Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Professional Practice’ Category

Emerging Contractual Issues in the Design & Construction Industry

a Westcon monthly program

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Berkeley Yacht Club, 1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, CA 94710
Register for this meeting

In this presentation, Construction Practice Leader David Ericksen, Severson & Werson, will address the professional service agreement, alternative delivery models, and employee policies. Under the professional service agreement section, David will cover:

  • Confidentiality
  • Ownership of Work Product
    • Conscience Clauses
    • Assumption of Preliminary Site Information
    • Indemnity (post CA 496 and CDP Coverage)
    • Code Compliance
    • Pass Through Clauses

David will also highlight concerns and risks with corresponding contractual and practice solutions.

YAF: Adrianne Steichen, AIA of Pyatok

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Location: Pyatok Architects, 1611 Telegraph Ave # 200, Oakland, CA 94612
Free and open to all architects licensed in the past ten years.
Please RSVP to


The Young Architects Forum visits Pyatok this month to hear how Adrianne Steichen, AIA, became a principal while still officially a “Young Architect.” (There’s a reason she was honored by the AIA as the National 2015 Young Architect!) Space is limited; please RSVP to This event is open to all architects licensed in the past ten years.

As a principal, Adrianne brings more than 15 years of experience in student and residential developments. She is a highly skilled technical architect and project manager, who has led several large urban housing projects overseeing design work, construction documentation, permitting, and construction administration, while also leading the office in the advancement of BIM techniques and implementation. Adrianne also leads in-house staff development and training. Adrianne has been influential in leading Avalon Hayes Valley at Parcel P from the entitlement phase—resulting in a unanimous vote for approval by the San Francisco Planning Commission—to construction, and in leading the schematic design phases of Orchard Park Redevelopment at UC Davis for University Student Living and Bowles Hall Residential College Renovation at UC Berkeley for Education Realty Trust.

About the Young Architects Forum
The YAF is a forum to assist recently licensed architects (of all ages) in their practice of architecture. They meet at 6pm on the third Tuesday of each month.

The AIA Releases the 2017 AIA Contract Documents

The American Institute of Architects announced on April 27 the release of the 2017 edition of the A201 family of documents. This release includes updated versions of the AIA’s flagship documents, developed for the design-bid-build delivery model. Working with architects, contractors, subcontractors and owners, the AIA Documents Committee updates this core set of documents every 10 years. This helps ensure that the AIA legal form and agreements reflect changes and trends in the industry, and that the AIA Contract Documents remain the Industry Standard.

“It is critically important that industry professionals learn about the 2017 revisions,” says Kenneth Cobleigh, Esq., Managing Director and Counsel of AIA Contract Documents. “The changes impact the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties directly, and understanding the changes will help everyone to promptly review and finalize project contracts. We hope that all industry participants take advantage of the significant written resources and education programming opportunities available to learn about, and understand, the 2017 revisions and the full portfolio of AIA Contract Documents.”

Some of the major owner/architect changes include:

  • Single Sustainable Projects Exhibit that can be used on any project and added to most AIA contracts to address the risks and responsibilities associated with sustainable design and construction services.
  • Agreements contain a fill point to prompt the parties to discuss and insert an appropriate “Termination Fee” for terminations for the owner’s convenience.
  •  Architect is no longer required to re-design for no additional compensation if he or she could not have reasonably anticipated the market conditions that caused the bids or proposals to exceed the owner’s budget.
  •  Services beyond Basic Services and identified at the time of agreement are now categorized as Supplemental Services, to avoid confusing them with Additional Services that arise during the course of the project.
  • Agreements clarify how the Architect’s progress payments will be calculated if compensation is based on a percentage of the owner’s budget for the Work.

