There is so much story behind the construction of a commercial structure, and not many know how important the work of an engineer is in creating, improving and protecting the infrastructures and building structures that make up a community. Construction management is a vital task in engineering, and modern efforts are geared towards making this economical and efficient, not only for the workforce but the owners a well.
Planning for any project, whether it be an industrial construction or a building renovation involves a carefully laid out and detailed project design. This contains basically everything, from the technical to financial details, and projections that coincide with construction objectives. A well-devised project plan will have maximum functionality at a practical cost. For this, many developers opt to utilize Value Engineering as a construction technique during the early stages of construction.
What is Value Engineering?
Value Engineering is a systematic and teamwork-based (and sometimes called creative) method to increase the value of services and products. This goal is met by examining the function, and manipulating both function and cost to up the value, which is defined as the appropriation of function to cost.
There are a few reasons why value engineering is preferred by developers—some infrastructure tend to age, making some aspects like style or practicality become obsolete. Value engineering ensures that these are designed to meet the specific lifetime it is projected to last. This means that unnecessary costs from products that do not extend the lifespan in any way are not incorporated in the project.
In effect, value engineering provides the greatest value for clients by maximizing function while minimizing the cost of the project.
Why Value Engineering should be applied in Initial Stages of Construction
Value engineering is a process that is best applied during the early stages of planning and design, because it presents a good picture of what steps should be taken to maximize the function of a structure. For example, it is economical for a company to apply a simpler, cheaper design for a flooring structural system, provided that the materials give the same performance as the high-grade options. This is where value engineering comes into picture—the team involved in the creative process determines the best alternatives at a fraction of a cost.
There is a process in value engineering termed the “workshop”, which is a key step to be taken during the designing phase of the construction project. The construction companies assign a project team tasked to assess the proposal and performs a facility functional analysis, and as well as takes the owner’s value definition into consideration. They will then define criteria for the construction project, and provide alternative solutions based on the data collated.
Value planning, or the application of value engineering in the design phase of projects to determine the design progress that the team should take to improve value. This will also determine the conceptual design to be followed.
Benefits of Value Planning in Early phase of Construction
Performing the workshop and ensuring that value planning is in place potentially improves the results. This also provides a fresh perspective to the proposed project without having to sacrifice schedules or costs in redesigning. It also provides an interactive ground for both client and construction management where they can discuss the details of the project and come up with a plan that works for both parties.
The owner also generally experiences increased satisfaction because the project implementation tends to go smoothly with lesser delays and changes. Value engineering is now considered as an effective project management method that supports the building lifecycle from start to finish, covering all important aspects of the project. This is to say that value engineering is an inclusive technique that takes environmental and social outcomes into consideration.
Value engineering is generally beneficial for any project, and is widely used for its practicality. Construction firms see this technique as a positive addition to any project development and construction because it improves value and benefits the end client greatly.
The Process of Value Engineering
Value planning has five important steps that can be applied to commercial construction projects:
1. GATHERING INFORMATION. After assembling the project team, all information pertaining to the whole construction project is collected; this includes the objectives, criteria and value as defined by the owner. This is essentially the first part of functionality analysis—to generate the initial idea of the project as envisioned by the client.
2. MAKING SPECULATION. The team would then carefully study the data and discuss possible alternatives to minimise initial costs, and as well as lifecycle costs. They would also inspect functionality and brainstorm ways to improve it.
3. PERFORMING EVALUATION. Each alternative solution is then evaluated in terms of feasibility. In this stage, some ideas are discarded, while others might be kept as part of the outcome.
4. DEVELOPMENT. After the crucial evaluation phase, each idea is then developed into proposals that can be applicable to the project. In the proposal, the pros and cons of each idea is discussed, and as well as the cost that might come with it.
5. PRESENTING FINDINGS. The team will then arrange the final presentation, both in formal writing an and oral presentation to the people involved in the construction project, including the end client. In this stage, the owner can choose which proposals they deem necessary for their project. Their basis would be the cost and function comparison included in each proposal; the key is to accept the feasible ideas that reduces costs and improves the value of the building.
Value engineering is a key planning technique that provides multiple benefits. It is both systematic and creative, and fosters a better relationship between client and project team. It’s a different take in planning construction projects that widens knowledge of the project and by extension, construction know-hows. This not only progresses quality and quantity of the construction project, but also builds a solid camaraderie between parties.