For many years, the architect has been the initial decision maker for contractor claims and to certify termination according to the AIA contract. However, it’s long been recognized that this requirement for the architect to “be” neutral while under the employ of the owner puts them in an uncomfortable position.  Contractors routinely dismiss the initial decision as unfair, which only serves to escalate claims resulting in terminations and projects that go awry. 
     Termination for cause requires a careful, trained neutral eye, lest they be reversed later in arbitration or litigation.  An improper termination can cost the owner, contractor, and potentially lender and bonding agents thousands if not millions of dollars.
     In 2007, the AIA revised this clause and allowed the parties to choose an “independent” initial decision maker.
     Putting in place an IDR in the contract allows the parties to reach out early without fear of filing a formal dispute.  A dispute or claim which is fairly resolved early on can keep a project on track.  Firms stay on the job, replacement contractors aren’t hired and damages don’t have to be calculated.  If a termination is sought, John will apply his skills as an experienced construction neutral and professional to navigate these waters to his best ability.
     Constructive Decisions is available to be named as a truly neutral initial decision maker in AIA contracts.   Hourly fees and travel, (if applicable) are only incurred if there is a dispute and Constructive Decisions is called in.  Please contact us before you make this delegation.