Some of the major owner/contractor changes include:

  • New exhibit with comprehensive insurance and bonds provisions that can be attached to many of the AIA owner/contractor agreements.
  • New provisions relating to direct communications between the owner and contractor.
  • Revised provisions pertaining to the owner’s obligation to provide proof that it has made financial arrangements to pay for the project.
  • Simplified provisions for the contractor to apply for, and receive, payments.
  • Sustainable Projects Exhibit, as noted above under the owner/architect changes

The documents included in this April release are:

  • A101™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is a Stipulated Sum
  • A102™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is the Cost of the Work Plus a Fee with a Guaranteed Maximum Price
  • A103™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is the Cost of the Work Plus a Fee without a Guaranteed Maximum Price
  • A104™–2017(formerly A107-2007), Standard Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor
  • A105™–2017, Standard Short Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor
  • A201™–2017, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction
  • A401™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor
  • B101™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect
  • B102™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect without a Predefined Scope of Architect’s Services
  • B103™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for a Complex Project
  • B104™–2017, Standard Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect
  • B105™–2017, Standard Short Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect
  • C401™–2017, Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant
  • E204™–2017, Sustainable Projects Exhibit

The new 2017 documents are currently available through an unlimited license or as a single customizable document on ACD5, the online platform.  The documents are also available as single, non-editable documents on AIA Documents on Demand and as paper version through AIA East Bay.  Visit for more information. Comparative versions showing the differences between the 2017 and 2007 editions are also available at



Young Architects Forum: 2017 Kickoff

Monday, February 13, 2017
Free and open to all Young Architects (licensed under 10 years)
Please RSVP to

Have you been licensed in the past ten years? Are you getting more responsibilities within your firm? Who is your peer group that you share best practices and knowledge with? If you don’t have one, or want another one, come have a beer or glass of wine (and other refreshments) with other Bay Area Young Architects.

We’ll set up an agenda of topics for the next few months based on what YOUR priorities are.

ARE Trivia Lunch: 2/23/17

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Location: Dahlin Group, 5865 Owens Dr., Pleasanton, CA 94588
Free for AIA Members and employees of Chapter-member firms
$5 non-members, includes lunch

Please register by 2/21/2017 by clicking here.

Come have lunch with us and have some architectural trivia fun! We’re focusing on the “4.0 Big 3” exams of PPP, SP&D and CD&S–Programming, Planning & Practice, Site Planning & Design, and Construction Documents & Services. Pass these three in the 4.0 format and then transfer to 5.0 to take only two more exams!

All done with these exams? Even the most seasoned veteran can test their knowledge of this trivia. Which team will win?

All are welcome!

Small Firm Forum 2016 Luncheon

Thursday, December 1, 2016
$15 first registrant / $7.50 guests
Please click here to register by 5pm, Monday, November 28, 2016


Bring a friend (preferably an architect or related professional) for half-price and come enjoy our Middle Eastern Holiday Feast!  Show off your favorite project for a chance to win our annual Builder’s Booksource Gift Certificate.  Submit no more than two slides to when you register and be prepared to share why it’s a small-firm project.   And have fun sharing your Lego (and team) skills for special holiday treats.

But, wait, there’s still more:

A special door prize will be awarded to the lunch participant who provides next year’s most popular brown-bag topic.

Share the season by registering here!

Insurance & Contracts

a professional practice forum

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Free and all are welcome–bring your lunch!

1.5 CES LUs

Join the Professional Practice Forum in a roundtable discussion on Insurance and Contracts, with a focus on contract language to look out for. We’ll discuss the options of having good contracts in place, clauses and language that are uninsurable, and the differences between owner-generated contracts and AIA contracts. Attorney Liam Malone of Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart and insurance broker Ted Kiyama, Allied Member, of Dealey Renton will be on-hand to answer questions and lead the discussion.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this program attendees will:

  1. Be able to state at least one difference between owner-generated and AIA contracts.
  2. Be able to explain common issues that can render a contract uninsurable.
  3. Be able to give at least two examples of contract language that may be problematic.
  4. Be able to describe new trends in contracts for 2016.


Backups & Disaster Recovery for Architects

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Noon – 1:30 PM

Free and open to all!
Lunch provided by ArcSource; please RSVP by 3pm Tuesday, February 9.

1.5 CES LUs

Did you know that 70% of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year? Attend this seminar, and you will learn: strategies to backup every type of data, key ingredients for every disaster recovery plan, how to evaluate online backup services, and more. Attendees will also receive a free ArcSource Disaster Recovery Plan Template to help you start or update a disaster recovery plan for your business.

