Whether you’re signing into a web call wearing your pandemic sweatpants or dedicating yourself to wearing real clothes and acting like it’s a normal day (I’m not judging either way), remote video and conference calls have the ability to keep the construction industry moving forward as much as possible in your community.
Here are 7 different remote construction meetings you can have to keep construction projects moving forward as much as possible during Covid-19 times.
1) Application and product installation training demos
Manufacturers and building consultants are getting crafty in the face of Covid-19. Many companies are offering builders and installers the opportunity to remotely learn new product installation techniques or refresh their skills. From basement filming studios to cobbled-together desk setups, I’ve been impressed with the resiliency and creativity we’re seeing from our construction community.
Reach out to manufacturers you regularly work with or want to work with in the future and ask if their offering remote application training. Whether or not construction has halted in your region, you can take advantage of training that’s definitely 6-ft apart.
2) Detail and building plan review
Inviting consultants or manufacturer reps to review details and building plans can reduce headaches down the line by ensuring material compatibility and perhaps simplifying product installations.
One of my favorite examples is the Finch Cambridge project, a multi-family, affordable housing project outside of Boston, MA.
By talking through the window flashing details with SIGA Manufacturer Representative Ken Kiefer, Michelle Apigian and Gabrielle Aitcheson, of Icon Architecture, were able to simplify the window buck details without sacrificing airtightness. Ken, Michelle and Gabrielle decided to detail the window flush with the sheathing and applying an extension buck after the window was flashed to simplify the rough opening and window flashing details.
What can we learn from Finch Cambridge? A lot. Get your product manufacturers involved in a detail and plan review early on. It can save you install time and a hefty headache, while also helping you achieve your end goals.
3) Take off call
After you chat with a manufacturer rep and potentially supply them with your plans, it’s time for them to draft up a proposal and review their recommendations with the architect, builder or team. We like to call that discussion a take off call. What’s usually covered in a take off call?
- What products the manufacturer recommends for the project & why
- Product price quote
- Product quantity quote
Make sure to take this opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Even if the rep can’t answer your questions that moment, they’ll be able to follow up and get you the answers you need. The earlier you bring up any concerns, the earlier you can mitigate problems down the road.
4) Product and system review calls
The components of your building need to work in tandem. Review products and systems in detail with manufacturing reps or consultants to get the information you need, drilled down into the details.
What makes this call different than a detail and plan review call? I expect a manufacturing rep to focus on product selling points on a product and system review call, while I expect the detail and plan review meeting to stay more educational and diagnostic and less salesy. It’s a fine line, but I think we can agree it’s nice to distinguish the objective of our meetings.
5) Virtual lunch and learns (unfortunately, it’s BYOL – bring your own lunch)
Remote conference calls might not be as fun as hanging out on the jobsite or conference room with your coworkers learning new skills, but they still can deliver the fun and education.
Don’t fret if you can’t attend a live webinar when it’s scheduled. You can always get a group of coworkers and watch a webinar recording together over lunch at a more convenient time.
Download a list of some of our favorite construction experts/brands providing online education.
6) Sign up for a construction group web call
For a lot of us, Covid-19 meant an end to our monthly meetup routine. But members of the construction community stepped up in a big way. We’re seeing BS & Beer, Passive House and other meetup invites spread across the internet. The organizers are creating both small, intimate gatherings and huge groups numbered in the hundreds. Most of the evening calls include a presentation and a moderated or unmoderated group discussion over drinks. So sign up for an educational construction call and pour yourself a beverage.
7) Online learning challenges
Just because many of us are staying at home or keeping the number of people on a jobsite low doesn’t mean learning and progress must stop. Consider creating a team learning challenge or an educational goal. Here are some quick ideas on where you can find training for an online learning challenge:
- Manufacturers you regularly work with
- A manufacturer you are interested to learn more about
- Any associations you are a member of
- Any trade union you are a member of
- LinkedIn (Become a better public speaker, learn how to get more customers, etc.)
- Download this list of our favorite construction experts for online education
As a last note from all of us at SIGA. We miss seeing your face in person, but we’re happy you’re staying as safe as possible and practicing social distancing if it’s required or advisable in your region. We’re actively participating and holding construction calls, online educational workshops, webinars and application training. Learn more about the training options we offer by click this link.