7 Things to Know Before Your First Construction Meeting
March 31, 2022
Walking into a first meeting with a construction team to convince them to adopt a new technology, idea, or process is tough enough; when you’re not prepared it becomes even harder. You’ll not only have to sell them on your technology, but you also must convince them that you can enter a normative construction process with little or no disruption and get the job done. If you’re from the construction world that’s no big deal, if not here is what you need to know.
1. Know the normative construction process:
- Design Phases: Permit, Schematic, Design Development and Construction Document.
- Construction Phases: Bid – Build – Commission – Transfer to Operations – Day 2 Support.
2. Know your jargon. If you’re not familiar with terms like Division 26, HVAC, GMP, etc. you can become lost in conversations quickly.
3. Know the Divisions. Read the titles for Master Format 2004 and understand the construction industry subgroups. Nothing is worse than team meetings coming to a grinding halt because the leaders have to stop and explain to you which divisions a team member is in.
4. Architect your impacts. Architect the impacts your solution will have on spaces and pathways.
- Electrical will want to know your required power, circuits, and power back up.
- Mechanical will need to know the additional heating and cooling requirements to support your solution.
- Shine a light on sustainability and your solutions impact on carbon footprint, health, and wellness.
5. Predict objections. Every member of a construction team has two primary concerns: reducing their risk and maintaining their project share. It is critical to know how the insertion of your solution into that project is going to impact a particular trade and what steps you’re going to have to take to either win them over or neutralize their objections.
6. Be collaborative. Construction is a collaborative effort, and the team needs convincing that not only do you have the right technology, but that you also have the right members to add to the construction team to get the entire job done. They want people they can depend on starting on the day the project is on the drawing board until the time the owner moves in and takes ownership.
7. Bring a team. Finally, don’t go it alone! Don’t march in with an army, but a team helps - and it’s how the construction industry works. No one trade does it all and collective experience will impress in the construction office.
Nothing helps to reduce the perception of risk like having confidence and being prepared with your team. Ensure that your team has a plan and the people assigned to every part of the normative construction process before you sit in front of a construction team. It’s okay if you don’t have every technical answer or every exact measurement but not knowing how your company fits into a normative construction process, where your roles begin, and how you affect others will cause the construction team to lose confidence in your team and ultimately your solution.