The Pre-Construction Meeting
Henry Staggs, RRO
July 23rd, 2020
Setting the tone
The pre-construction meeting, also known as the pre-installation meeting (which is more accurate honestly), sets the tone and pace for the entire project. The conference is probably the most important meeting we will have once is awarded. Even so, contractors will tend to send the wrong people to the meeting. Or come to the meeting already to leave before the meeting starts. I can not stress enough how important this meeting is. This is everyone's last chance to get any answers or discuss any matter before the work begins. Once the project starts, it can be very challenging to address issues that really should have been addressed during the meeting.
What do we do at the meeting?
The entire point of this meeting is to communicate project logistics, technical issues, and any other project relevant concerns. The owner, contractor, and consultant should use this meeting to get on the same page and make sure all the little details are addressed. Doing this will help assure the project starts right and will enhance the likelihood that the project will be successful.
This meeting will discuss the project logistics with the owner. Establish loading areas, drop zones, parking, and portable facilities. We will discuss the rules of the site, the roles, and responsibilities of each person, the chain of command, review the documents, and communication processes. We will also discuss things like how changes orders are submitted, what the owner's accounts payable procedure is.
When is the meeting?
The meeting should be conducted no less than one or two weeks from the contractor's proposed start date. This will give the contractor the time they need to make any arrangements required to comply with the owner's requirements. Conducting a pre-construction meeting too close to the start date is not helpful, there is a chance for conflict and miscommunications if the contractor is not willing to participate in a pre-construction meeting. The owner might re-consider them as the installing contractor, and choose someone else.
The meeting is a required meeting and is never optional.
Who should be in attendance?
Let me say this as clear as I can say it. As a matter of policy, if the right people are not in attendance. PRC may recommend to the owner that we cancel the meeting and reschedule it for a time when the right people can be in attendance. This could delay the start of the project and cause disruptions and inconveniences for everyone.
The people who will be directly involved in the supervision of the production of this project MUST attend the meeting. This could be the foreman, the superintendent, the project manager, even the contractor themselves. It's straightforward if this person has a say in what happens on the site, they need to be in the meeting.
If there any other trades involved in this project, the same would be expected of them. And if there are other trades involved in this project, this meeting is even more important then it's was before. Coordination with other contractors is absolute if we wall want success and a relatively problem-free project.
The pre-construction meeting sets the tone and the pace for the rest of the job. How the bidder and other participants conduct themselves at this meeting is a reflection of things to come. Take the conference and your role in it, very seriously, and we will increase our chances of a relatively problem-free project we can all be proud of.
Henry Staggs, RRO