Delays, Acceleration, and Inefficiency (Lost Productivity)

David Adelstein is a Florida Bar board certified construction lawyer that represents developers, owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, and sureties in various construction schedule time-impact driven claims.  These claims include delay claims (claims for extended general conditions and claims for liquidated damages), inefficiency / lost productivity claims, and acceleration claims.

Delays to construction are typically proven by delays to the critical path of the schedule.  If there is a delay to the critical path, there will be a delay to the substantial completion date of the project.  This substantial completion date is important because a delay to this date can trigger an owner’s assessment of liquidated damages against the contractor and the contractor’s claim for extended general conditions.

Inefficiency / lost productivity claims are claims where the contractor incurred increased costs because its labor and equipment are not being used efficiently or as-planned.  There are various approaches to calculate lost productivity although the best approach is known as the measured mile where the contractor’s performance is measured or compared during an impacted period of time where it was forced to work inefficiently with a benchmark period of time where it was actually working efficiently.

Acceleration claims arise when either the contractor is directed to expedite its performance, typically due to an excusable delay, in order to complete the project earlier than it would have factoring in the delay.  This is known as a direct acceleration claim.  Also, these claims arise when the contractor seeks additional time to complete the project due to an excusable delay, the owner is unwilling to grant the contractor the additional time, and the contractor is forced to incur increased costs to overcome the delay.  This is known as a constructive acceleration claim.

Check out this chart for a better understanding of scheduling terms applicable to delays, acceleration, and inefficiency claims.

David Adelstein has experience prosecuting and defending delay, lost productivity / inefficiency, and acceleration claims.  He also lectures and blogs about these issues at

You can also check out this ebook on delay modeled after a presentation that discusses key delay topics using hypotheticals:

Please contact David Adelstein at or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding delay, acceleration, and inefficiency claims. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.


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