Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Professional Liability Insurance for BIM

In working on an architectural services agreement recently, I struggled with how to address professional liability for the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Its anticipated use on the project is by the Architect and its consultants, with potential input from a construction manager. While this use is fairly narrow, it nevertheless seemed to me important that the issue of professional liability for the use of BIM needed to be expressly addressed, so that the Architect could obtain coverage (via a BIM endorsement or otherwise) under its professional liability insurance.

What I came up with goes something like this: "If Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used by the Architect, the Architect's consultants, a Construction Manager or any contractors or subcontractors in the preparation of the Drawings, Specifications and other Construction Documents, the Architect shall take responsibility for whatever information is ultimately adopted from the BIM process into the final Drawings, Specifications and other Construction Documents. The Architect agrees to manage the BIM process and the BIM model, granting and restricting (as appropriate to the purpose for which the model is used) rights to access the model and to make changes to the model. The Architect also shall procure and maintain a BIM endorsement to its professional liability insurance, which endorsement shall provide coverage to the Architect in its role as BIM manager and for technical consulting and errors and omissions (including technology-related errors and omissions) arising out of the use of BIM."

It will be interesting to see how contract language evolves as the use of BIM becomes more widespread and is used not only by design professionals and construction managers, but also trade contractors, suppliers and others involved in the construction process. (This entry published by Karen Estelle Carey, a member in the Real Estate Development and Construction practice group at Womble Carlyle).


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