14 March 2016

Key clauses of the general conditions; more means and methods

In the last post, we looked at the means and methods clause in Article 3 of the A201. At the end, I concluded that the architect's responsibilities in construction documents are to show what the building should look like, identify the materials, and establish the standards for those materials. I also stated that virtually everything else - including supervising, scheduling, coordination, and deciding how materials are to be installed - is the contractor's responsibility.

When I make seemingly heretical statements like that, I often am asked how I came to such a conclusion. Many architects have a hard time believing they no longer control much of what goes on during construction, contractors sometimes don't like having that much responsibility, and subcontractors often tell me they don't like it when designers use reference standards because they expect the architect to tell them how to do their jobs.

As I explained, my conclusion is based on the requirements of the AIA general conditions (and general conditions from other sources, which typically have similar provisions). Not only does the A201 say the contractor is responsible for means and methods, it also says the architect is not responsible for means and methods, in Article 4 (my italics):