Holloway Consulting is a recognized construction schedule acceleration and claims expert, and we are providing a series of eight to ten articles here on this popular construction contractor claim entitlement.
Construction contractor schedule acceleration claims consulting expert
SCHEDULE ACCELERATION – DEFINED
Schedule Acceleration of or by the general contractor or sub-contractor’s work is a common occurrence on construction projects, and a component of many current contract disputes. It is widely accepted in the legal and expert community that acceleration occurs when the contractor:
1. Completes the original scope of work in less time than allowed by contract, or
2. Completes the original scope, plus additional work, within the original contract period.
There are several other variations of these two popular definitions.
The contractor’s entitlement to acceleration-related costs arises in two different circumstances:
1. Directed acceleration, or,
2. Constructive acceleration.
Directed Schedule Acceleration typically occurs when specific direction is issued to the general contractor by the owner, or to the subcontractor by the general contractor, under a provision of the contract to complete the work prior to the originally scheduled completion date.
Constructive Schedule Acceleration is dependent upon the effects of excusable delay on the contractor’s time of performance. When a contractor encounters excusable delay in completing the work, he is entitled to an equivalent, and timely, extension of the time in which to complete the work. If the owner (or general contractor as the case may be) refuses to give him the extension to which he is entitled, there is a constructive acceleration of the contract, since the contractor effectively has less time than entitled to in which to perform the required work.
Similarly, the owner may recognize an excusable delay, but grant a time extension that is shorter than the one to which the contractor is actually entitled. The owner’s continuing silence in the face of a legitimate request for time extension, when the contractor is clearly entitled to addition time, has also been recognized as constructive acceleration.
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