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Preconstruction Meeting

Preconstruction Meeting: what is it and why is it important

The preconstruction meeting is a fundamental activity for coordinating all parties involved in construction work. Discover how to manage it effectively

In the world of construction, the preconstruction phase plays a vital role as it defines critical aspects to address in the subsequent phases. By organizing specific preconstruction meetings, stakeholders can meticulously plan every activity, clarify roles, and identify risks to minimize disruptions and ensure project delivery within budget and on schedule.

In this article, you’ll learn how to properly schedule and conduct a preconstruction meeting, the typical topics discussed in these meetings, and how to enhance meeting organization using BIM coordination software, which you can use for free.

usBIM software interface useful for managing coordination meetings

usBIM software interface useful for managing coordination meetings

What is a Preconstruction Meeting

A preconstruction meeting is a strategic activity that takes place before the actual start of a construction project, involving stakeholders such as the client, designers, contractors, and other entities with various roles in the design and construction process.
The purpose of these meetings is to establish a clear and shared understanding of project requirements, objectives, and challenges. Typical topics discussed during a preconstruction meeting include planning, timelines, budget, logistics, risks, safety, and more.

Through these preliminary meetings, potential issues can be identified in advance, alternative solutions can be explored, and a clear and effective action plan can be implemented to ensure project success.

Preparing for Preconstruction Meetings

To ensure a productive preconstruction meeting where all stakeholders are aligned with common goals, it’s important to prepare for the meeting by following these fundamental steps:

  1. Gather Information: First and foremost, make sure you have all relevant project information, including drawings, specifications, budget, schedule, deadlines, and more.
  2. Define Objectives: Clearly establish meeting objectives, identifying topics to be discussed and decisions to be made.
  3. Identify Involved Parties: Based on established objectives, identify the involved parties and ensure their participation.
  4. Assign Roles and Responsibilities: Define upfront who will moderate the meeting and who will take notes, ensuring all roles and responsibilities are clear.
  5. Conduct Preliminary Research: Prior to the meeting, conduct in-depth research on potential project challenges or issues. This will help you be prepared to address complex issues.
  6. Review Previous Documents: If there have been prior meetings, review them to understand the current state of the project and which topics have already been discussed.
  7. Create an Agenda: Prepare a detailed agenda listing key discussion points for the meeting, helping keep the meeting focused and organized.
  8. Prepare a List of Questions: Prepare relevant questions to ask during the meeting, demonstrating your active involvement and commitment.
  9. Organize Resources: Verify that all necessary resources, such as audiovisual equipment and connectivity systems, are available and operational.
  10. Prepare Support Materials: Prepare support materials in advance, such as drawings, documents, and presentations, to share during the meeting.
How to prepare a coordination meeting - Infographic

How to prepare a coordination meeting – Infographic

Typical topics discussed in Preconstruction Meetings

To prepare participants for a preconstruction meeting, they should be informed in advance about the meeting’s agenda. Below is a comprehensive list of the main topics typically addressed during these meetings:

  • Project Objectives: Discuss the project’s overall and specific objectives, detailing its purpose, expectations, and desired outcomes.
  • Planning and Timelines: Examine the construction schedule, analyzing start and end times, work phases, and intermediate deadlines.
  • Budget and Financing: Discuss the available budget, required resources, and controls to ensure the project stays within financial limits.
  • Design and Specifications: Review architectural and engineering drawings, material and finish characteristics, and assess any necessary changes.
  • Organization and Logistics: Address logistics issues, such as material procurement, site access, waste management, and overall project organization.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Define the roles and responsibilities of each team member, including engineers, architects, contractors, and other consultants.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Clarify how communication will occur within the team and with the client throughout the project’s duration.
  • Risk Mitigation: Identify potential project-related risks and plan appropriate strategies to address and mitigate them.
  • Permits and Authorizations: Define the permits, approvals, and authorizations required to commence construction.
  • Health and Safety: Address issues related to worker and occupant safety and plan the necessary preventive measures.
  • Material Verification: Evaluate the materials to be used in construction, ensuring compliance with required quality and safety standards.
  • Document Management: Define how construction documentation will be managed, including progress reports, records, minutes, permits, safety plans, and more.
  • Environmental Aspects: Assess the project’s environmental impact and define strategies to comply with regulations and sustainable practices.
  • Future Planning: Define a detailed action plan for immediate and subsequent activities, specifying tasks and deadlines for each team member.

Conducting a Preconstruction Meeting

To effectively conduct a preconstruction meeting, I recommend:

  1. Carefully plan all aspects to be discussed.
  2. Select a suitable date and time for all involved parties.
  3. Ensure you have all necessary materials and documents.
  4. Begin the meeting with a clear introduction regarding the objectives.
  5. Present the agenda clearly.
  6. Follow the agenda precisely to facilitate discussion and promote collaboration among participants.
  7. Keep the conversation focused on the topic and prevent excessive deviations.
  8. Address issues objectively and calmly, seeking appropriate solutions for all participants.
  9. Assign tasks and responsibilities clearly, carefully documenting decisions made.
  10. Document all meeting details and conclude by summarizing key points.

To organize your preconstruction meetings easily and efficiently, you can take advantage of specific BIM coordination software, which you can use online for free, without the need for downloads. These tools provide a centralized virtual environment where project information is accessible in real-time from any location and device. This way, during preconstruction meetings, stakeholders can view 3D models, examine detailed drawings, and analyze technical specifications collaboratively, facilitating comprehensive project understanding for all participants, reducing ambiguities, and preventing costly errors. Additionally, these applications offer various other features:

  • Annotations and Comments on Models: Participants can highlight specific areas of interest or raise questions in real-time. These annotations can be addressed during the meeting, promoting clear and immediate communication among stakeholders.
  • Tracking of Project Changes Over Time: Every change is documented within the platform, ensuring everyone is always up-to-date with the latest versions. This helps avoid misalignments during preconstruction meetings and enables more focused and productive discussions.
  • Calendar Sharing, Reminders, and Automatic Notifications: Keep all participants informed about upcoming meetings and their agendas, ensuring maximum participation and preparation from all team members.
usBIM.calendar - Application integrated with the usBIM platform to manage coordination meetings

usBIM.calendar – Application integrated with the usBIM platform to manage coordination meetings