June 13, 2024

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Methodologies Used in Construction Delay Analysis

It’s a regrettable fact that many construction projects suffer from delays. While the reasons for these delays can vary widely, they all have a financial effect on the project, sometimes to the point of putting it on hold or even causing it to fail entirely.

Understanding the construction delay analysis process (or having the right delay and disruption experts on your team) and being able to correctly analyze the delay and assess its impact on your project is an essential step in identifying responsible parties and resolving any claims that may arise as a result of the delay.

In order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the delay analysis process, the construction industry experts from VERTEX have provided a brief rundown of the common methodologies used in construction delay and disruption analysis. Keep reading to learn more.

What is delay analysis in construction?

When delays occur on a construction project and a delay claim has been issued, it’s crucial to determine which party has caused the project to run late. A delay analysis is a scientific investigation (typically performed by a forensic scheduling expert) into what caused the delay and who is responsible. 

Broadly speaking, every delay analysis follows these three phases:

  • Phase #1: Investigation (collection of project documentation, witness depositions, site and plans inspection, etc.)
  • Phase #2: Description (a comprehensive analysis of the facts and gathered during the first phase)
  • Phase #3: Impartial, evidence-based presentation of the findings to a mediator, judge, jury or an arbitrator to prove the claim and resolve the dispute.

The majority of delay claims reach the delay expert after the project has already been completed. Since analyzing the delay impact with the causes and effects of the delaying activities is exceedingly complex, this type of claims analysis can only be performed by a highly experienced and knowledgeable forensic expert. 

How do you carry out a delay analysis?

There are a number of forensic schedule analysis techniques that can be used to quantify delays that happened during the course of a construction project. The analyst must be aware of the limitations and strengths of each approach to determine which one best fits the case at hand.

The most frequently used methodologies in construction delay analysis are: 

Time impact analysis

Also referred to as TIA, this is a schedule delay analysis methodology that adds changes or delays to the schedule, which are then updated up to the day prior to when the delay happened. This approach enables an engineer to predict or forecast a delay’s impact on a project’s completion date.

Collapsed as-built / as-built but-for analysis

This retrospective schedule delay analysis method pinpoints the earliest date that a required milestone (or the project completion date) could have been achieved but-for the contractor or owner-caused delay that happened during the construction project.

Time slice window analysis

This is an observational, windows-based methodology that focuses on comparing as-built, as-planned, and updated project schedules to quantify and identify delays to the critical path of the project.

Impacted as-planned analysis

This methodology involves the insertion of delay events into an as-planned or baseline schedule to identify the hypothetical impact of these events. It includes modifying the as-planned or baseline schedule to incorporate logic and activities that represent delay events. 

However, due to not relying on as-built data, impacted as-planned analysis is considered to be a hypothetical model.

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