager agreements offered by AIA Contract Documents. If, for example, a contractor or construction manager is required to perform delegated design services through its prime contract with the owner, the contractor or construction manager can use C404-2021 to hire a consultant to fulfill those delegated design responsibilities.

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