Newsletters

Designing Hedonism

The AIA Trust just published two guides that address some of the unique design issues associated with each of these growing areas of design and construction: marijuana facilities and craft breweries. The AIA Trust Guide to Marijuana Facilities Design examines some of the necessary considerations for the safe and efficient delivery of product to the…

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Floods Happen—Are You Prepared?

Floods can happen anywhere—more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside the high-risk flood zone according to FEMA. Architects are impacted by floods through exposures at their offices, their homes, and their client’s properties. So it’s important to understand what flood insurance covers—and what it does not cover—and what you need for your…

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Achieving Virtual Work-Life Balance

With everyone busier than ever, most of us are seeking a balance between our work and our personal lives. Technology now enables extensive communications and thereby opportunities that didn’t exist years ago. Nearly every practicing architect engages in some form of “virtual practice” today because responsibilities require it. So, is an entirely virtual practice now…

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Principal Interest

If you’ve worked hard, been successful, and gained the trust of your superiors, you may at some point in your career receive an invitation to become a principal in your firm. While it may seem like evidence of your overall success, there are upsides and downsides to an ownership role and you should thoroughly understand…

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Why Asset Allocation Is Critical to Your Retirement

Whether you are considering a savings plan for retirement or have already established one, the principle of asset allocation is critical to successful retirement investing. Asset allocation is the way in which investments are distributed in a portfolio among different types of assets or asset classes. While it is a simple concept, proper asset allocation…

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Virtual Practice Made Real

The AIA Trust Guide to Virtual Practice, is a treasure-trove of invaluable pointers and considerations for this burgeoning approach to architectural practice. The guide offers an overview of requirements and questions to consider when starting or working in a virtual practice. For example, what actually is a virtual practice and how does it differ from…

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An Architect’s Guide to Virtual Practice

Today, a new reality in architectural practice is that most architects are no longer interacting across their workstations. Instead, they are ‘virtually’ sharing ideas and drawings across digital platforms. Nearly every practicing architect engages in some form of “virtual practice” because the pace and practicalities of life demand it–employees travel or relocate, must limit work…

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Becoming a Firm Principal?

If you’re invited to become a principal in your firm, do you know what that requires? A recent study on internal ownership transition sheds light on how architecture firms are handling the ownership succession process when founding principals near the end of their tenure. If you’re tapped to become a principal in your firm, this…

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Quick Risk Review

As a risk management resource for AIA Members, the AIA Trust develops risk reports on topics of critical and evolving risks for architects. If you don’t have time to read the risk reports, new synopses give you the important facts. Check them out now—so you stay out in front of critical risks. Some of these…

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Facts You Need About Disability Insurance

For most architects, the idea that one could become disabled due to an illness or injury seems pretty remote. No matter how many times one may say, “It will never happen to me,” there’s no getting around the fact that it does happen—everyday—to people just like you. So what should you know about disability insurance?…

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Understanding the Standard of Care

The AIA Risk Management Committee (RMC) helps architects effectively manage their risks by providing valuable educational materials addressing risk management issues. Two recent RMC articles explain how the standard of care applies to your practice. Often the actions of the architect are measured against the applicable “standard of care.” Perfection is not the standard of…

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You’ve Got the Wrong Idea About Our Relationship

The typical complaint against an architect starts with the plaintiff laying out his story of what happened, and then listing the laws that the conduct allegedly violated. Architects are familiar with many of them–malpractice, negligence, breach of contract, and the like. But sometimes the complaint alleges that the architect is a “fiduciary” and has breached…

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Professional Ethics: Balancing Obligations

The practice of architecture can be extremely rewarding. But like any profession, the practice of architecture must include attention to a host of various business and legal issues. For many architects, dealing with the myriad of requirements and the complexities they impose can be challenging, and there is a related subject that is often overlooked–ethics.…

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Beat the Rap! Exonerate Yourself with Effective Documentation

The compelling risk report, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Claims Defense Documentation, addresses documentation by the architect, centering on the presumption, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.” The paper is a guideline for managing your documentation with helpful suggestions for beneficial recordkeeping and documents retention and retrieval for an effective claims response in the…

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Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Architect

The risk report, Bulletproof Contract Administration: Managing Risk during Construction, addresses documentation procedures that can be advantageous in managing risk during the construction phase. Although considered cumbersome in this often complex phase of services, the suggestions put forth can serve as valuable defense documentation in the event a claims bullet is fired. Beginning with the…

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Hasta la Vista, Baby: Contractor Termination Lawsuits

When the terminator shows up, you must be ready. Termination of the contractor on a project almost always guarantees a lawsuit, and the architect is often among the casualties. The risk report, Contractor Termination Lawsuits: The Architect’s Risks and How to Manage Them, addresses why the architect is often sued when a project goes wrong,…

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Live Long and Prosper

The risk report, BIM Me Up, Scotty: Navigating Risk in Digital Practice, is your chance to get the inside on preemptive risk management for your digital travels. It is an opportunity to gain insight for managing your practice so that you can put up your deflector shields to guard against incursions from the litigious Borgs…

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I’m Responsible for Them?

One of the most important defenses in any professional liability lawsuit is that an architect is not responsible for losses of a person who has no contract with the architect such as a general contractor or sub-contractor on a project. The legal term is that the architect and the third party do not share “privity…

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A Sustainable Standard of Care?

We live in an age of ever-accelerating change and “advancement”. On the one hand, technological advancement provides the lure and expectation of increased opportunities and efficiencies. However, those new technologies, products, and approaches present an increased potential for failure and disappointment. Design professionals are constantly expected to find new ways of building projects better, faster,…

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Should You Assume a Duty to Defend?

What should you do when your client wants you to assume a duty to defend the client in any claim brought against him or her relating to your professional services? And how do you avoid this unduly burdensome risk? Agreeing to defend another party, generally, an owner or developer against a covered third-party claim, means…

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