WRS engineers have participated in nearly 100 value engineering studies in the last decade.
But's that's just the part of the iceberg you see. In our experience, we have found that the value engineering aspect is too often tacked onto an engineering project only in its too-traditional, too-narrow confines — that is, to try to force down the costs of the design. In our experience, that narrow definition of value engineering limits its real possibilities. The value engineering concept is often not implemented correctly nor to its full effect when it is considered simply as a tool for cost-cutting—particularly if cost-cutting is eventually prioritized over the function, and even the quality, of the project. In cases that implement value engineering outside the bigger picture, the select changes that result for the sake of cost reduction have been demonstrated to introduce new significant risks into the construction process and into the project as a whole.
Instead, WRS encourages clients to re-orient the value engineering aspect to where it rightly belongs: At the project start.
Value engineering is best wielded against engineering challenges not as a blunt instrument of cost reduction, but instead as a holistic and comprehensive cost-awareness process. The entire project team must be clear throughout the project that cost variables — although an important aspect of all proposed solutions and designs — are not the sole aspect, nor even the primary one. Rather than tacking on value engineering to chase cost-cutting, WRS suggests an approach in which value engineering pervades all parts of the project scope, from reviewing the preliminary planning down to permitting the project with regulators, through overseeing the contractor during construction.
Value engineering is not an aftermarket add-on; value engineering has to be baked into the process. That philosophy underpins the approach that distinguishes WRS from other consultants. It is an approach that will bring a fresh perspective to a project. By keeping our efforts focused on the value of the project, we are often able to “blank the specification sheet,” challenging prior assumptions that can lead to costly unnecessary and extraneous project additions. Guided by an experienced and knowledgeable value professional and encouraged by a creative and accepting client, our experience has proven that value engineering can often impact project timelines, as well, helping clients achieve functionality faster without the attendant expense, because functionality — true functionality — is uncovered sooner, with all the accompanying benefit that discovery brings.
Such an approach will not only reduce costs, but also will add valuable functionality that will accomplish all the project goals, from public involvement to design functionality to on-time schedule delivery.