October 12, 2016

How CA Can Help, Part II: Preconstruction Meeting


The Preconstruction Meeting is the project milestone that represents the transitional point between the design phase and the physical construction of the project. Preconstruction meetings are critical to ensuring that the entire project team has a complete understanding of the owner’s vision for a project, and are usually required by the contract. These meetings are the best time to establish proper expectations, requirements, and communication protocols to facilitate the implementation of that vision in a coordinated, efficient manner during the construction phase.

Preconstruction activities typically commence with the contractors Notice to Proceed. This meeting is the point that the Construction Administration team takes a more active role in the project. Depending on the size and complexity of the project the Preconstruction meeting could be a short informal discussion with the owner and contractor, or may be a more formal event with all stakeholders in attendance and a Pre-Construction Agenda to help guide the process. A larger sophisticated project may require several activity specific Preconstruction Meetings.

Preconstruction Meeting Attendees

Representatives from:

  • Owner
  • Design Team
  • General Contractor (generally meeting organizer)
  • Subcontractors
  • Facilitator (depending on project type/delivery method, could be a third party or team member)

Each discipline representative should be familiar their respective scope of work and be prepared to provide insight and guidance as to the subtle nuances of project specific requirements. Each of these participants brings a perspective derived from a wealth of relevant expertise.

Preconstruction Meeting Process

  1. Formulate a goal (i.e. developing client relationship, providing potential cost savings or defining proper documentation protocol)
  2. Develop a detailed project-specific agenda covering:
    • Construction schedule
    • Submittal process
    • Site observations
    • Correspondence and documentation protocol
    • Application for payments
    • Progress meetings
  3. Meeting Minutes
    • Designate a minute taker
    • Develop a list based on the meeting agenda
    • Include a summary of discussions for each agenda item and any decisions made related to the items
  4. Minutes should be distributed in a timely manner to all attendees for review of accuracy, as this is a permanent record of the meeting for future reference.

In line with Cleary Zimmermann’s “People First” philosophy, our Construction Administration team uses the Preconstruction Meeting to establish a shared sense of responsibility and cultivate the strong team relationships that become so valuable when addressing the challenges inherent in construction. Whatever your company philosophy, values, or mission statement compels you to do, the Preconstruction meeting is the opportunity to establish a clear fundamental understanding of project requirements, each participant’s role, and establish the general “ground rules” for project communication and administrative procedures. Each component of the Preconstruction meeting agenda in will be discussed further in future blogs!

By Don Gonzales, Director of Construction Administration