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Time Extension / Delay / Acceleration Analysis


Construction projects typically involve multiple parties performing their specialized functions in a coordinated effort, which sometimes leads to opportunities for issues to impact the completion of a project. In other cases, projects are impacted by unforeseen conditions discovered during the course of construction or an owner simply needs to initiate a change in the work that causes project delay. When a project is delayed, all parties involved experience some impact whether it can be measured through cost increases or not.

Not all impacts result in a corresponding delay to the project’s completion date, therefore, it becomes necessary to determine which delays were critical to the project’s overall completion. In order to determine those time impacts, the project must be evaluated using industry recognized and accepted methodologies to identify and quantify the overall impact to the project’s completion resulting from those delays that are incurred. Generally, contract time extensions are based upon the contractor’s demonstration that a particular delay had a critical impact contributing to the project’s overall completion. A non-critical delaying event would not provide a basis for entitlement to an extension of contract time.

Exponent performs schedule delay analyses in both contemporaneous and “after-the-fact” situations for clients who need to determine what delayed their project and for how long. Exponent’s Construction Consulting staff has expertise in either preparing or responding to delay analyses addressing the question of what critically extended the project’s completion. Exponent uses industry recognized and accepted methodologies to identify and quantify critical impacts that delayed the project’s completion. Whether a delay analysis is needed for a change order submission or review, or for a dispute regarding contract time, our staff is experienced and knowledgeable in this area to provide solid, accurate and defendable work product for the client’s use in solving a time-related delay issue.

Schedule acceleration typically results from the need to shorten the original planned performance period, to incorporate additional or changed work into the original duration, or to recover lost time that has occurred during the course of construction. Whether the acceleration is directed or constructive, the contractor will attempt to compress the original time period or accelerate down stream activities in the project schedule to absorb additional work or recover lost time. In a directed acceleration effort, the schedule is compressed by shortening activity durations, resequencing activities to allow them to be performed concurrently rather than sequentially, and generally results in reduced efficiency and increased costs caused by the acceleration.

In the case of constructive acceleration, the contractor typically is required to demonstrate that it previously has incurred delay, and - but for the owner’s denial, it would have other wise been granted an extension of contract time. When that time extension is denied, the contractor is forced to accelerate its performance to overcome prior delays or subject itself to the potential exposure of Liquidated Damages or other owner-related delay costs. In analyzing this risk, the contractor can accelerate its schedule performance or continue to perform against its original plan.

In either situation, directed or constructive acceleration, it is important to establish what the status of the project’s completion was before the acceleration begins. This determination allows the parties to quantify exactly how much acceleration is being forecasted in the revised schedule. The accelerated schedule also needs to realistically forecast and quantify what additional efforts the contractor and its subcontractors will perform. Exponent’s Construction Consulting staff assists its clients in preparing and analyzing project schedules involving either directed or constructive acceleration issues. Our staff provides our clients with the expertise to address and resolve acceleration issues with respect to contract time and costs.

Exponent Construction Consulting staff has performed schedule delay and acceleration analyses for clients on a variety of project types such as office/retail/mixed use, industrial, energy, waste/water water facilities, schools, art centers, airports, heavy and light rail, and highway.