What is value engineering in commercial construction?
Value Engineering in commercial construction is a method used to increase overall project value while looking for ways to decrease project costs. At Emerald C’s Development, value engineering is a critical part of our process, whether working on a ground-up, new design-build project, a commercial interior build-out, or tenant improvement. Value engineering originated in the 1940s at General Electric when materials shortages prompted the company’s engineers to look for alternative building products. Many of their discoveries turned out to be less expensive options, that did not sacrifice quality or construction integrity – and in some cases, improved it. Afterward, value engineering became a standard best practice for GE and all commercial construction.
Value engineering is about much more than materials substitution and cost-cutting.
While many today still associate value engineering most closely with materials substitution, modern value engineering is actually much more. It is a systematic, organized approach that begins early in the project planning and design process. It incorporates numerous elements including design, materials, construction methods, scheduling, waste reduction, maintenance, and consideration of the cost-benefit ratios of things like using longer-lasting materials (life cycle), eco-friendly products, and certain construction methods. In the end, it is not always about the lowest upfront construction costs, but rather smart decisions and making the wisest, most cost-efficient, and effective choices that improve quality and increase project value over the near and long term.
The benefit of early value engineering.
As a full-service commercial general contractor in Jacksonville, FL one that offers complete design-build services, we have always found at Emerald C’s Development that the earlier we can be involved in a project, the more value engineering opportunities there are. In any scenario, whether design-build or general contracting, pre-construction planning is essential to incorporating early value engineering into a project. This is when our team evaluates the overall scope of the project including the project goals and budget while ensuring the maximum efficiency of materials, methods and scheduling.
When getting involved in the design phase, the opportunities to analyze and identify potential cost savings and efficiencies really expand. By utilizing a combination of critical analysis, creativity, and value engineering, we can often help clients achieve their project and design goals while reducing the overall budget, shortening the construction schedule, and typically creating value in multiple ways.
Many often wonder whether the design-build delivery method is a more costly means of commercial construction. In fact, it is typically more cost-effective due to the efficient coordination and communication between the design team and the general contractor. By having all parties present to assess design goals, budget parameters, scheduling, and other aspects of the construction project, value engineering can occur most efficiently. All parties can analyze and evaluate every feature of the build, and thoughtfully consider multiple alternatives to not only achieve the intended design and function of the project but improve it as well.
By developing a clear, detailed, organized view of the project limitations and possibilities – one that takes into consideration design choices, materials costs, systems, methods, labor, scheduling, and other aspects of the build, it enables the entire team to make informed decisions on how to best utilize the budget to deliver maximum results and value.
Let Emerald C’s Help You Create Value in Your Commercial Construction Project.
Emerald C’s Development is one of Jacksonville, Florida’s most trusted commercial construction firms and licensed general contractors. We understand the importance of value engineering in commercial construction and are recognized for our creative design, and efficient engineering, construction, and project management on all kinds of projects ranging from new construction to interior build-outs and tenant improvements. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.