ParsCo Method of Managing Construction Projects with Adverse WeatherJanuary 3, 2013
Before construction begins, everyone involved attempts to do one thing: predict the future in order to minimize the risk of unforeseen events that might delay the project’s completion.
Owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, sureties, financial institutions, insurers, and vendors all want the project to be done well, and done on time. Why? Because one or more of them will have to eat the costs of substandard work or a delayed result, and that can be very expensive.
Construction delays are extremely dangerous: they can slow the project, or even bring it to a halt. Every construction project, from the smallest home addition to the tallest skyscraper, shares the same basic life cycle: (1) planning; (2) design; (3) construction; and (4) finalization.
Since severe weather conditions can be disruptive to construction, contractors typically obtain time extensions for weather days beyond normal conditions. Time extensions typically shift the completion date only, but in some cases it raises the cost of the project depending on extended overhead costs that the contractor may incur. Two of the most important factors that all parties are concerned with are completion date and total cost. Weather delays can affect both of these and often are a main point of contention between the parties on a project.
ParsCo’s construction managers focus on seven factors when analyzing a project that has experienced adverse weather conditions. They are: the definition of normal weather, weather thresholds, type of work, lingering days, criteria for lost days, lost days equivalent due to lost productivity, and work days lost versus calendar days lost.
ParsCo can conduct an analysis of an actual weather-caused delay claim by illustrating the impacts of those factors on the outcomes of the analysis. The prime contract should define anticipated weather delay days and their lingering days and provide threshold values for weather parameters to differentiate between predictable and unpredictable severe weather. The prime contract should also clearly define how a time extension is granted in calendar days as a result of work days lost, and also address how a time extension is granted due to inefficiency caused by unusually severe weather. ParsCo can also provide an analysis on the quantity of lost days due to weather and how it relates to lost productivity days.
On ParsCo construction projects, the ParsCo construction manager documents weather delays and report them on a consistent basis to the project team. This is because it is important to keep all parties in the loop. Owners of projects do not want to find out about a project delay 2 weeks before their projected grand opening. If good communication exists, regular construction meetings are conducted, and scheduling is updated to account for weather delays, then the project can run smooth and all parties can account for unforeseen/unknown conditions.
Amir Michael Fooladi
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