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Value Engineering to Maintain Design Intent

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By Compton Staff
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The cost of construction is typically one of the largest investments a business will make. Creating a space that will function for a specific operation, meet all building codes and life safety requirements, and have a brand look can add up fast. However, good design and function are critical to making the investment and growth of a business. So, what can be done when the investment on construction is over budget?

What is Value Engineering?

Value engineering (VE) is identifying alternatives, that keep a certain standard, style or function at a lower cost. This is often achieved by finding similar products that are more cost effective, changing the scope or area of a specific item or redesigning in a more efficient manner.

Our approach to Value Engineering in Commercial Construction

We believe that a quality construction service often takes a team approach. In our experience, a client, architect and/or engineer, and the contractor must work together from an area of trust and respect for each person’s expertise.

As a client, or business owner, it is their responsibility to clearly communicate what is most important in their business or operations. When starting the design for your project, we recommend putting everything into the space and then Value Engineering things out. It is way easier to eliminate scope or redefine the project, then it is to add things later in the process. For some, the design, brand identity, and style will be the most important to include, but for others the function and equipment will be the top priority. This forms the areas where spec selections might be fluid and value engineering might be most successful.

A contractor typically uses their expertise to work with a client on alternatives. An architect will often be involved to make sure changes are up to building codes, and the alternatives will function appropriately. This is the critical moment that respect for the other parties come into play. Each party must have respect for the others’ time and knowledge, while not letting egos get in the way. The team works together on solutions to lower the budget and make the project happen.

Trade Secrets – Areas We Can Often Value Engineer

While we are a no-niche builder, there are areas that almost every job can VE. Below are a few strategies we have used to lower the cost of construction and make the project happen:

  • Lighting Package – Is there a more cost-effective fixture? Can we use less fixtures or a different combination of environment lighting, accent lighting, and/or task lighting?
  • HVAC – Equipment Brand and Ductwork – Spiral vs Square duct.
  • Finishes
    • Flooring – Carpet vs LVT vs Tile Vs Wood – balancing the quantities for cost effectiveness.
    • Casework and Countertops – Laminate vs solid surface vs stone, etc.
    • Wallcoverings
    • Wall tile – Full walls vs portions. Tile selection.
  • Doors & Hardware
  • Glass and glass systems – Styles and type of system

Ultimately, we take a specific approach to the job we are Value Engineering. After the initial bid or conceptual budget, a path for VE options will become clear.

Final Thoughts on Value Engineering?

Our goal is to make a project happen and we are here to make it more obtainable. Our overall approach is to work with a client, achieve the design intent, and make a project happen that the entire team is proud of.

While sometimes value engineering a project takes significant time to reach a budget, other projects can be value engineered slightly to move the project forward. At Compton Construction we are adaptable to our clients, their needs, and what it will take to make a project happen.

If you have a project you are considering, let’s have a conversation about how to make it happen. We are ready and looking forward to working together!

I Need to Value Engineer a Project

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