Why Do Construction Projects
Suffer Impacts

This is a subject a mile wide, a mile deep and an immeasurable length. It is a living, growing organism with an increasingly entangled structure. As we, in the businesses surrounding and the business of engineered construction, seek to define and fully-understand construction impacts as they metamorphosis and further entangle. No project delivery system or personnel training has put an end to impacts, and it is doubtful impacts will ever disappear.

Our first and largest impact causing problems is a human being. Most of us are problem-makers not solvers. The discovery of a problem intrigues us and we, most often, nurture it into a full-blown impact. We enjoy the challenges impacts create.

In the process of conceptualizing, designing, building and finalizing an engineered construction project, possibilities of impacts abound.

There are two major enemies to the construction process - Contract time and the completeness/quality of the contract documents. Both of these topics are by themselves problem areas, but when joined together, one amplifies the other.

Most of the time project owners seek the lowest bids which either will find the least experienced bidder or a company so badly hurting for work that they bid low and become change order happy.

Over the years with the injection of the legal system many, if not most, of us are not willing to sit-down and workout impacts. Many in the ENR industries have lost or refuse to use our negotiating skills. We refuse to remember that we are in one of the most risk laden professions that there is.

Have We Learned From
Our Past Experiences

The answer Is YES & NO.

There are now many sophisticated construction companies and for most of them the answer is YES. There are still many construction companies who are "cowboys," some even tell you that they are and appear proud of this.

Often, even if the team members know better, they are in too much of a rush to use their knowledge. The net result is that today we suffer many of the same impacts and handling of these impacts as we have for the last 30 years. Now, with all of the new computerized methods and new delivery methods we have even more impact types today.

We humans will see to it that construction impacts evolve and hang around for a long time.

Page Open = index.html


James G. Zack, Jr.
Executive Director
Navigant Construction Forum,
Navigant Consulting, Inc.



Richard J. Long, P.E.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Long International, Inc.


Please, Be a Contributor!

Please select a subject from the drop-down menus that you know well and prepare text or a white paper, and submit it to the The completion of this site depends on offerings from contributors like you.

You will be listed as a contributor.


Impact Documents

Field Work Stoppage

Activity/Task Work Stoppage


OSHA Standards

Index of OSHA Standards
In PDF Format with Hot Links

OSHA Standards
In PDF Format with Hot Links


Speed Memos/E-mails

Delay Notification

Cost Impact Notification