How the AIA A201-2017 General Conditions are Applicable to COVID-19

October 9, 2020

The AIA A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction (“A201”) is one of the most commonly used contract documents in the construction industry. It was first published in 1911 and the most recent version published in 2017 is the seventeenth edition. The A201 helped establish most of the general terms between the Architect, the Owner, the Contractor and Subcontractors. The A201 is generally used together with other AIA Form Contracts which together comprise the terms of the contract.

In reviewing the A201, you will not find a Force Majeure Clause or even the term “Force Majeure.” Force Majeure Clauses are used to allocate risk and address the concept of delay caused by events that are considered beyond a party’s control. Typical force majeure clauses provide that unexpected events such as natural disasters, terrorism, wars or other “acts of God” excuse a party’s non-performance of a contractual obligation. Force majeure clauses are intended to provide some level of relief from the negative effects of force majeure events, such as business interruption and supply chain disruption. Pennsylvania courts have required that the force majeure event must have been beyond the party’s control and not due to any fault or negligence of the non-performing party.

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