Value Engineering in Construction for Cost Control

What is Value Engineering?

Value Engineering’s primary goal is to use techniques to solve problems, identify and remove unwanted costs in construction. The overall aim is to increase the value of the project and it does this by taking into the following:

  • Material availability
  • Construction methods
  • Transport
  • Planning & organising
  • Site restrictions & limitations

The Pitfalls of Not Using Value Engineering

Without the use of Value Engineering systems many issues within the project can begin to appear causing it to cost more than it should.

The most common pitfalls are as follows:

1. Lack of information.

This is specifically common when the construction project begins and often not enough information is supplied by the owner. This then confuses everything from materials needed; processes used and over all needs to meet the required budget.

2. Attitudes

Most people have their own way of doing things and they believe that those ways are right all of the time. This may be the case for some projects but value engineering encourages creative solutions and adapting processes and methods to fit the desired project. It’s important to recognise your attitudes and habits and try new processes.

3. Changes in owner requirements

Often, the owner changes details of the build which obviously effects cost and time scale – they’re unaware of the impact this causes on the overall build.

4. Lack of communication

Lack of communication is one the most common pitfalls and it’s this that can make the build cost more than it should. Value Engineering however promotes and allows for discussions regarding concerns, solutions and promotes a free thinking approach without any criticism.

5. Outdated standards and specifications

Many standards and specifications are deeply out dated and fail to recognise and even ignore the advancement of technology and how if used rightly, can help to aid to construction process. This is where Value Engineering concentrates on up to date technology and the implementation of it to identify cost.

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The Benefits of Value Engineering

Like most things in architecture and construction, the process is ever evolving to ensure that the principle’s objective is met.

Currently it involves identifying the main elements of the project, assessing the element’s functions, using alternative solutions for delivering, analysing these alternative solutions for potential change and then developing those in more detail.

Some of the obvious benefits of implementing Value Engineering are:

  • Success in the market place
  • Lowering staff costs
  • Improving resource efficiency
  • Improves sustainability
  • Lowering O and M costs
  • Reducing paperwork

Ultimately, those using Value Engineering are able to utilize valid problem solving methods that can be used in most, if not all circumstances.