Programmes and Delay Analysis

Construction durations are a major issue for most of our clients, be they Employers needing to know when they can take possession of their completed property or Contractors who need to manage the construction process and protect themselves from any damages resulting from delays. This is also an important matter for Architects and Contract Administrators. They too will need to take account of construction project planning, be that in monitoring progress or considering extensions of time.

At Edge Consult we have several Partners who specialise in the production of design, procurement, and construction programmes. These can be for initial strategic project planning, feasibility studies, tender and construction programmes or for project monitoring purposes. Early input from one of our construction planners can help to prevent disputes from arising by ensuring the project duration is robust and achievable prior to entering into contract.

Where a dispute has arisen, the duration of the works and the impact of delays on that duration will often be a fundamental aspect in establishing the parties’ contractual position. Edge Consult has all the necessary expertise to produce fully supportable delay analyses, produced in accordance with the building contract and current case law. This is where the holistic approach of Edge Consult will provide you with a complete and comprehensive examination of the delay position, identifying the party responsible for that delay under the contract.

Edge Consult has the specialist knowhow to assess the duration of your project, identifying critical elements, regaining control of the programme, and identifying the reasons associated with any delays. We utilise years of experience gained in construction project planning to enable our clients to complete their projects more effectively and efficiently. Our approach at Edge Consult is always “plan to succeed”, ensuring practical and efficient solutions to avoid unexpected and costly surprises.

Project Planning and Programming

We plan to succeed and protect our clients. Edge Consult produce programmes using specialised critical path software to plan and analyse design, procurement, and construction activities. We regularly provide expert forensic delay analyses to develop or defend claims. We will assist you by identifying project difficulties and pinch points, then develop a robust, workable plan to best overcome these issues.

During the construction stage we can also monitor and report on progress, provide advice on mitigation measures and identify the critical activities that need to be focused upon to support and deliver a successful project. Where Edge Consult join the team as an independent consultant, our clients find this assists them in challenging preconceptions and identifying different phasing and construction solutions. This allows the project team to explore and consider alternative programmes, providing both time and cost benefits.

Expert Witness and Litigation Support

Edge Consult are often appointed to provide Expert Witness Statements or litigation support on matters such as delay analysis. The Partners’ extensive experience in delay analysis, as both construction professionals and dispute resolution consultants, will provide you with the necessary independent expertise.

Delay Analysis

Where projects suffer delay, we utilise forensic delay analysis techniques to assist you in identifying the cause of each delay and its effect. This will typically be through the use of critical paths and appropriate methodologies such as those identified by the Society of Construction Law.

Design Management Systems

The importance of the design phase of a construction project is often overlooked by those producing project programmes. However, the design phase is just as important as the construction phase and needs careful planning. Get the design programme wrong and this can have a huge impact on the construction works. In our experience many delay disputes start with delayed design. No contractor can build until he has a design to build to, be that the contractor’s design or the client’s design. At Edge Consult, we have developed our own design management systems that facilitate team based programmes to deal with management of design, both for consultants and contractors.

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Very common. Possibly over 75% of claims relate to delays, which of course normally attracts financial loss.

In simple terms a concurrent delay is when two separate strings of a programme are delayed at the same time.

Typically, a programme is made up of numerous tasks linked up to form a network. Normally,  strings of tasks are formed when activities fit naturally together, like foundation, wall, roof. When the network is analysed then some of the strings of tasks become critical and this is known as a critical path. In practice a programme can have numerous critical paths, albeit some theoretical academics may dispute this.  A concurrent delay is when more than one string of tasks is being delayed equally at the same time. i.e. Block A works delayed 2 weeks in March and at the very same time Block B is delayed 2 weeks in March. Assuming both Blocks A and B have identical critical paths then the delays would be considered concurrent critical delays.  So keeping things simple if Blocks A and B both had to start 2 weeks later as access was denied to both buildings equally then it would be easy to agree that the delays are true concurrent critical delays.

Life is rarely that simple hence expert planners need to carefully consider the concurrent delays and decide if one can be considered more dominant than the other.

As noted above if you have two critical delays and one affects a small corner of the project and the other delay affects more than half of the project then the latter delay would likely be deemed more dominant.

A dominant delay can also be a reflection of the timing of the delay. So if one started or finished later than the other delay then again according to the severity of the effected tasks then the longer delay may be considered more dominant.

Delays invariably start with poor information, either a lack of surveys taken of the existing site or late design.  Late design can be caused by the Client changing their minds or someone proposing an alternative approach late in the day.

