Winter Protection

What is Winter Protection ?

Definition of Winter Protection in Construction

Term that refers to all of the methods to protect construction activities from the cold, snow and ice. Winter protection is inclusive of such things as, hot water for concrete mixes, additives to accelerate and stop concrete from freezing, winter protection blankets to keep the concrete from freezing, heating applications such as propane heaters, sanding of the perimeter, snow plowing, etc. Any item that is specific to the winter cold and snow. Contractors must schedule their projects in accordance with the weather conditions, to allow the proper financial preparation for operations in the winter. Special provisions are also required for the hot weather, however, winter protection and work in the winter and cold, is a more costly situation and condition. The effect of work efficiency during the winter months causes delays and inefficiency. All of these conditions cause an increase in cost on the project and must be anticipated by the contractor when first preparing the initial proposal, as well as identified, if change orders force the schedule into the winter months. The proper management of the winter protection costs on the project are extremely important to the contractor for success on the project. If too much money is anticipated, even if the money will be required, this may cause the contractor to exceed the owner’s budget and that contractor will lose the opportunity to construct the project. If, however, not enough money is allowed, the project will slow down during the winter months and losses will be incurred due to that inefficiency. Winter protection should be an allowance that is carried by all contractors bidding a project. Or another method of handling the winter protection is for the architect and owner to remove any financial concerns from the responsibility of the contrasctor. In this manner, the owner and architect can manage the actual cost of the required winter protection, with the successful bidder, on a time and material basis. This is the most efficient and economical method of managing winter protection on a project. In this manner, it does not matter what type of winter occurs, the owner and the architect, or construction manager can manage the cost of the winter protection as they consider appropriate. The financing of winter conditions is a balance of cost verses schedule and this balancing is much better left to the professional management and scheduling skills of the owner, architect or construction manager, and not the contractors and subcontractors.