COVID-19 Outbreak Delay Analysis – What Do I Need to Do?
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact construction, the effects are being felt in many different ways on projects. Whilst some sites have reopened after being suspended, some are still suspended, and others will continue to operate but at a reduced capacity with new, more stringent site operating procedures in place, in relation to distancing and hygiene.
All of this has no doubt caused contractors to suffer delay and incur substantial additional costs. But what should they do about it? Well the first step is to notify the other party – and I address this in my other blogs on notices and the potential contractual basis of any claim.
Then my advice which is as equally as important, is to ensure that you maintain all relevant records so that you can adequately evidence your claim when required. But what records should you keep? Well, I would say you need to address the following key areas:
Status of the Project Prior to the Impact of COVID-19
At a date immediately prior to the start of the impact of COVID-19, you will need to undertake a detailed progress update of the project and include as-built start and finish dates for completed activities, a reasonable forecast for outstanding activities and progress for partly completed activities. This will in essence be the “baseline” for any future delay analysis, so the more relevant progress data that you can collate, including site photographs, the better.
Explain the Impact of COVID-19
Clearly, you will need to explain and evidence the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your schedule of work. I would first start with scheduling out the problems that COVID-19 has caused and these could include: shortage of labour, site closures, delayed or late material deliveries, reduced or non-availability of plant, sub-contractors non-attendance at site or the lack of your own supervision and management.
It is also likely that where works are continuing on site, due to the new site operational procedures relating to hygiene and social distancing, then you will not be achieving the planned progress and these disrupted activities should also be considered.
Each one of the above events may have hindered your progress on site and you will need to keep detailed records that evidences this i.e. what happened, when and why!
Following this you will need to explain what works you can continue with unhindered (if any), what works you cannot progress on site and what works you can continue with, but your progress on these activities will have been hindered.
From my experience the best way in which to formulate all this information is to produce a “cause and effect” schedule that tabulates the above events and cross refers them to a schedule activity. If you manage to complete all the above then you will be in a good position to better update and particularise your notices to your client and prepare your delay and disruption claim. Oh, by the way, it’s cheaper to collate this information contemporaneously rather than retrospectively!
If you require any advice on any matter or would like us to undertake a review of your project then please contact Joseph Bond, Managing Director of Kenzie Consulting Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.