HPH228 : What is a site meeting? – with Ben Adam-Smith
Having had his last site meeting this month, Ben Adam-Smith explains what they are and how they fit into the construction process when building a new house.
What is a site meeting?
As with any project, you want to keep track of things and make sure everything is running smoothly. And that's what this is all about: getting the key team members together on a regular basis. In our case that was once a month.
Clients – Ben Adam-Smith and Kay Adam-Smith
Architects – Chris Parsons, boss of Parsons + Whittley
Main contractor – Mark Feldman from Mars Builders.
Chris Parsons says: “A site meeting is a regular meeting that's held to try to keep an eye on progress, keep an eye on issues that crop up and make sure everyone is well informed as we go through the process.”
Mark Feldman adds: “Having all parties there at the same time, being able to discuss the issues, run through them and hopefully come up with solutions works very well. It's much easier than doing it remotely, with emails flying backwards and forwards.”
What gets discussed?
Everyone knows that there are lots of decisions to be made during the course of a self build. Although they don't all have to be made at once they do become more critical if left unresolved. So a site meeting can flag up the priorities (allowing you to keep ahead of the decision-making curve).
A site meeting also helps everyone understand progress since the last meeting and what is planned to be achieved by the next meeting.
The main benefits of a site meeting
If you actually examine what you're doing in these meetings a lot of it comes down to problem solving. There are countless issues that arise during construction so discussing the options and coming up with potential solutions is time well spent.
Other than that it can be an opportunity for the architect or builder to explain something to the client.
What is the format?
In our case we had a walk around the site and then held a sit down meeting (typically lasting between 1 – 3 hours).
- Matters arising from previous meeting
- Contractor's report
- Contractor administrator/architect/CDM matters
- Quantity surveyor matters
- Employers matters
- Any other business
- Date of next meeting
Documenting meetings makes sure nothing is forgotten
Chris Parsons comments: “I think minuting any meeting is probably sensible. The notes form a structure for the following meeting and make sure items that are discussed are not forgotten. So they are picked up and continually dealt with until such time as they are cleared.”
Having minutes which have been agreed by all parties also provides a contractual record so that in the event of a dispute there is a bit more information about what went on.
Extract from one of the first meetings
Ben's top tips
– Make sure you don't run out of biscuits!
– Don't attempt to look after young children and hold your meeting.
Find out more
Visit the website of Parsons + Whittley
Visit the website of Mars Builders