What Are We Fighting For?

The success of a project is often the result of effective communication among team members. A pre-installation meeting is a sure-fire way to facilitate communication between all parties to the construction process.

These coordination meetings are generally held at the site where installation procedures, phasing, and coordination of the process and its participants can be clarified. They help to reinforce team commitment by causing the contractor, subcontractor, suppliers, design team, and manufacturers to focus on the owner's concern for the overall success of the project.

Pre-installation meetings promote resolution of competing agendas and hidden construction issues. The design team benefits through direct involvement in the actual construction processes and by having an opportunity to improve design for future projects. The owner gains assurance of the contractor's elevated quality performance. Finally, pre-installation meetings allow manufacturers, subcontractors, and suppliers to contribute to present and future project designs by revealing possible discrepancies between expectations and project realities. Should there be any need to adjust the schedule or resolve an issue, conducting the meeting well in advance of the installation is critical.

The Construction Specifications Institute recommends that a pre-installation meeting be convened at least one week before installation of the said product or system. In addition, more time will be required for a complex installation that involves several trades or multiple prime contractors. For coordinating relatively simple systems, a few days may be sufficient. Project manual, drawings, shop drawings, product data and installation instructions should be readily accessible.

Administration requirements of the pre-installation meeting are covered in Division One, General Conditions under Section 01300 covering Project Meetings. Meeting requirements specific to an individual product or system is to be specified in Part 1 General of the applicable product specifications of Divisions 2 through 16, coupled with needed references back to Division 1.

The prime contractor is responsible for holding the meeting, setting up the minutes, and finally documenting and distributing the meeting minutes. Participants include the contractor, subcontractor (installer or applicator), manufacturer's representative, material or equipment supplier, A/E, A/E's consultants as appropriate to the specified requirements, others directly affecting or affected by the work, and a testing agency, as appropriate.

Suggested agenda's include:

  • To review existing and surrounding conditions, such as substrates; recommendations for corrections (if any)
  • Identify conditions detrimental to the installation
  • Verify installer's qualifications and understanding of installation requirements
  • Review environmental or legal restrictions on the activity
  • Review coordination with other work
  • Evaluation of equipment requirements, installation procedures, and interfacing or adjacent work requirements
  • Review proposed starting/ending dates and conditions and compensation for delays
  • Observation and evaluation of sample installation, field mock ups
  • Review delivery, storage, and handling procedures

The pre-installation meeting helps to focus on a special concern and allow the project team members to exchange information through direct discussion. It ensures critical portions of the work comply with the contract documents and allows for document changes according to the conditions of the contract, installer recommendations, owner's requirements, and actual field conditions.

A pre-installation meeting is the quality assurance to needed communication between the project team and goes a long way in reducing disputes on projects to insure a successful project.

Should there be any need to adjust the schedule or resolve an issue, conducting the meeting well in advance of the installation is critical.


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© 2000 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews September 2000.

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