International Construction Law Review


DR Franco Mastrandrea

LLB(Hons) MSc, PhD, FRICS, Barrister


Consideration of delay claims in construction has, for whatever reason, become associated almost exclusively with project delay.
This is despite it being recognised that construction projects suffer from localised delays. Thus, the Society of Construction Law Delay and Disruption Protocol (“the SCL Protocol”) notes:1
“In referring to ‘delay’, the Protocol is concerned with time – work activities taking longer than planned. In large part, the focus is on delay to the completion of the works – in other words, critical delay. Hence, ‘delay’ is concerned with an analysis of time. This type of analysis is necessary to support an EOT claim by the contractor.” (Emphasis supplied.)
Having recognised delays to something other than the completion of the works, the SCL Protocol then proceeds effectively to ignore those other delays, and directs its attention towards, if not obsesses with, project delays, or delays along the project’s “critical path”,2 being that sequence of activities through a project network from start to finish, the sum of whose durations determines the overall Project duration.3
This paper suggests that localised delays, a broadly untapped source of complaint anecdotally, are a regular feature of project performance and warrant greater attention by commentators, delay and quantum analysts, and claimants involved in projects where such delays are suffered, particularly at the culpable hands of others.4


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