Contractors' Perspectives on Delays in Healthcare Projects: A Tale of Two Contrasting Provisions

Niraj Thurairajah, Akila Pramodh Rathnasinghe*, Charlie Roberts, Brodie McAdam, Allan Abwunza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Many construction projects are delayed due to a range of factors, including the unique spatial and environmental context of every construction site, the challenges of maintaining quality, and the timing of decision making around design. In consequence, construction contracts include mechanisms to accommodate delay while maintaining enforceability. Different standard forms of contract (SFC) adopt different approaches to managing delay and lack consistency in accommodating delays of the same nature. This study selects two SFCs commonly used in UK construction projects, New Engineering Contract (NEC) and Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) suites, and proposes a common approach to managing delays, focusing particularly on the handling of the compensation event (CE) and Relevant Event (RE) mechanisms in those respective contracts. Using a qualitative methodology, a multi-case study analysis was conducted comprising four general contractors utilizing JCT and NEC SFCs. The case studies enabled the analytic comparison of delay-caused challenges as between different projects delivered using different SFCs. The findings reveal that while on JCT-based projects general contractors have typically suffered cash flow and programming issues caused by employer failures to adhere to contractual timescales for assessing requests for extensions of time, on NEC-based projects general contractors have suffered CE-related issues associated with programming and administration. Further findings were that the common challenges of both CE and RE management processes were high volume, assessment and timescales of claims, as well as timing and collaboration. Developing from these findings, recommendations are made for additional clauses to be added to SFCs to achieve a consistent approach towards construction delays.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Jul 2024

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