Modifying AIA Contract Documents: Advanced Strategies for Owners, Developers and Contractors

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide construction counsel with advanced strategies for amending and modifying standard AIA contract documents, and outline how counsel for owners, developers and contractors can best modify these standard construction agreements--including drafting global riders to ensure consistency--to enhance project profitability and protect client interests.


AIA contract documents are the industry standard for managing contractual relationships in construction and design projects. The AIA released the most recent revisions of its contract documents in April 2017.

But despite their widespread use, AIA standard contracts often fail to protect the interests of particular clients. The AIA documents often do not address with specificity many elements of highly individualized construction projects, such as pre-construction services, leases, contingencies, and insurance specifics. Failure to address these fundamental issues can place the entire project in jeopardy and trigger the potential for costly litigation.

Further, because of the differences between individual projects, the needs of different owners, and variations in specific jurisdictions, the AIA standard form agreements often require modification. But the AIA standard documents are highly complementary and designed to avoid overlaps and gaps in the rights and duties of the contracting parties. Consequently, amendments must be made carefully, because a change to a provision in one section or document may require a corresponding modification in another to avoid inevitable conflicts and inconsistencies.

Listen as our authoritative panel of construction lawyers provides insights and practical guidance for amending and modifying standard AIA contract documents --including drafting global riders to ensure consistency--to enhance project profitability and protect client interests.



  1. Overview of AIA documents and 2017 revisions
  2. Common AIA contract issues and gaps
  3. Advanced drafting strategies
    1. Revising existing provisions
    2. Inserting additional clauses
    3. Incorporation by reference of additional documents
    4. Cross-referencing
    5. Global riders
    6. Examples
  4. Final considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the most common problems with the AIA standard contracts?
  • What is missing in the AIA documents?
  • What are best practices for modifying and amending these forms?
  • In what ways are AIA documents incomplete?
  • How can counsel incorporate RFPs and LOIs?
  • How can global riders be drafted to modify the standard AIA contracts best?
  • What are best practices for ensuring project-wide consistency?
  • What practical drafting strategies will reduce the likelihood of disputes and offer significant advantages if disputes arise?


Lewonski, Sharon
Sharon M. Lewonski

Culhane Meadows

Ms. Lewonski is Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, where she primarily focuses her practice on...  |  Read More

Manhart, Anthony
Anthony J. (Tony) Manhart

Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios

Mr. Manhart is a partner in the Construction Law Group at Preti Flaherty, and assists clients in contract and...  |  Read More

Olson, Robert
Robert J. Olson

Dorsey & Whitney

Mr. Olson practices in all aspects of real property law focusing on transactions involving the acquisition,...  |  Read More

Rubinstein, Kenneth
Kenneth E. (Ken) Rubinstein

Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios

Mr. Rubinstein is Co-Chair of the firm's Construction Law group, and a member of the firm's Litigation and...  |  Read More

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