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Forensic Delay Analysis

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Time Delays in Construction Contracts Cost Money – Who is to blame?

Forensic Analysis Required!

The three fundamental essential elements of any construction contract are PRICE, TIME and SCOPE. Price and Scope are often only perceived as required by contracting parties, without any serious consideration for TIME.

How long will it all take to build? Between what dates will it all be done? In what order do you need to build it so as to achieve these dates?

Time is money, so on any construction project it is little wonder that often when a project is late a fight will start. Imagine the Client procuring a building where he will lose say £30,000 per week in lost revenue when he does not get the building on time and likewise the builder who claims the client has delayed him and, as a result, he is losing £30,000 per week. Immediately, you have a £60,000 per week dispute. If the Client has agreed liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD's) with the builder in the contract the onus or burden of proof is on the builder to prove why he is late. If our example runs on for six months the difference between the parties can be huge and run into millions of pounds.

If delays occur it is essential for the builder to notify the Client of such and keep good records of the impact each event has on the programmed works. Only Rumpelstiltskin can turn straw into gold, without any evidence and facts there will be a struggle later to produce a delay claim. he builder should make "Extension of Time" claims as works proceed and the substantiation behind this process is called "Delay Analysis".

Under the Standard Form of Contract there are normally "mechanisms" in place to extend time and the responsibility for assessing such is with the Employer or his representative. Care should be taken by the Employer therefore to deal with delays seriously as it can lead to huge liabilities later on in adjudication. It is common practice for Employers to amend the contract provisions and Contractors should be aware of the implications of these, particularly if they claim to be a "condition precedent".

The Delay Analysis should not just be procured after the works are complete but should be deployed throughout the construction process, many complications can occur and the contract mechanism must be adhered to in order to reduce the risk of loss or dispute. In simple terms, delays can be caused by either party, the offender paying for it, however there are "neutral events" where nobody is to blame and also cases where both parties are to blame, often known as concurrent delays.

Delay analysis and time assessments can be a very complex science. There are factors and risks such as mitigation of delays, critical paths, programmes, notices of delay, completion and non-completion notices, common law rights, time at large, float, methods of delay analysis, disruption, risk, design delays, procurement of time, relevant events, third parties, instruction delays, postponements, antiquities, condition precedents, milestones, key dates, section completions, subcontractors, variations, acceleration, all of which can impact on time or result from delay and careful management and understanding of all of this must be considered in managing any project.

Arbicon are experts in the preparation of, or defending, time claims using Delay Analysis and dealing with the same in adjudication proceedings. It is important to manage the time with records as work proceeds and to understand how an Adjudicator is likely to deal with the claim, whether by a critical path analysis or otherwise.

Planning Time & Resources – Avoiding Dispute

Although ARBICON can provide Forensic Delay Analysis to prove delays and who is responsible, from the outset ARBICON can prepare programmes and resource plans using ASTA POWER PROJECT. ARBICON will set out the "yardstick" from which delays and progress can be measured. Any later arguments over delays will be difficult to ascertain and require a higher degree of Forensic Analysis, thus ARBICON can set you up to avoid later dispute whether you are a Client, Contractor or Sub-Contractor.

Whether you are looking to plan time or retrospectively analyse time delays, ARBICON can provide these services using the evidence, ASTA POWER PROJECT and our expertise in construction operations. ARBICON are masters of the dark arts.

For assistance or any matter relating to Construction Delays or Programming please get in touch for an initial FREE consultation on any of the below numbers or by filling in our contact form.