By Steve Rizer
Although weather delays usually are not compensable, sometimes they are, Trauner Consulting Services Inc. Principal Scott Lowe stressed during a WPL Publishing webinar called “Delays and Time Extensions on Construction Projects: Dealing with [Hurricane] Sandy,” a recording of which recently was added to the ConstructionPro Network (ConstructionProNet.com) Download Library -- free of charge for members.
Because the issue of compensation relating to weather delays is dealt with in different ways, “you need to be very cognizant of what your contract says with regard to that,” Lowe told webinar attendees. “I have encountered contracts that do allow time compensability for weather-related delays. I think the other thing you need to be fully aware of is that there are certainly contracts that would give you a day-for-day time extension for Sandy or, frankly, any weather-related delays, so it’s important for you to be fully aware of what your contract allows for and doesn’t allow for.”
During the webinar’s question-and-answer period, Lowe said, “I think some other things to keep in mind whenever we’re talking about evaluating weather-related time extensions … are daily logs and reports. I mean, they do go a long way toward telling us what’s actually happening on a project.”
Lowe recommended “that if you encounter weather on a project and it affects your production or your ability to do work, … you very clearly [should] indicate those effects in your daily reports and logs because then you have a written record contemporaneous with the event to establish the existence of the weather-related impact. You shouldn’t hesitate to share those with the owner if you’re the contractor or, if you’re the owner, writing it down to share with the contractor. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page on a project.”
Lowe additionally emphasized that “weather is a risk. It’s a risk for the contractor in that it could delay the work, and there are potentially additional costs associated with dealing with the effects of weather on the project. As an owner, it’s also a risk. It might mean that you won’t get your project as soon as you would have expected, and, again, for you, too, there might be costs associated with dealing with the effects of weather on the project. This risk can be insured. There are now insurance products out there available for contractors to insure against weather-related risks. That’s a new development.”
During the webinar, Lowe additionally addressed weather-related language in ConsensusDocs 6.3.1, American Institute of Architects-A201 Standard Agreement 2007-Ed. (22.214.171.124), and comparable standards in New York and New Jersey; forensic schedule analyses; the time-impact analysis; statistics associated with Sandy; and other topics.
The 90-minute program was targeted to a wide variety of professionals within the construction community, including contractors, public and private owners, subcontractors, construction managers, owner representatives, architects, and other design professionals who write contracts or provide project-oversight services. Attorneys representing these parties in disputes also can benefit from the course content.
For immediate access to the complete webinar (full audio and visual) -- as well as two dozen other construction-related webinars that are available for download -- sign up to join WPL Publishing’s ConstructionPro Network complete training, education, and development resource for the construction industry at http://constructionpronet.com/info/Charter2012.aspx.