If the facility budget is not met, PCS will propose value engineering (VE) alternatives. VE is the systematic analysis and exploration of options to stay on budget or save costs. Thus, the ultimate objective of VE is to preserve the look and function of the facility, while finding alternatives to lower the cost.
Although VE can save clients substantial dollars, it is much more than a simple cost-cutting exercise. When we conduct a VE session, we will evaluate, at a minimum, first cost, schedule impacts, constructability issues, and life-cycle costs including capital, operating, maintenance expenses, energy and systems costs, financing costs, ownership structure, and tax laws. The exercise may result in increased first costs; however, the overall impact will minimize the total life-cycle costs during the functional life of the facility.
Systems analysis is at the center of the overall VE effort. Typical systems include sitework, foundations, structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical, and exterior enclosure. During the systems review, we will make recommendations, which focus on construction feasibility, availability of materials and labor, installation time, associated costs and economies, and the impact on other building components.
For each project, a VE team will be established to include the Owner, Architect/Engineer, and the Construction Manager. Our experience with VE has shown that the best results occur during the Design Development phase. The team meets at pre-determined intervals to identify alternative materials, methods of construction, and issues affecting the schedule and operations. Each item is evaluated and accepted or rejected depending on the total impact on cost, function, program, schedule, and overall needs.
Following is a chart that illustrates the cost savings of using value engineering services at the early design stages of a project.