AIA Contract Documents New Master Planning Scope of Services Document

AIA Contract Documents

July 10, 2024

Master Planning involves research, analysis, and decision-making activities that help architects and owners establish criteria and guidelines for physical spaces that usually have multiple buildings, such as a hospital, organizational campus, or educational campus. Master planning activities can range broadly from identifying the project’s goals and objectives to particular elements, such as design guidelines. Master planning provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development of the project. It is also a critical communication tool between stakeholders, which typically include local community members, throughout the lifecycle of the project.

AIA Contract Documents help architects and owners define master planning

The recently released AIA Document B212™-2024, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Master Planning is not a stand-alone document, but pairs with AIA Document B102™-2017 Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Architect without a Predefined Scope of Architect’s Services. However, architects may also pair B212-2024 with other AIA Contract Documents owner-architect agreements.

B212-2024 contains a robust initial information section to allow the parties to:

  • Identify the owner’s master planning objectives, such as sustainability and climate resiliency goals, space requirements, or social justice goals;
  • Identify the site or sites to be considered as part of the architect’s services;
  • Describe pertinent information already known to the parties;
  • Name the consultants and contractors who will affect the master planning services; and
  • Stipulate the owner’s budget and schedule for the project.

B212-2024 is not a fixed scope of services document, but rather, a menu of services from which the parties may select, based on the needs of the project. The menu includes services related to information, research, and data gathering, including gathering input from stakeholders through various methods like charrettes, webinars, and social media. Subsequent steps include gathering project-related information, analyzing data, developing design alternatives, and finalizing the master plan.

The Master Plan

The result of an architect’s services is a written document called the “Master Plan.” It includes elements such as:

  • Conceptual drawings of the site(s);
  • Objectives, goals, and criteria for the project;
  • Descriptions of the services performed;
  • Plan alternatives, design alternatives, design guidelines, and recommendations prepared for the project;
  • Accompanying materials such as maps, plats, charts, diagrams, and explanatory matter; and
  • Presentation-quality rendered images of the preferred plans.

To learn more about the newly released B212-2024, be sure to visit these links:


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AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.