Understanding time delay disputes in construction contracts (Iyer et al. 2008) & Delays in construction projects (Sweis et al., 2008)

Sources and categories of delay in construction

Iyer, K.C.; Chaphalkar, N.B.; Joshi, G.A.: Understanding time delay disputes in construction contracts; in: International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 26 (2008), No. 2, pp. 174-184.

Sweis, G.; Sweis, R.; Hammad, A. Abu; Shboul, A.: Delays in construction projects – The case of Jordan; in: International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 26 (2008), No. 6, pp. 665-674.

In my recent obsession with delays [it’s quite sarcastic, I know], I read through these two articles on delays in the construction industry.
Sweis et al. analyse sources of delays on construction projects. The authors identify three main categories contributing to delays –  internal environment, exogenous factors, and input factors.
Internal environmental factors are financial difficulties, poor planning & scheduling, and too many change orders. Exogenous factors found are severe weather and changes in government or regulation laws. The input factor causing delay was a shortage of manpower.

In the second article Iyer et al. look into the contractual strings attached to delays. Therefore they categorise delays in excusable vs. non-excusable. Excusable delays are

  • Labour disputes
  • Force majeure
  • Unusual delay in deliveries
  • Unavoidable delay
  • Unforseen delay in transportation
  • Other unforseeable causes

Non-excusable delays and therefore punishable by fines are

  • Ordinary weather
  • Subcontractor delay
  • Contractor’s failure to coordinate the project site
  • Contractor financing problems
  • Contractor failure to ramp-up
  • Delay in obtaining materials
  • Poor workmanship

[On how many IT projects have I seen non-excusable delays which were excused.]
Lastely, Iyer et al. identify the origins of disputed delays, they were due to

  • Handover on site
  • Release mobilisation advance
  • Late receipt/checking of drawings
  • Accidents
  • Temporary stoppage
  • Re-work
  • Extra work

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