Construction Managers (CM) can be a vital ingredient when implementing value engineering early on in a project’s development and ultimately contributing to reducing cost and minimizing the risk of contract overruns (i.e. change orders). Value Engineering (VE) – also referred to as Value Analysis – is a systematic method utilized within the construction industry to help companies improve their procedures and services, with respect to costs and quality. This analytical approach promotes the substitution of less expensive alternatives and methods, without sacrificing functionality and performance. These effective performance measurements and feedback tools have been proven to enhance the value of projects in government, manufacturing, and construction industries. Aside from cost savings, Value Engineering is a constructive tool for establishing a clear and precise project objective during the concept phase.
CMs understand a project is subjected to many changes. They also recognize what is required to build or construct as well as have the “hands-on” experience which is of value to any design team. Defining a concrete objective can help to identify obstacles early in the process, and help ensure the project stays on time and within budget. In general, CMs have a well-established idea as to what certain items cost and how long these items will take to construct. This feedback is especially helpful when scheduling a project, as it can directly affect both hard costs (actual construction costs) and the soft costs (admin costs, project management costs, and more) of a project.
Value Engineering methods have evolved tremendously throughout the years, allowing CMs to test and examine several different methods and products. This extensive knowledge helps professionals, such as an Engineer, to successfully achieve their design goals for any given project. During the design phase, CMs can help resolve conflicts, thus eliminating surprises prior to the bid process as well as during construction.
In addition, CMs have a great deal of experience and understanding with a variety of different types of drawings and reports (civil, structural, landscape, electrical, geological). Feedback from the CM is useful to an Engineer who must implement reasonable construction types prior to the development of a project’s bid package. CMs will typically visit the prospective site in order to understand the project’s limitations regarding any existing conditions – and in turn – convey this information to the design team.
Most importantly, CMs are aware of what is required from an Inspector’s point of view, since they (CMs) are used to working with them. Although engineers have a general perception of what is expected at the design level, the CM can help integrate inspection needs into the design, while mitigating any potential costs.
Overall, there are several benefits to Value Engineering and Construction Management involvement during the concept phase. Savings in time cost and energy, expedited decision making, forecasted risks, minimized resources and time wastage are all successful outcomes of utilizing this approach.
Have any comments or questions? Please feel free to contact Dennis Lorton, Director of Construction Management, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-333-1626.