Common are the construction projects that do not go as planned. Schedules slip as unexpected problems occur and pressure builds on all project participants to “catch up” and still preserve the project budget and completion date.

It is typical in these circumstances to see acceleration and delay claims arising from these schedule impacts. Claims for direct delay damages, such as extended general conditions or liquidated damages, are fairly straightforward.

But a more troublesome area of claims is when out-of-sequence or compressed work causes a loss of labor productivity. Such claims are vigorously debated and the subject of much controversy.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (“ASCE”) has tackled this thorny issue lately and promulgated a standard for identifying, quantifying and proving loss of productivity (“LOP”). This ASCE standard is designed to assist in the preparation and evaluation of LOP claims.

Numerous studies and authorities are cited in the ASCE publication in support of the standard. Practitioners arguing for and against LOP claims will be able to cite this industry standard in support of their positions.

While the ASCE publication is only now circulating in DRAFT form, it is expected to be adopted in the coming months. When promulgated, it will not be binding upon ASCE members, but may provide valuable guidance.