The time for completion on a construction project is of great importance and is sometimes referred to as being of the essence. Having a known completion date that the contractor shall be willing to commit to carries both advantages and implications. That is, if the contractor inexcusably overruns this completion date, he becomes liable for delay damages which usually take the form of liquidated damages (LD). During the course of construction, several circumstances may surface which have the effect of the time for completion to be said to have become at large, a situation that can hinder the triggering of the LD clause by employers. This paper aims to explain the concept of time at large and its reasons and implications, while viewing its applicability under both the common and civil law systems. It highlights the conditions whose prevalence justifies the time on the construction contract to be called to have become at large. The work represents the foundation for constructing a method that can aid in systematically testing if such a calling can be viewed as justifiable.
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