How to avoid construction delay?
Construction delay can be very costly and should be avoided if possible. It can be a challenge for both owners and contractors to keep projects and programs on schedule. With so many considerations and inevitable surprises along the way, how can one be on top of the game? Below are some tips one should follow to avoid common construction delays.
a. Extensive and detailed construction documentation to avoid any miscommunication
i. It is vital to spend the time ahead to plan and make careful design decisions, all of which should be well documented and presented to the contractor prior to contract signing. This allow them to have a clear understanding of the scope of work and the standard of work that is expected.
b. Availability of special materials and equipment.
i. Avoid specifying items with long lead times, unless care is taken to draw the contractor’s attention to the need for early ordering This may be particularly relevant with imported materials or equipment.\
c. Have a realistic construction program which is fair and reasonable contract time for the works.
i. The time nominated by the owner should be realistic and appropriate for the job, its location, industrial conditions and so on. Alternatively, it is always recommended that the contractor nominate the starting and finishing dates.
ii. Always encourage contractor to be realistic in the allowance made for ‘disruptive weather conditions’.
iii. Construction program should be accompanied by a cash-flow projection and a trade breakdown of the tender with both related to the program. Performance can then be monitored by testing progress against the building works progress, expenditure and trade progress.
iv. Request an updated program if contractor’s performance has fallen behind and show how the work is to be expedited for completion in time
d. Determine the critical path of the program
i. The critical path is the longest path through the construction program, and it passes through multiple construction activities which determine the length of the construction period.The activities are critical to the progress. An activity must be completed (or at least started) before subsequent activities can commence. Progress is monitored by reviewing the progress of activities on the critical path and claims for delay are assessed against the critical path. Delay, beyond the contractor’s control, to activities on the critical path would normally be agreed and the date for practical completion would be adjusted. Delays to activities not on the critical path may be agreed with or without an adjustment to the date for practical completion.
e. If it is necessary, perhaps have staged practical completion. Consult the architect, builder and building surveyor for the requirement.
f. Any current of predicted short-and mid-term industrial relations