Holloway Consulting is a construction schedule acceleration claims expert, and this is the second in our series of articles on this popular construction contractor claim entitlement.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT SCHEDULE ACCELERATION
Both standard-form AIA contracts and custom agreements typically allow the owner and/or his agents to accelerate the schedule, completion date and time of performance. When the contractor is directed to complete the work in advance of the contract completion date, and the directive is in writing and signed by the owner, contracting officer or a duly authorized owner representative, the directive usually represents a change under the contract and the contractor’s claim for an equitable adjustment should involve only the usual change claim considerations.
The same result will follow even if the change or change order is not formalized by the owner as required by the contract. This is true even if the owner believes he/she is issuing such an order pursuant to his rights under other provisions of the contract which allow him/her to direct the contractor to improve his performance at no cost to the owner.
It is sometimes difficult for the construction contractor to ascertain whether or not a constructive acceleration order has been given, since often there is no direct, written order issued. This is an important element of the construction schedule acceleration entitlement, since a necessary component of (compensable) acceleration is the requirement of the contractor to complete, or attempt to complete, the work before the time to which he is entitled.
Of course, if the contractor accelerates the work to overcome non-excusable delays, the acceleration-related contract provisions of the agreement are not relevant.
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