4 Reasons Why Meeting Minutes Matter in Preconstruction

A preconstruction meeting is a meeting that happens when the building is still in the planning phase. At this stage, project team members meet with the building owner to discuss the project’s viability and other factors that can stall the project.

For a preconstruction meeting to be successful, all important stakeholders need to be in attendance. Failure to do so can result in costly errors. Here’s who should attend the meeting, as well as why meeting minutes matter in preconstruction.

Who should attend a preconstruction meeting?

The main contractor

A construction contractor is responsible for planning, supervising, and executing a project. 

Advancements in technology have allowed contractors to level up from manual documents for planning and coordinating activities. Now, they can make use of various types of preconstruction software to plan and effectively execute construction projects.

Contractors have been able to benefit from reduced construction and labor costs using advanced technology. Optioneering platforms in particular help with reducing risk by creating simulations based on crucial resources like materials, labor, and equipment.

A cost estimator

A cost estimator should be present, because they can accurately estimate how much a construction project will likely cost. A preconstruction meeting will let the property owner know whether his project is viable depending on the budget. 

If the budget is too small, the architect and engineer will determine how the building can be redesigned to fit the developer’s budget. The developer will also have the option to seek for additional financing if possible.

The project manager

The construction process cannot take place without a project manager—thus, it’s important for them to attend. The role of a project manager is to coordinate all construction activities and ensure that the project they handle is completed on time. Project managers must also have a good understanding of what their client wants, with a mechanism to track the construction project’s progress.

The architect

Architects are important during the preconstruction meeting because they’re responsible for the design and visual representation of the building. Architects work hand-in-hand with other key players, such as structural engineers, who deal with technical issues that might affect the structural integrity of the building.

Structural engineer

A structural engineer ensures that the building being designed by the architect meets certain structural and integrity thresholds. A structural engineer must work hand in hand with an architect to ensure that the building being designed is realistic and safe to use. 

The property owner

A preconstruction meeting cannot occur without the property owner present in the meeting, as they’re the main stakeholders. All the key people listed are necessary to help the property owners achieve their goals. 

During this meeting, the owner will explain their vision to the team, and the team will advise on how their dreams can be best achieved.

Other additional people

Other important people who should be involved in a preconstruction meeting are:

  • Safety officers
  • Quality control superintendents
  • Lawyers
  • Human resource managers

4 reasons why meeting minutes matter in preconstruction

1. It creates a clearer scope of work

One main benefit of having preconstruction meeting minutes is that contractors can develop a better scope of work. Scope of work is a document detailing various information, including the responsibilities of all key players, the property owner’s expectations, and timelines for the project.

By having a preconstruction meeting, team members will be able to know the specific tasks they’re responsible for and when deadlines should be met. Important information that should be included in the scope includes project deliverables, the schedule, signatures of the contractor, and payment details.

2. Construction minutes act as an official reminder

When working on a mega project, it becomes difficult to remember what’s required of you. For this reason, construction meeting minutes can be handy and serve as a reminder of important information. Additionally, when a team begins to work on the project, they can refer back to the construction minutes to check their progress.

3. It fills in gaps and acts as a reference

Another important reason meeting minutes matter is that they can be used as a reference by team members who were not able to attend the meeting. Rather than repeating the details of the meeting, summaries can be created from minutes and shared with relevant parties.

The advantage: no one is left behind in the plan. For example, subcontractors who are not able to attend can use the summary to learn about what’s expected of them as construction begins. 

4. It protects the developer during litigation

Dealing with so many moving parts means that there are many potential pitfalls that could require you to seek legal redress in court. While in court, you’ll have to prove that the actions of a relevant party have gone against the agreed terms of engagement. One way to prove that the terms of engagement were violated is by presenting meeting minutes.

Good meeting minutes should have information such as the date of the meeting, the time the meeting was called to order, and the names of all the present attendees. The minutes should also have the names of absentee participants, information on whether a quorum was met, and information on accepted or rejected motions. 

When you’re done preparing your preconstruction minutes, ensure they’re signed and have information on the next meeting date or time.