value engineering

What is Value Engineering?

23rd August 2021   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

Widely used in the construction industry, value engineering, also known as value management, is in essence a cost management toll. However, it isn’t purely about reducing costs.  

When done well, by a knowledgeable cost manager, value engineering offers the potential to maximise return on investment without compromising on project quality standards.

First implemented in the USA during the Second World War because of shortages of materials, the principle of value engineering is the process of assessing the value of each element of a project, to manage costs without compromising quality.

Today, during a global crisis which has caused similar material and skills shortages, the concept is still very much relevant and topical.

With the quality of building standards a high priority, and with a growing sustainability agenda, the construction industry is ever-evolving to build more efficiently and conscientiously.  

Benefits of value engineering 

The idea of value engineering is to assess the value of each element of the project considering factors that might add to that value including availability of materials, locality, construction methods, transportation, longevity, maintenance, efficiency, sustainability, and of course quality.

In fact, with careful assessment and professional expertise, it can be possible to reduce costs and simultaneously improve quality.

Building materials may cost less from a different geographical location but local suppliers offer the benefits of reduced journey times and complimenting the local aesthetic which holds its own value. Sustainability elements such as solar panelling may involve an initial outlay but result in a reduction of the final building operating costs. 

Value engineering in practice 

To maximise the benefits, and to minimise impact on a project’s schedule, cost management and planning should ideally be implemented at the planning and design phases of a project and assessed throughout.  Value engineering can continue through the construction phase and lifecycle of the project and be flexible as the project evolves.

In practice this will involve systematically identifying the main elements of the project, analysing those elements, researching alternative ways of implementing them, and analysing the costs and value of those alternatives.

Understanding the objectives for the project is key to this. A good cost manager will take the time to understand you as a client, the nuances of your project, your specific objectives, and then suggest solutions that are tailored to your bespoke requirements. 

Working with a value engineering specialist

A specialist in value engineering will consider the client and project’s objectives and align these with the value of the project elements. Experience and knowledge in cost management, construction project planning, local planning requirements, materials, suppliers, procurement, construction methods, transportation, and site management will ensure an informed, high value, cost-effective and smooth build process.

A professionally qualified expert can provide direction and leadership in the entire cost management of the project including value engineering.

The cost manager will compile a reliable cost plan which minimises financial risk and maximises value engineering opportunities. From expertise gained from project experience and sector knowledge, the plan will benchmark against reliable cost data, accounting for the quality and processes of materials.

An expert will also have established relationships with reliable suppliers, insight into the quality and availability of materials and trades, and knowledge of building industry restrictions and legislation, all of which will maximise return on investment for the client. 

How Evolution5 can help you?

With extensive experience working in construction projects, Evolution5 understands that robust cost planning and management underpins every successful construction project.

Our highly experienced and award-winning team specialises in cost management for construction projects which can enhance your project planning process by focusing on understanding your objectives and tailoring a service that fits your requirements.

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering cost management, quantity surveying, project management, principal designer, employer’s agent, and contract administration services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.