Pre Start Meetings
A pre-start meeting is integral to the success of any construction project. It enables the team to meet face-to-face and provides the opportunity to clarify critical issues surrounding the pending construction works.
Providing effective pre-start meetings take place, it can minimise the risk of delays when construction commences, prevent miscommunication causing costly mistakes and ensure that every member of the team has approved the relevant works.
Beneficial for both contractors, clients and project managers, pre-start meetings should be standard before any project gets underway. However, it’s important to use pre-start meetings to add value to the project, as opposed to viewing them as a necessary administrative task. With the right approach and agenda, you can rely on pre-start meetings to reduce costs, minimise delays and improve the efficacy of any building works.
Who should attend pre-start meetings?
The list of attendees at pre-start meetings will depend on the nature of the project but the architect, quantity surveyor, project manager, lead construction engineer and the client and/or their representative should always be present. If the project involves using a team of subcontractors, their manager or supervisor should also attend the pre-start meeting.
In addition to this, specialist construction consultants can add significant value to pre-start meetings. With the knowledge and expertise to provide critical advice, inviting a dedicated building consultant to your pre-start meeting will help to ensure that all key areas are covered and that your interests are protected.
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What’s included in a pre-start meeting?
There are various things to cover during a pre-start meeting, so it’s useful to have an agenda prepared in advance. Circulating the proposed agenda prior to the meeting will give attendees the opportunity to review any areas and suggest additional topics which may need to be included.
The first objective at a pre-start meeting is usually to clarify the responsibilities of each party and identify the individual(s) who will take ownership of each area. Once the roles and duties of each individual have been confirmed, lines of communication can be established, and future meeting schedules can be agreed.
In addition to this, pre-start meetings focus on project-specific issues, such as site access protocols, procurement schedules, query resolution strategies, monitoring processes, health and safety regulations, induction programs, mobilisation schedules, nomination instructions, lead-in materials, site conditions, insurance liabilities and any variations to the original plans, as well as any other issues which may affect the upcoming construction.
Preparing for pre-start meetings
In order to maximise the effectiveness of pre-start meetings, it’s important to prepare well in advance. By doing so, you can ensure that all relevant areas are included and that queries are fully resolved.
Whilst many of the issues raised may have already been documented in the pre-agreed contract, a pre-start meeting gives you the opportunity to clarify clauses and eliminate ambiguity. Furthermore, the minutes of a pre-start meeting can be used as a subcontract, providing both parties agree.