Follow the Yellow Book Road

Best Practices Guides Released by the AIA MBA Joint Committee

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 13, 2019

Members of the AIA-MBA Joint Committee

Chartered in 1965, the AIA-MBA Joint Committee in western PA was one of the first committees in the United States to bring together AIA member architects with general contractors and owners.  The group provides a unique forum to meet and discuss existing conditions of the construction industry. As a result, a set of guidelines have been created to reflect the best practices for procedures involving drawings and specifications, bidding, contract documents and administrative procedures during construction called The Best Practice Guides.

These guides were originally published as the Yellow Book of Recommended Construction Practices in 1967, and for decades existed as a yellow book, or binder, that floated around offices or constructions sites, and served as an indispensable resource at meetings.

The Best Practices Guide is now maintained online but that doesn’t make its use any less important as a resource for the A/E/C industry both nationally and regionally.  The AIA-MBA Joint Committee continually endeavors to update The Best Practices Guide in keeping with the evolving construction industry to assure that the industry benefits from a current and respected set of impartial recommendations.

“The Best Practice Guide is a set of recommendations from leaders in the industry that are sharing their collective experience and knowledge for the benefit of others in our industry,” says Eric Starkowicz, Director of Industry Relations for the MBA.

Providing some collective wisdom about building design and construction industry procedures, processes and paradigms from this group reduces the potential for costly mistakes, and gives designers a realistic picture of what almost every aspect of what the process will look like.

The Guide is written for both practitioners and their clients.  The experienced practitioner, estimator, contractor, or designer can find specifics and as well as refreshers about the design/build process.  The less experienced can find guidance, and the guide can also serve as an important tool to help educate their customers.

The Committee drafts Best Practice and White Papers that are then peer reviewed and approved by the MBA Board of Directors. The Best Practices cover everything from drawings and specifications, bidding. contracts, temporary services, bonds, insurance, and liability, safety responsibilities, release of liens, procurements and supplements, and project collaboration. Recently the AIA-MBA Joint Committee has:

The AIA-MBA Joint Committee continues to be a leader as one of the few joint committees around the country. Without a visible yellow binder circulating around offices it can sometimes be easy to forget that there is this rich local resource online that can provide the collaborative knowledge of so many in the field that have contributed over the last 50-plus years.

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