Acceleration of works happens when the contractor takes deliberate steps to step up the pace of works. This could be for the reason of making up for past delay, or to reduce the time period for completion.
When acceleration of works is required, the work is usually re-programmed, and more resources would be employed to complete the task. There are two basic types of acceleration, namely acceleration that is initiated by the contractor, or that which is instructed by the contract administrator.
A contractor-initiated acceleration happens because the contractor may need to redress any delays for which he is culpable. In such an instance, he won’t be entitled to claim additional costs.
A contractor may also initiate acceleration when he has applied for extension of time but the contract administrator disputes his entitlement to extension. In such a case, if it is later established that the contractor’s application for extension of time was in fact valid, he could then claim for costs.
As for acceleration instructed by the contract administrator, this is strictly governed by the provisions of the contract. A contract administrator cannot instruct for acceleration of works if there is no express term in the contract allowing him to do so.
Of course, a contract administrator can always instruct for acceleration of works if that is agreed by the contractor.
Usually, a contract administrator would instruct for acceleration of works if he is of the view that the contractor won’t be able to meet the deadline. The administrator may also instruct for acceleration if he wants to maintain the original completion period even though the contractor is entitled to extension of time.
The issue with acceleration is always: is the contractor entitled to claim additional costs for the acceleration, and if so, how much?
Kheng Hoe Advocates
Building contract and construction contract dispute lawyers
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