More Than Just Counting Rainy Days: Documenting Weather Delay?
By Michelle N. Delehanty, PE, PMP, MDCSystems® Consulting Engineer
According to the farmer’s almanac, this upcoming winter is predicted to be more severe than last year, which already seems as if it were one for the record books. For many regions throughout the United States, that means a multitude of storms, extreme cold, and potential closings to schools, offices, and, most problematic, construction sites. These closings of construction projects can lead to schedule delays, change order requests, and ultimately claims.
In order for a contractor to justify to the owner that there is indeed a weather-related construction delay, they must demonstrate four specific things: (1) that the delay is within the terms of the contract (2) that the activity delayed had a direct effect on the project end date (was on the critical path), (3) the weather event occurred in excess of the “normal” weather for the season, and (4) there is documentation of which specific activities were delayed on each weather occurrence.
Contract Weather Delay, Notice, and Recovery
Every construction contract is unique, but most projects will experience a weather event of some sort, and accommodations should be made in the contract to outline just what to do when this occurs. It is customary for the delay clause in the contract to define two things. First, exactly what a contractor will get if a weather delay occurs – a time extension only (noncompensable delay), time and monetary damages (compensable delay), or a combination of the two after a certain number of days. The compensability of the delays will be laid out in the contract, and will depend on the importance of the completion date, liquidated damages, or other factors.
There will also be a requirement in the contract for the contractor to provide notice of the delay within a certain time period of the delay occurring. This requirement also varies with the contract; however, it is always in the contractor’s best interest to provide formal notice of a weather delay as soon as there is potential to be one, even if the length of time or cost of the recovery is unknown. The contractor should also work to provide a recovery schedule to get the project back on track to finish on the agreed upon project end date.
MDCSystems® Attending the ABA Forum on Construction Industry, Chicago, IL
Bulldozers, Cranes & Claims: Challenges of Rebuilding the Construction Industry
Join MDCSystems® in Chicago as the “Windy City,” welcomes us for the Forum’s Fall 2014 Program. Our program, entitled “Bulldozers, Cranes, and Claims: Challenges of Rebuilding the Construction Industry,” focuses on “rebuilding.”
It’s a tall order that challenges construction clients and lawyers alike. Many businesses have emerged from the recent recession doing business with a new set of challenges. In their quest to save money and survive a struggling economy, they have ventured into new relationships with unfamiliar partners, have begun bidding public projects without understanding compliance and have other issues that threaten their financial survival. As we enter the cycle of rebuilding, businesses now have a whole new set of issues, risks, and challenges – and are looking for professional for guidance and help.
Click on the link below for more information (or to sign up) on the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, October 16-17.