AIA Contract Documents Protect Perkins Eastman Studio And Provide a Communications Foundation

About Perkins Eastman Studio

Human by design in everything they do is the guiding mantra for Perkins Eastman Studio. Working closely with their clients and collaborators, Perkins identifies mutual goals, builds trusting relationships, and discovers solutions for a wide range while always keeping people at the heart of each project. The firm remains mindful of environmental, technological, economic, and social shifts while striving to leave a lasting, positive impact on the lives of others and the world, enhancing day-to-day experiences and building once-in-a-lifetime moments.

“There are times when a client brings their own contract to a project. But even in those instances, we’ll use a contract from ACD as a point of reference to make sure everything is in order.”


When it comes to construction, communication is often the most underestimated component of that incredibly unique, and often complex world. Communication, meaning everyone knows the expectations for their roles, where to be, and when to be there, is crucial to the success of any project, regardless of the scale. What so many fail to realize is that communication, the kind that yields success, doesn’t start when shovels break the ground, cement begins flowing, or big machines start huffing and puffing; no, communications start with the contract.

“One of the many things I like best about ACD is that the contracts provide the ideal foundation for communications, something that is essential to the success of any construction or design process,” stated Saar. “Whether it’s intellectual property or liability, contracts from ACD cover various aspects and provide a level of clarity everyone needs before moving forward and doing our best work.”

When Change Occurs

Sometimes the design, the costs, the start date, and every other relevant part of the project is right: that is, with the exception of the relationship. When a prospective client and a firm find themselves at an impasse, the client inclination is typically to take what they view as their design and move to a firm that they feel is a more suitable partner.

“Changing firms to build the same design is an unfortunate situation, but it happens. When it does, a client shouldn’t be allowed to walk away simply, nor should the change eliminate all the hard work the firm originally contracted for the project put into the design. Another of the many things I like about ACD documents is that their contracts contain copyright language. This way, if a client decides to move forward with another firm, we receive compensation because, per the copyright language, we own the design.”

“Language that allows us to retain copyrights on all our designs is one of the many benefits of our partnership with ACD.”

Waiver of Consequential Damages

No architectural firm or contractor ever wants to be hit with consequential damages. They’re painful, costly, and can lead to delays, extended delivery dates, and, worst of all, financial chaos, but they’re also part of the world these professionals live and work in. Consequential damages are a complicated topic with uncertainty and ambiguity abound.

With that, access to the Waiver of Consequential Damages that is part of the ACD portfolio and executing it before a project commences is a critical element of the operations model Perkins Eastman employs. “There are a lot of variables that go into the types of work our firm performs, and some are beyond our control. If a client comes back and makes a claim that goes beyond the scope of our duties, the costs to our firm could be extreme. With the waiver in place, we’re protected.”

“We take pride in and stand behind our work, but in those instances where situations and circumstances are beyond our control, we look to ACD for protections.”

There’s Simply No Comparison

For more than a century, ACD has been the premier document provider for the construction industry, setting the pace with innovative iterations that proactively and adequately serve the needs of each segment silo. However, some have yet to experience the difference the comprehensive suite of solutions offers. “We’ve always used ACD, and I don’t see that ever changing, but from time to time, we work with clients and private developers who are partial to their agreements. When we stack theirs up against the documents, we use from ACD, the differences are immediately noticeable, and to be perfectly honest, the further we go along, the more we realize there’s simply no comparison.”