Definition of AIA General Conditions

AIA general conditions refers to a document of widely accepted outlines of the basic contract responsibilities of owners, contractors and architects during a construction project. The document is published and updated by the American Institute of Architects.


The general conditions provide the legal and liability language necessary to establish a balanced work flow among the contracting parties. It clearly defines the roles of each contracting party and describes the scope and time frames of the project. In addition, general conditions outline the insurance and bonding requirements for each party.


The original general conditions document was written in 1911. It is revised every 10 years to reflect the most up-to-date professional and legal information and any changes to applicable regulatory guidelines.



Although the general conditions are frequently referred to in matters of litigation between architects and contractors, it is not an official legal reference. Legal counsel is recommended when preparing contractual documents.