Architect Consultant


While taking one of the BS practice exams I came across an answer that I do not understand. Can anyone explain the reasoning here? Seems like the question might be worded incorrectly.


A large hotel is in the design development phase. The contracted lighting designer is preparing their deliverables per their contract when the owner requests that the contracted electrical engineers complete the lighting design.

According to the Standard Agreement Between Architect and Consultant (AIA C401), how should the architect proceed with regard to the lighting designer?


  1. Reassign the lighting designer to a similar project for the rest of their contract

Incorrect. The consultant’s agreement is for this particular project and therefore, they cannot be simply reassigned to another job. They must be terminated and held with another contract for the reassignment.

  1. Terminate the consultant without pay

Incorrect. The payment of a termination fee is included in the C401-Standard Agreement Between Architect and Consultant if the contract is terminated at no fault of the consultant.

  1. Terminate the consultant and pay a termination fee

Correct. According to the C401-Standard Agreement Between Architect and Consultant, “in the event of termination of this Agreement not due to the fault of the Consultant, the Architect shall pay the Consultant a Termination Fee and for the Architect’s continued use of the Consultant’s Instruments of Service.”

  1. Decline the owner’s request (my answer)

Incorrect. According to the C401-Standard Agreement Between Architect and Consultant, “the Architect may terminate this Agreement or suspend the Consultant’s services pursuant to the same terms and conditions, other than the amount of any Termination Fee or Licensing Fee set forth in the Prime Agreement.” If the owner is requesting their termination, the architect shall comply.

Reference: AIA C401-2017

I think in the book Law for architect I was reading before, it says when you terminate the contract you have to pay for a termination fee. In this case he/she did not do anything wrong but was just being terminated because the owners preference to use an electrical engineer in compensation for the lighting designer position. So the consultant lighting designer deserves a fee to be paid.

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Oh I completely overlooked the fact that the owner gave direction for the “electrical engineer” to complete the task. I read this as if they were directing the lighting designer to complete the tasks.