Completing construction projects on time and within budget can seem like a daunting task. With additional pressures like fluctuating material costs, skilled labor availability and operational costs, clear and creative planning from the start become even more crucial. This is where value engineering can offer several benefits.
When value engineering is referenced in our industry, our minds may immediately go to a process that reduces project cost by slashing the scope or decreasing the quality of materials used. However, that is not necessarily what the definition should be.
In construction, value engineering empowers project teams to improve value by examining the function of each element and its associated cost. By examining the cost-benefit ratio, integrated design and construction teams can make suggestions for alternate delivery methods, designs or materials that enhance project value.
It’s critical to note that boosting the value of projects does not mean reducing costs. It means optimizing project components through an analysis of all factors – cost, upkeep, wear and tear, aesthetic value, etc. To provide truly advantageous value engineering, design and construction teams must first understand the project as a holistic effort. Every project is different, as is every business’ definition of value.
Live and breathe entire project life cycle
Value engineering assesses the functionality of a product, good or service in relation to cost. With this service, consideration is provided right from the beginning of the project regarding availability of materials, labor and material costs, construction delivery methods, construction site constraints and more. By evaluating these factors upfront and limiting possible difficulties that could arise during the project, owner expenses may be reduced, and the schedule can be tightened.
In combination with value engineering, the best way to achieve successful results during a project is to have a fully integrated design and construction team that lives and breathes the entire project life cycle. The design, construction and, ultimately, the end user need to be joined together on every decision, from design inception through training and turnover. This allows the team to not only suggest innovations and value propositions during the project, but also to offer solutions for the most efficient yet reliable results for years to come.
Author bio: John Maranowicz oversees design-build projects ranging from major airport expansions to work involving industrial manufacturing, food and consumer products, aerospace, and surface transportation at Burns & McDonnell. He is experienced in every facet of construction management, including preconstruction, estimating, design management, value engineering, scheduling and direct supervision of self-perform projects.