Rome wasn't built in a day, imagine how long it would have taken if they needed to pull permits!
There are many intrinsic issues that come to play when we discuss project delays and material cost escalation. Obstacles that are outside of a Construction Managers control such as weather are unavoidable. Building materials that trade as commodities in the markets world wide can destroy a budget and get an otherwise qualified construction estimator fired. One could argue these things are unavoidable and outside of our control. I think a bigger issue would be delays that are caused by municipalities and their various levels of bureaucracy. Even well intended municipal employees find themselves causing unintended delays in projects. Is it the system? Or the people? All I know is that we need to squarely place these delays where they are derived from and have a frank discussion on how to improve. Its a fact that liquidated damages (LD's) are imposed on General Contractors on most public works projects, but no LD's are imposed on permit or inspection delays? Would not that be fair and equitable? If someone were to propose such a solution it would be akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. Warren Buffet is known to say "Praise by name, Criticize by category". I don't like finger pointing either, but?