Presenter Dave Monk, Allied Member will share the secrets to backups & disaster recovery based on over 18 years of experience as an IT expert to Bay Area architects and other professional services firms through his company ArcSource. ArcSource provides rock solid backups and disaster recovery plans designed specifically for AEC firms.

About the Presenter:

Dave Monk, Allied Member is the founder and CEO of ArcSource, a premier provider of IT consulting & support services to businesses in the Bay Area. As the Principal Consultant, he combines his passions for technology and helping businesses. Dave Monk holds Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Structural Engineering degrees from UC Berkeley. Prior to starting ArcSource, he worked at Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects as an architectural designer focused on design development, project management, construction administration, and, of course, maintaining the firm’s growing computer network.

Dave is an expert in technology planning, server operating systems, application software, software as a service, computer hardware, network design, problem solving, and training. His background in business, computer networks, architecture, and engineering gives him unique insight on the latest IT issues, needs, and trends in small to medium sized businesses.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the common causes of data loss.
  2. Learn strategies to backup every type of data from mobile devices to workstations.
  3. Review online backup services.
  4. Discover the latest in backup hardware/software technologies.

Business Development & Marketing

a professional practice forum

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Free and open to all; bring your lunch!

1.5 CES LUs

Marketing and business development are vital to firms that offer professional services. Why do these sometimes seem like the last thing small-to-midsized firms address? Join us on January 21st for a knowledge-sharing roundtable discussion. Let’s talk basics, what the hurdles are and how to clear them, and why just having a web page isn’t the solution.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to state how marketing and business development differ.
  2. Attendees will learn the key elements of the A/E marketing practices such as research, planning, client development, proposals and qualifications, promotional activity and client relationships.
  3. Attendees will identify three ways to market their firms and services and the benefits of each.
  4. Attendees will learn how to manage customer and prospect relationships effectively.

IT Best Practices for the AEC Sector

an online webinar presented by Z Networks

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Location: From the comfort of your own office

Free and open to all. Click here to RSVP.


IT Best Practices for the AEC Sector is a one-hour web presentation from IT experts on how AEC firms of all sizes are able to increase benefits from technology while decreasing vulnerabilities. The webinar begins with a few quick computer productivity tips from the “Top 10 Underutilized Computer Productivity Tips” list.  Next is an overview discussion of technology trends in the AEC industry paired with advice on how to consider adoption of new technology (BIM vs. CAD, cloud computing vs. on premise, Mac vs. PC, software licensing, VOIP). From there, a deeper dive is taken into information security best practices, and actionable security recommendations are made for both individuals and firms.

The presentation concludes with a Q&A session in which attendees are able to pick the brain of an experienced IT professional from the AEC sector.

About the Presenters:

Randy Ervig is the Head of Technology at Z Networks and has nearly a decade of experience in the tech
support and IT consulting field. With over a third of Z Networks’ clients coming from the AEC sector, Ervig works with his team members and clients on a daily basis addressing the unique technology needs of this industry. His experience ranges from frontline computer support to high-level strategy, giving Randy the ability to understand and help clients understand the full IT picture.

Sean Jones, Allied Member is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Z Networks and he has worked in IT and cloud technologies since 2006. With a focus on sales and new technology implementation, Sean understands the risks and rewards associated with new technology. He helps clients to see new technology adoption as an ongoing process as opposed to a one-time event and always recommends starting with the question, “why should we change in the first place?”

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

1. Discover at least one new computer productivity tip from the “Top 10 Underutilized Computer Productivity Tips” list which includes keyboard and mouse shortcuts and email efficiency tips.

2. Have a surface level understanding of several important technology trends in the AEC sector and will be provided with resources to further explore these trends.

3. Learn a basic framework for evaluating, testing and implementing new technology while limiting risk of system instability, poor user adoption, compromised information security and unnecessary financial outlays.

4. Leave with a baseline understanding of items that need to be addressed to minimize risk of a cyber-attack or malware infection and will be provided with resources regarding the implementation of these items.