Value Engineering and its Role in Construction Projects
To get the much sought-after “best deal” in construction, it’s good to know what is backing those words up. A good contractor would usually want to strive for delivering something that doesn’t break the bank in terms of cost but also doesn’t cut corners on quality. This is where the highly important concept of value engineering comes into play.
Value engineering is the process of analyzing and reviewing different elements of construction like building materials, equipment, methods used, etc, and determining how to get optimal performance and quality with the least necessary amount of resources or capital expended.
Value engineering has an essential role in construction, and understanding it is going to make a load of difference in communication and awareness of how your project is progressing. Here are some concrete examples:
Examples of Value Engineering in Construction
The goal is to achieve low-cost, high-value production in construction. This would require some form of auditing the pricing of materials and equipment used to see if an effective alternative could be used at a lower cost. Part of this cost assessment is to see if in the long-term making a switch would be a good investment instead of a quick but risky way to save.
Another area of focus that doesn’t directly involve cost is an assessment of constructability. Evaluating which materials and equipment would be more efficient or otherwise sufficient in completing a part of construction makes sure that work is feasible, and that long-term stability will prove that the selected means of construction would be good investments.
Value Engineering Steps
Value engineering typically involves the following steps to ensure the successful allocation of resources and the proper level of funding to invest in a project:
1. Info Gathering
When a full inventory of the project’s scope and what is required to finish it is in order, then value engineering can begin.
Constructability reviews consider such issues as sequence of work, availability of materials and manpower, permitting, lead times, and site or schedule constraints. This can result in recommendations regarding material selections if certain constraints are severe.
After getting a better overview of the project’s constructability and initial estimate, brainstorming sessions can identify ways to improve the schedule and/or costs. With previous points and new ideas on the table, reviewing all the information gathered before moving forward is key.
Depending on the particulars of a given project, value engineering may involve reconfiguring construction crews, selecting alternative materials or methods of construction, and more.
All or some of these steps may be repeated until the parties come to an agreement on the best path forward.