Total float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the project. Why it is important? and who owns it? this is what we will discuss in this article.
When it comes to the Extention of Time (EOT) claim, the total float plays the basic role of defining the days delayed. That is why there is always an argument about who owns the total float. There are 3 scenarios of total float in a construction project:
1- The client owns the total float:
In that case, the client delays which are relevant to activities with total float are not counted as EOT delays until all the total float are burned. In other words, if an activity is related to the client and has a 30-day total float, the client can delay this activity up to 30 days and the contractor cannot claim for EOT.
2- The contractor owns the total float:
In that case, the contractor delays which are relevant to activities with total float are not counted as delays until all the total floats are burned (Although the variance between planned % and Actual % will be impacted).
3- The project owns the total float:
This is the fairest scenario in my opinion. The total floats belong to the project. Whoever (Client or Contractor) burns it first (uses it) owns it.
Unless it is clearly mentioned in the contract who owns the total float, the most common case is the project owns its floats. The problem will be raised when there are dependencies between client activity and contractor activity where both are delayed and there is a float on this activity. Who will use the available total floats and who will bear the delays? Therefore, scenario 3 “The project owns the total float” is reasonable in my opinion.