Who Owns the Float in a Construction Schedule?

In construction project management, the term “float” refers to the amount of time a particular activity can be delayed without impacting the overall project timeline. It is an essential concept as it allows project managers to effectively manage resources, prioritize tasks, and ensure timely completion of the project. However, determining who owns the float in a construction schedule can sometimes be a matter of debate.

Typically, the float is considered project float or total float, and it is owned by the project manager or the party responsible for managing the project. The project manager has the authority to allocate and adjust the float to different activities as needed, ensuring that the project stays on track and meets its deadlines. This ownership allows the project manager to make decisions regarding the use of float to manage risks, resolve conflicts, and optimize the overall project schedule.

It is important to note that while the project manager owns the float in the construction schedule, it doesn’t mean they have complete control over it. Float is influenced by various factors such as contractual obligations, dependencies between activities, and the availability of resources. These factors can limit the project manager’s ability to fully utilize the float or make adjustments.

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1. Can the contractor claim ownership of the float?
No, the contractor doesn’t own the float in a construction schedule. The project manager is responsible for managing the float and making decisions related to its allocation.

2. Can the client influence the float in the schedule?
The client may have some influence on the float, especially if they request changes or additions to the project scope. However, the project manager ultimately has the authority to manage the float and make adjustments accordingly.

3. Can float be transferred between activities?
Yes, float can be transferred between activities if a project manager determines that a particular activity requires more time to complete and the overall project schedule can still be met.

4. Can float be used to accelerate the project schedule?
In some cases, float can be used strategically to accelerate the project schedule by adjusting the timing of certain activities. However, this should be done cautiously to ensure that the project doesn’t become vulnerable to risks or compromises quality.

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5. What happens if the float is not utilized?
If the float is not utilized, it may indicate that the project is progressing ahead of schedule or that there is unnecessary slack in the schedule. In such cases, the project manager may reevaluate the schedule and reallocate the float to optimize the project timeline.

6. Can float be extended beyond the project completion date?
No, float cannot be extended beyond the project completion date as it would result in delays and impact the overall project timeline.

7. Can float be bought or sold?
Float is not a tangible asset and cannot be bought or sold. It is a time management tool used by project managers to ensure the successful completion of construction projects.

In conclusion, the float in a construction schedule is typically owned by the project manager. While project managers have the authority to manage and allocate the float, its utilization is influenced by various factors. Understanding the ownership and management of float is crucial for effective construction project scheduling.

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