A common cause of delay can be a contractor’s misunderstanding the scope or complexity of the problem and simply planning it wrongly (possibly optimistically).  Other causes that are common include lack of resources (or the right quality of resources), plus procurement often causes delays as firms struggle to obtain stock, particularly when it is imported.

Many delays can be accommodated within the programme but if the delays affect the critical path, or are so long that they become critical to the project, then these delays do cause delays to the completion date. Typically delays to completion have two effects,

    1.  Delay Damages cost that can be applied to the contract by the Client, and
    2. The cost, known as preliminary cost  associated with the delayed task, e.g. scaffolding, can also be levied to whoever caused the delay. These cost can be charged even when the delays are not critical to the completion.
  1. The solutions should be defined in the Contract. There are many different forms of Contracts, so the solutions will vary according to the type of Contract.  It can be difficult to agree the solution, so the most important things to do in a delay is
    1. Know your Contractual position
    2. Issue all the relevant notices that you are required to send
    3. Keep extensive records and photographs of the actual delayed area and additional resources employed and actual delays incurred.

The first solution is to submit your case in accordance with the Contract. If this results in an unsatisfactory outcome then the Contract may have an informal approach that should be explored. When all reasonable avenues have been taken then the Construction industry has a formal Adjudication process that can be initiated. This has statutory periods for each party to respond and is designed to reach a conclusion in a reasonable period of time.

Alternative methods such as mediation can be considered when relations are willing to find a solution.

Finally if all the above fails then one can take the case to the Technical Courts, but this is a long and tedious process and is normally  very expensive.

A lot! There must be some official figures out their somewhere. But just bear in mind the official figures probably do not include all the numerous “deals” that are agreed on the back of a fag packet!

As noted above it will depend on the form of Contract. Typically, it is advisable to provide as much notice as possible, with all available detail. Some contracts require you to provide Early Warning Notices of concerns, this provides time for the management team to consider alternative solutions that may have less impact. We recommend giving early notifications of delays caused by others, and where possible to work together to find a solution that fits best for all concerned. Don’t forget to notify loss and expense, which is a separate claim.

Hopefully, you won’t get a legal notice without knowing there is a problem. Construction uses the Adjudication process, and before you get a legal notice a dispute has to have crystalised first. That is the dispute has been submitted and rejected in part or in full.

If you are not familiar with the dispute process, then we would strongly recommend talking with a professional who can advise you. Edge are experienced in this. The earlier the dispute is addressed the more likely you can be of avoiding a dispute.

At Edge we believe our first approach should be to see if a formal dispute process can be avoided. Oobviously this requires both parties to agree and therefore matters still sometimes end up in a formal dispute.

It depends on the Contract. Typically, a contract defines the level of damages that can be charged. The level has to be realistic rather than penal otherwise it can be disputed.

If a delay is not caused by your own failings, then it is most likely that you can be compensated for the delay (and loss and expense, although there are exceptions dependent upon the agreed risk profile within the Contract). The skill is knowing what the true cause of the delay really was. Sometimes there can be a big issue going on that everyone is focussed on, but the true cause of the critical delay can be something else. Having a specialist who knows how to present such facts is key to how successful your claim for compensation will be. What you should always do is keep contemporaneous records.

Other Services We Offer:

Construction Dispute Resolution ~ Adjudication ~ Arbitration ~ Litigation Support ~ Mediation ~ Negotiation ~

Claims ~ Commercial Support ~ Contract Advice ~ Project Planning & Delay Analysis ~

Project Management Support ~ Project Monitoring, Reviews & Audits ~ Insolvency Support

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Construction Dispute Resolution ~ Adjudication ~ Arbitration ~ Litigation Support ~

Mediation ~ Negotiation  ~ Claims ~ Commercial Support ~ Contract Advice ~

Project Planning & Delay Analysis ~ Project Management Support ~

Project Monitoring, Reviews & Audits ~ Insolvency Support

Privacy Policy      Tel: 01473 834 570       Email: info@edgeconsult.co.uk

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrator's logo
The Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors' logo

Construction Dispute Resolution ~ Adjudication ~

Arbitration ~ Litigation Support ~ Mediation ~

Negotiation ~ Claims ~ Commercial Support ~

Contract Advice ~

Project Planning & Delay Analysis ~

Project Management Support ~

Project Monitoring, Reviews & Audits ~

Insolvency Support

Privacy Policy      Tel: 01473 834 570

Email: info@edgeconsult.co.uk