Acceleration is the speeding up of the work process in a construction project by either the general contractor or property owner. The acceleration of a project typically results in the general contractor or sub-contractor having to increase the number of work hours or shifts, hire additional labor, and increase resources such as equipment and supplies, all of which increase the costs associated with the project for the contractor.
Acceleration can be classified as either directed acceleration or constructive acceleration.
Directed acceleration occurs when the owner directs the general contractor (or when the general contractor directs the sub-contractor) to expedite the work process of the project. In this type of acceleration, the owner is considered responsible for the contractor's increased costs (acceleration costs) to complete the project prior to the contracted completion date. It is not uncommon for Tampa construction law firms to include a provision that allows the owner or general contractor to accelerate the project.
When faced with an excusable delay, which is generally outlined within the contract, the general contractor or subcontractor is entitled to compensation for the increase in costs incurred as a result of the delay and a reasonable time extension to complete the project.
Constructive acceleration occurs when the owner denies the contractor's request for a time extension to complete the project, which forces the contractor to accelerate the work process to complete their contractual obligations within the original timetable despite the presence of an excusable delay. This results in an increase in costs for the contractor and typically leads to an acceleration claim. To ensure that you are fairly compensated for your constructive acceleration claims, contact a Tampa construction law firm for advice.
Necessary Elements of a Constructive Acceleration Claim
In order for the contractor to establish a valid constructive acceleration claim and to recover compensation, the contractor must prove the following elements:
1. The contractor must prove that the delay is indeed excusable, and that they did not in part or in whole cause the delay;
2. The contractor must provide timely notice to the owner of the delay with a request for a time extension;
3. The owner must deny the contractor's request for a time extension;
4. An expressed or implied order by the owner to accelerate the project; and
5. The contractor accelerated the project and incurred an increase in costs as a result.
Although there may be some cases in which the contractor is not required to request a time extension, it is highly recommended for the contractor to make the request to avoid the defense of voluntary acceleration. This request for a time extension should include a specific date by which if no time extension is granted or no response from the owner is received, the contractor will assume that the owner has denied the request and will be forced to accelerate the project to meet the contracted completion date. This type of notice may encourage the owner to take action and may help avoid an acceleration claim.
It is best to consult a construction law firm in Tampa if you think you are entitled to an acceleration claim.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.