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Last edited 01 Jul 2019
Construction projects are often subject to delays, irrespective of whether the contractor is or is not to blame. A delay claim for one day (or however number of days are involved) means the construction scheduled for that day was not completed, which could have severe financial implications and adversely affect the project's progress.
Delay analysis identifies why delays occur on a construction project and the impact they are expected to have on the overall programme. The outcome of the analysis may lead to legal action brought by one party to the contract.
 Who is responsible
Not the contractor’s fault:
- Unusual weather conditions.
- Interruption in material supply, particularly if material is imported.
- Conflicting or missing information in contract documents.
- Failure to give the contractor possession of the site.
Irrespective of who is at fault, such delays may have a critical financial impact on the project. When they occur, they represent a deviation from the planned programme of work and the contractor may be able to seek a time extension to compensate for the delay. In this case, they can submit a claim to the client outlining the cause and reasons for the delay. The client (or an agent acting on behalf of the client) must then evaluate whether the claim is justified and whether the contractor is entitled to compensation. Analysing who is at fault for the delay is a highly complex process and one which may lead to disputes.
Delay analysis can be undertaken
- Prospectively: Predicting what effect the delay will have on the project’s progress, prospective analysis can be used before and after the effect of the delay has occurred.
- Retrospectively: Retrospective techniques evaluate the effect that the delay will have on the project but they can only be applied once the works have been completed.
- Contemporaneously: During the delay.
The Delay and Disruption Protocol of The Society of Construction Law sets out six methods of delay analysis:
- Impacted As-Planned Analysis.
- Time Impact Analysis.
- Time Slice Windows Analysis.
- As-Planned versus As-Built Windows Analysis.
- Retrospective Longest Path Analysis.
- Collapsed As-Built Analysis.
For more information see: https://www.scl.org.uk/sites/default/files/SCL_Delay_Protocol_2nd_Edition_Final.pdf
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Breach of contract
- Collateral warranty.
- Construction contract.
- Contract v tort.
- Contracts under seal v under hand.
- Letter of intent.
- Privity of contract.
- Retrospective longest path analysis.
- Rights of third parties.
 External references
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