Two weeks ago, I was scheduled to leave town for an out-of-country trip.  But the snow storms in the Southeast crippled my layover city (Atlanta) on the eve before my travel date.  So when I received a call from my airline indicating that my flight had been cancelled, the only option was to leave earlier than planned.  I had not packed yet and I was forced into acceleration mode.


Many contractors have to deal with unanticipated schedule delays and are required to accelerate their efforts to finish the work on time.  In the arena of federal contracting, constructive acceleration can be considered a constructive change.  Generally, acceleration includes the following elements:

  1. The contractor must be entitled to a time extension for excusable delays.
  2. The contractor must have notified the owner and requested the time extension.
  3. The owner must have either directed the contractor to accelerate work or refused to extend the contract time.
  4. The contractor should have given notice that it intends to claim for acceleration.
  5. The contractor’s cost must increase as a result of the acceleration.

Disputes over acceleration may be avoided by recognizing delays at the time they occur and determining the impact of those delays as early as possible.  To document the claim, the contractor should maintain a good schedule that is updated regularly.