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The US’s AIA releases new Mac friendly ACD5 web software for architecture industry

AIA delivers all new AIA Contracts Documents software solution as SaaS (software as a service) with new Web-based ACD5 for Mac and Windows platforms


The American Institute of Architects has launched this week a brand new online version of their industry standard Contracts Documents software, named ACD5 (or AIA Contract Documents version 5). The new service offers anytime, anywhere access to more than 180 AIA Contract Documents forms and agreements.

ACD5 enables users to create, access, edit, share and store contract documents instantly from any computer, delivering exceptional accessibility and flexibility. The new platform also offers upgraded document management features and more custom purchase options while delivering the comprehensive protection for which AIA Contract Documents is known.

Transformational Software for Global Industry Change

“As the evolution of the current AIA Contract Documents software platform, ACD5 is absolutely transformational for busy professionals who need instant access to their contracts,” said Deborah DeBernard, AIA, NCARB, Architect AIBC, LEED BD&C, Vice President & General Manager of AIA Contract Documents at the AIA. “With their contract documents always at their fingertips, ACD5 enables architects, contractors, building owners and attorneys to be more flexible, efficient and profitable.”

01 - ACD5 is the new AIA Contract Documents online software. The new SaaS software delivered over a web works on Mac and Windows and possibly other mobile platforms like iOS. This image is from their YouTube official video.

01 – ACD5 is the new AIA Contract Documents online software. Notice the MacBook Air? The new SaaS software delivered over a web works on Mac and Windows and possibly other mobile platforms like iOS. This image is from their YouTube official video.

The new features and expanded support of ACD5 include all of the following and more:

  • Apple Mac and Windows Compatibility — unlike the desktop software, ACD5 works within a web browser and thus works fully on Mac and Windows platforms
  • Simplified Document Collaboration — Users can actively manage the review process by sharing documents, limiting review time, deterring who can provide edits and comments and more…
  • Online and Offline Editing Mode — Documents can be downloaded for work offline and then uploaded for finalizing, allowing for the flexibility to work without internet access
  • Enhanced Security — ACD5’s features state-of-the-art security, including data encryption technology, uninterrupted and secure document access, and world-class data protection
  • New Document Management Tools — Several new tools make document management easier and simpler
  • New “Help Me Select an AIA Template” Tool
  • New Side by Side Comparison Tool
  • New Clause Library
  • Template Library
  • New Administrator Account

The contract documents and forms within ACD5 maintain the comprehensive protection for which AIA Contract Documents is renowned, delivering complete risk management and legal protection throughout every phase of design and construction.

Purchase Options

Purchase options for ACD5 include the traditional single and multi-user subscriptions, as well as new document bundles for architects and contractors. These bundles provide unrestrictive access to 10-12 fully editable documents that are the most frequently used for each discipline.

Additionally, a new AIA Documents-on-Demand® Plus option allows access to the same editing capabilities as the full online subscription, but for only one document at a time, letting users purchase only the documents they need.

ACD5 is available now to new and existing users. Visit to learn more.

About The American Institute of Architects

For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

Architosh Analysis

This new web-based version of AIA Contract Documents software has been in the works for years. The AIA first shared word about it with us well over a year ago and asked if we’d consider beta testing it. The beta testing didn’t begin when initially thought and so we lost track of the effort but alas here it is! For many Mac-based professionals in the US and abroad this is very good news indeed.

The reality is this was actually a long time coming. Just as the tag line makes clear architects, contractors and building owner/operators need a more fluid access to these documents and forms, and anywhere, anytime access is clearly reflective of the current business environment. One which means that successful companies deliver software that enables customers to access their data anywhere, anytime and all the popular devices of the day.

We understand from our conversations back at the beta stage, that ACD5 may work nearly 100 percent in iOS as well. However, in looking through the AIA’s technical support notes on ACD5, there is no mention of iOS or other mobile tablet operating systems.

Interestingly, the FAQ states that ACD5 operates on the top 3 web browsers. They list them as Internet Explorer (PC), Firefox (PC and Mac), and Safari (Mac). There is no mention of Google Chrome, despite that web browser arguably surpassing IE as the world’s top browser in 2013. It’s important to note that being number one doesn’t really matter to us. As tablets out-ship personal computers this year for the first time, it might be fair to say that the top browsers looking forward will be those that ship on iOS and Android devices. In other words, Safari and Chrome.

All this aside, we are happy to see ACD5 out and ready for prima time!