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Value Engineering

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What is Value Engineering?

  • By Definition: Value Engineering is substituting a method or material which results in a time or money savings without compromising the quality or design intent of the original element.
  • Concepts of Value Engineering:
    • Big Picture Approach = Macroscopic Outlook
    • Detailed Approach = Microscopic Outlook

Brinkmann VE Philosophy

  • Brinkmann is known for our value engineering efforts.  It is a point of pride for our company and something we present as a sales tool for future clients.
  • Repeat Business: Many examples of repeat business have been generated as a result of clients recognizing our value engineering skills.
  • PM/APM/PE Development: There is an overall connection between value engineering and understanding unit costs on a project.  Knowing unit costs is an important part of career self-development.  Being able to accurately discuss cost impacts of changes with owners on a conceptual level in meetings, etc can make a significant impression.
  • Questions to Ask:
    • "What are the big elements driving the schedule and cost?"
    • "What would be the effect of changing ___ on a project?"
  • List the pros, cons, and potential impacts associated with the change.
  • Analyze how hard it would be overcome the cons and get an idea of the total effort required by all parties.
    • Is it a total redesign?
    • What time is associated with the redesign?
    • Can't always overcome the cons, but in many instances you can at least achieve a portion of the savings

Macro Examples

Large Scale Modifications

  • Revamp overall site layout/grades
  • Sheet flow stormwater to reduce storm pipe
  • Modify from a masonry or precast structure to tilt-up concrete
  • Foundations or structural system redesign
  • HVAC system redesign or optimization
  • Reducing building over-excavation depths
  • Inefficient parking garage parking
  • Identifying minor design and material changes that can be made during design review or drawing development
    • Not possible without completing a thorough check set, specifications review, and understanding the owners needs vs. wants.
  • Don't underestimate the significance of Micro VE.
    • Always remember, a lot of small changes can add up to significant savings.
      • Consider the old CSI 16 division, if you can save just $10,000 in each, that's $160,000 in total savings.

Micro Examples

Small Scale Modifications

  • Changing exterior stone type
  • Reducing roof insulation thickness
  • Removing gravel under sidewalks
  • Replacing tile showers with prefab units
  • Replacing steel framed canopies with prefab units

VE in Today's Market

  • Now more than ever, the "value" in value engineering isn't just dollars. It can be time as well.
    • Example: A $10,000 premium for a product that you can get 6-weeks sooner could be well worthy the cost
  • Talk to suppliers and subs about alternate options when presented with lead time challenges or material unavailability.