Avoiding the Construction Schedule Float Game

Often in today’s fast-paced construction industry, critical path method (CPM) schedules are used as a tool to sequester project float as a hedge against potential project risks. Float is how long a specific task can be delayed without causing disruptive delays to key tasks that follow it. The practice of sequestering float violates a major tenet of most construction contracts, one that calls for schedule float to be shared among the contracting parties. Contractors sequester float by padding durations for construction activities and by using preferential, or soft, logic. On the other hand, owners sequester float by imposing in the contract longer times for submittal reviews. Time is money, and when it is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, the game of float is inevitable. Moreover, certain provisions in a construction contract often exacerbate the situation by creating a kind of “float-management paradox.” Read More > >

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