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Construction Glossary >
Liquidated Damages
Construction glossary

What are Liquidated Damages?

Liquidated damages in the construction industry are a pre-agreed sum specified in a construction contract, which the contractor will pay to the client in the event of a breach of contract, typically when there are delays in completion. This contract clause serves as a protection mechanism for the client, giving an estimate of the potential loss they might incur due to the delay. However, liquidated damages must be a genuine pre-estimate of loss, not a penalty. They are not intended to be a punishment, but a compensation for the client's actual anticipated loss. This approach mitigates the risks and provides predictability for both parties in a construction project. One party cannot claim more than the contracted liquidated damages. They bring certainty to the potentially complex process of calculating actual damages in construction delays, thus fostering an efficient dispute resolution.