To establish entitlement for a construction claim based on adverse weather, it is generally necessary to prove that conditions varied substantially from the normal average, or reasonably expected weather for a particular area during a specified season of the year. A hurricane in Iowa would likely be a successful adverse weather event. Two hurricanes during the season in Florida might be questionable as adverse weather events. Ten years has been used as an acceptable period of time to establish weather patterns for comparison with “unusually severe” weather of a particular period of performance.

Time Extensions

In order to obtain a time extension for days of unusually severe weather, Holloway has found that the contractor should be able to show that the adverse weather actually prevented him from keeping the performance schedule. In one Holloway case, the Government was permitted to offset the amount of time due for unusually severe weather by the amount of unusually favorable weather during an earlier month.

Historically, it has been Holloway’s experience that a contractor has been entitled to an extension of time for the number of days that severe weather exceeded the severe weather days that could have been anticipated from established weather patterns. In recent history, contractors have been allowed extensions in excess of counted days, as it has been established that the total impact of severe weather is not the only number of days counted, but also can include the number of days that job progress has been affected by severe weather. For example, if a contractor is doing backfilling and compaction work, and has four days of unseasonably heavy rain  which renders the soil too wet for compaction for another eight days, the affect on the job is longer than the number of days of rain. If an owner-caused problem shifts the contractor’s work from Summer to Winter, the additional days and extra costs of December work may be recovered.

Of course, many of the current contract forms such as the AIA General Condition document address adverse weather conditions and claims.

The Holloway Consulting Group, LLC
Construction Claims Experts
10885 W. Beloit Pl.
Lakewood, CO 80227
Denver Phone: (303) 984-1941
Fax: (303) 716-0432

Email: steve.holloway@disputesinconstruction.com
Blog: disputesinconstruction.com
Web: hcgexperts.com

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