Value Engineering

Decreasing Construction Costs without Compromising Performance or Quality

Value engineering is based on a methodology developed by Lawrence Miles, who worked for General Electric (GE) during World War II. With the shortage of materials and products, the manufacturing industry was running at maximum capacity. Miles was responsible for purchasing raw materials for GE, and realized if he couldn't obtain a particular material, he would have to substitute another material which would perform the same function.

Thus "value engineering" was born with a creative, team-based approach. Value techniques are applied during the design or engineering phase of a project. It's used to solve problems, identify and eliminate unwanted costs, while improving function and quality. The aim is to increase the value of products, satisfying the product's performance requirements at the lowest possible cost.

Within the spray foam insulation and coatings industry, this involves considering the availability of materials, constructions methods, transportation issues, site limitations, planning and organization, costs, and profits. Value engineering begins at project inception where the benefits will be the most significant.*

In addition, value engineering involves:

  • Identifying the main elements of a project
  • Analyzing the functions of those elements
  • Developing alternative solutions for delivering those functions
  • Assessing the alternative solutions
  • Allocating costs to the alternative solutions
  • Developing in detail the alternatives with the highest likelihood of success
*Source: Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners; Buro Happold – Designing Buildings Wiki, 8/29/14

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