Accelerated Construction Schedule

Roadway construction sign telling drivers to expect delays.

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If you are a contractor and are looking at your construction schedule, you may notice that you have fallen behind. There are many activities lagging, and you are now wondering how to accelerate the process.

The first step you should review is how to simplify things and determine if it's due to your subcontractor or supplier, although if you are the GC, then it is all your responsibility. However, there are other circumstances that might prompt you to accelerate the construction process. Let's see and understand the implications of a construction acceleration.

When to Accelerate a Construction Project

Sometimes the project team or the stakeholders will ask you to accelerate the construction project. These parties can be receiving some advantage of this accelerated process. Or the increased speed to completion might avoid working in certain weather conditions or realize contract bonuses.

There is always the need to accelerate the construction project if—after a schedule analysis—the project team determines they are behind schedule, and the contract requires you to do so. If you are facing this situation, always try to complete this analysis.

  • Does the contract has a clause for acceleration?
  • Are you being compensated for such efforts?
  • How long does the acceleration plan will last?
  • How many resources are available to complete this process?
  • Which activities can be altered when performing the acceleration process?
  • How does the project end date will be modified following this acceleration process?
  • Have you analyzed all costs related to this plan?
  • How is the information is going to be relayed to all project team members?
  • When does it start, when it will be finished?

Construction Acceleration Proposal

If you have decided to follow the acceleration path and you are entitled to recover the cost associated with the plan, then a proposal must be submitted within a certain amount of time. Normally the contract will have specific guidelines on how and when to submit this claim; however, in the scenario that no guidelines are provided a proposal must contain the following items:


Prepare a schedule providing the project team with information on how much time will be saved. It is important to identify when the plan will start when it will end and the impact on related activities. A revised schedule will follow the acceleration plan proposal.


Not only the additional efforts, crews, and material needed to expedite the process. Also consider the waste generated, general conditions, additional space required to receive material, tools, and equipment, and costs associated with the plan. Sometimes contractors will not include the management efforts as well as the extra coordination between contractors to complete the plan. Overhead costs shall also be included in the proposal.

Exclusions and Assumptions

A very important part of the proposal is the list of activities that will be impacted. But most importantly, you will need to provide a contingency plan if the acceleration process does not result in the expected savings, either on time or costs. List all the risks associated with the plan and how they can be avoided. 

Construction Acceleration Techniques

When managing contracts and construction projects that require you to accelerate the construction process, these are the most common techniques used by construction professionals.

  • Cement concrete with admixtures
  • Rapid setting concrete
  • Roller compacted concrete
  • Precast concrete
  • Modular construction
  • Innovative contracting methods
  • Off-site substructure construction 
  • Working overtime or implementing a new shift
  • Re-sequencing work activities.

How to Recover Costs Associated with the Acceleration

When the acceleration is due to a request by the project owner or your customer, then some of the costs can be recouped. Before starting the process, there has to be an agreement on why and who will be responsible for the cost incurred during the process. Some of the costs that you will need to be tracking are:

  • Labor
  • Materials 
  • Equipment and Tools
  • Subcontractors 
  • General Conditions
  • Overhead and Permits

To keep track of those, you will need a separate accounting string or block to keep track of those costs separately. Once those costs have been incurred, you will need to put together a request for the extra costs with all the timesheets, invoices, rental equipment details, and supporting evidence of the material incurred in the process. However, sometimes, we will be using equipment that is already on-site, so you will be entitled to claim a portion of its rental fee since it is not being used 100% of the time for this activity or acceleration process. The same rule will apply to overhead and general conditions.