What is value engineering and how does it work in your best interests as a project owner?
According to Wikipedia, value engineering was born at General Electric during World War II.
Shortages of skilled labor, raw materials and parts forced G.E.’s Lawrence Miles—the father of what he termed “value analysis”—to look for acceptable substitutes.
Miles and his team noticed that these substitutions often reduced costs, improved the product, or both.
This systematic methodology was quickly recognized as a powerful approach to problem-solving and value engineering was adopted in many business sectors, including the construction industry.
It’s a methodology championed by the team at Ouellet Construction.
Value Engineering Is Not “Cheap”
Value engineering is not a euphemism for “cheap.”
Properly applied, it’s a process for analyzing every material and system used in a building to determine where savings can be gained, without sacrificing quality or performance.
Viewing a project through the lens of value engineering requires technical knowledge and skillful analysis by the designer and builder.
Benefits of short-term savings (materials and installations costs) are weighed against life cycle costs (maintenance and replacement of materials over a building’s life).
According to The Jack Miller Network (a respected source in the construction industry):
Upfront construction costs account for a mere 11% of the total life-cycle costs of a building.
That’s why early decisions have such a critical impact on the cost of ownership.
Working together, designers and builders can share their experience and expertise to develop solutions that often result in a significant reduction of costs over the life cycle—even if it means spending a little more at the time of construction.
We’ve found the greatest value can be achieved when every phase—from preliminary design and specifications to final detailing—is carefully planned, managed and monitored to optimize time, cost and labor efficiencies.
When the design/build team works together from the beginning of a project, the right materials can be specified from the start, thereby avoiding unnecessary change orders and staying on schedule.
Drawing on 20+ years of experience, OC has learned to recognize smart and effective ways to manage building costs.
“Ouellet projects always look great when they’re completed,” says local businessman and long-time OC client, Bill Dodge.
“But four or five years later is when these buildings start to show their true value. I never have to touch them. That type of foresight is priceless.”