Managing Director and Counsel of AIA Contract Documents, Suzanne H. Harness AIA Esq., reported to convention attendees that the B141 Owner/Architect Agreement is going to be retired in 2007. The modular B141 that was changed so much in 1997 is used by only half the architects at best. An equal sized camp uses the 1997 edition of the B151 Owner/Architect Agreement, which is substantially similar to the old 1987 B141.
What to expect in 2007? A hybrid of the 1997 editions of the B141 and B151 which will be called "B101", a designation which was previously introduced in 1945. It will be a one part document similar in format to the B151 without all the blanks to fill in. It will bring back "Additional Services" (rather than "Changed Services"). The traditional Phases are brought back (Schematic Design, Design Development, Bidding or Negotiation and Construction). All of the Initial Information blanks in the 1997 B141 that some love and others hate will be moved to an optional Exhibit A. Parties will select between arbitration or litigation, with the default dispute resolution being litigation.
Since one size does not fit all projects, the AIA anticipates issuing a more expanded version of the architect agreement for extra large projects which will be designated "B102". Medium and small sized projects may use a "B103" and "B104" respectively.
Overall, it looks like AIA is being very pragmatic and is generally responding to the demands of the industry, which tend to move slowly. Stay tuned ...