Bookkeeping Procedures for the Application of the Concept of Pre-Allocation of Total Float

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Virginia Tech


With the increasing complexity in construction projects, monitoring project schedule and managing projects effectively is becoming increasingly important. Most projects being deadline oriented, timely completion becomes a must. Like every industry, the construction industry too lays a lot of emphasis on timely completion which makes it necessary to monitor the project schedule very closely. A schedule overrun is never predicted at the start of the project but during the course of the project, even the slightest change can result in delays.

As per the current scheduling practices, float is considered free. It is an expiring resource and hence the party to the use the float first owns the float. The concept endorsed by the court for analyzing delay claims is the proximate cause concept. As per this concept, the party which is the immediate cause to a particular delay is held responsible for that delay irrespective of what has happened before in the project. Due the ambiguous nature of its interpretation, the present concept on float management has now become one the primary reasons for disputes amongst the participating parties. Parties in contract are always trying to appropriate float to suit their interests. This is why total float management has gained this level of importance in today's industry.

To handle this issue of total float management more efficiently, Dr. Prateapusanond (2003) proposes a new concept of total float management as an effort towards a more fair and equitable system. This concept respects the dynamic nature of construction projects and recognizes float to be an asset for both parties. The new concept proposes to allocate float in the ratio 50:50 between the parties at the start of the project. This pre-allocated float owned by each party is called the Allowable Total Float (ATF). The implementation of this concept ensures that the parties are now aware that consumption of float in a way that it affects critical activities will expose them potential damages.

This concept is an effort towards a more fair and equitable system for total float management. It appears impressive on paper but its practicality and applicability remains a major concern. This research is aimed at testing the practicality of the proposed concept of pre-allocation of total float. It introduces bookkeeping procedures that will facilitate the application of the concept of Pre-allocation of total float. These procedures have been developed and tested on certain case studies to make sure that they are robust. Once their ability to handle scheduling issues is determined, the bookkeeping procedure along with the concept of pre-allocation of total float is applied to a real construction project. This research presents an in depth analysis of the nature of the proposed concept of pre-allocation of total float, the scheduling issues which this concept does not address to, and certain assumptions which could be used in conjunction with the present concept to make it robust in nature.



Start-Finish Database, Allowable Total Float Database, Allocating Delay Responsibilities, Pre-Allocation of Total Float, Impact Analysis, Total Float Management