"Contractors are an eternally optimistic bunch and never seem to allow for any weather related impacts on construction projects."
Many projects are completed late so my last two posts focused on project delays. The first; ’10 reasons your project is behind schedule’ looked at delays caused by the contractor and the second post; ‘Is your client delaying your project?’ considered delays created by our clients.
Many readers raised bad weather as a major cause of delays. Yes, inclement weather can seriously delay projects, but in many cases should we not have made allowance for some of the weather events?
Contractors are an eternally optimistic bunch and never seem to allow for any weather related impacts on construction projects. What, are you really going to work on a twelve month long project and think you won’t encounter rain, winds, summer, and winter at some stage in the course of your project! Changing seasons - is your construction project ready?
If you have 500mm (20 inches) of rain in 3 months it will almost certainly disrupt your construction project. But, if the average for that region is 500mm for those 3 months we shouldn’t be surprised and we should have made allowance for rain disruptions in our construction schedule and taken mitigating measures to reduce the impact of the rain on construction work. #constructionschedule
"It's professional suicide if you knowingly accept a schedule which doesn’t allow for normal weather conditions."
Contractors often put the blame on clients for their unreasonable schedules and say it’s impossible to allow additional time for delays caused by rain – average rainfall which will almost certainly occur! Well that’s professional suicide if you knowingly accept a schedule which doesn’t allow for weather conditions which we can expect in that region during the time you will be constructing the project – weather conditions which will almost certainly occur. Instead of knowingly risking your project and betting against weather events not occurring, even though they happen on average, you might consider taking on the odds at your local casino. Mistakes that impact construction schedules/programmes
But some contractors do make their life even harder. Is it possible to at least avoid some of these weather delays? #weatherdelays
How does inclement weather impact our construction projects?
"Recovering from one hour of rain could take days while we pump work areas dry, clean debris and wait for materials to dry out"
Many only see weather disruptions as the direct time lost during the bad weather. Unfortunately some events can cause damage to partly completed structures which could take days or weeks to repair. Recovering from one hour of rain could take days while we pump work areas dry, clean debris and wait for materials to dry out. Adequate insurance can cover us for some of the damages but they usually don’t cover for the delays caused to the project.
Can we mitigate some of the weather delays?
"Consider different foundation solutions to minimise excavations which have to be done in the rainy season."
There are a number of measures contractors can take to at least mitigate some of the delays caused by bad weather.
Offsite weather can also impact construction projects
"Sometimes it pays to keep sufficient stock or get materials in earlier to avoid disruption caused by heavy rains."
We should also consider the weather risks to activities happening off-site. Items being manufactured off-site may be hampered by poor weather. Will your supplier be able to continue manufacturing if they experience poor weather? I’ve often suffered delays because suppliers couldn’t paint the items because of wet weather. Choosing an alternate supplier that has covered manufacturing facilities may be more expensive but could avoid the risk of poor weather impacting delivery.
Understand your transport networks and how poor weather can disrupt these. Sometimes it pays to keep sufficient stock or get construction materials in earlier to avoid disruption caused by heavy rains. We have had projects cut-off from major centres for days.
Construction weather delays are the norm
"We can almost guarantee that most construction projects will be impacted by inclement weather."
We can almost guarantee that most construction projects will be impacted by inclement weather. In most cases this shouldn’t be an excuse for delays, although unfortunately these days more projects seem to be interrupted by extreme weather events which couldn’t have been foreseen.
We can prevent, or at least mitigate many of the delays by understanding the weather patterns in the area and allowing for these expected weather disruptions in our construction schedule. Proper planning can also mean that weather dependent activities are scheduled for times when better weather can be expected. We can also implement mitigating measures to reduce the damage and return the project to full production as quickly as possible. Prevent poor weather from disrupting your construction project
Contractors shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the responsibility of extreme weather events or those that couldn’t have been reasonably expected. They should therefore be cautious in accepting contracts where they could be liable for these delays.
Much of what I've said seems very basic, yet, almost certainly some contractors won't put bad weather mitigation in place, and their project will be delayed.
How has inclement weather impacted your construction project? Are weather disruptions a major cause of delays for your projects?
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14/9/2016 06:25:32 am
We have developed a software program for managing weather related risk on construction sites.
9/5/2018 07:57:09 am
We need Monsoon Season Stormwater lvlitigation plan
20/4/2017 02:22:54 pm
Thanks, I hope it will be useful on your projects in the future.
For our line painting and reflector projects we were constantly having to adjust crews and schedules due to rain, snow or ice.
15/11/2018 03:39:34 pm
Thank you for sharing the information as this would really help people or the contractors in their work. Will look forward to read out more blogs from you. Much appreciated.
25/11/2018 12:35:04 pm
Thanks Elena, it's always good to get feedback and know that my articles are useful and helping people. Regards, Paul
18/6/2019 09:35:19 pm
I never knew that one hour of rain could lead to days worth of pumping areas dry, cleaning debris, and waiting for materials to dry out! My husband and I are thinking of building a new house, but we live in an area that is quite stormy. Hopefully we can find great contractors who know how to work around these issues well!
9/6/2020 09:27:44 pm
I like what you said about working earlier in the day to avoid summer heat when building a well. My sister wants to get some extra water in the coming weeks. I'll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for well contractors who can help her with this.
25/8/2020 03:36:55 pm
I love to read on construction software management software and tools because of i am also from same department. Thank you.
27/10/2020 03:04:18 pm
I am a Demolition contractor in Geelong. Glad to read some tips from your blog. Thanks
18/6/2021 10:42:17 am
I do agree when you shared that most projects seem to be interrupted by extreme weather conditions which couldn’t have been predicted. It is important to ensure that the site is well cleaned-up before the workers can start working again. I would like to think if a company encounters a situation where the construction is interrupted with extreme weather condition, it should hire a reliable service that can help clean up the area.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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