Value Engineering can add value

Architects and engineers may be used to thinking of Value Engineering as a form of design torture, where value is stripped out of a project design in order to save money. But Value Engineering can also provide an opportunity to consider values that may enhance the performance of a building over time. It is a good time to consider or revisit questions of maintainability, access for maintenance, and flexibility for changing uses over time.

One use change that is common but rarely considered is the conversion of non-storage spaces to storage use; this is often done informally by building users and without consideration for the capacity of the floor or other supporting structure that is being loaded. In some cases the structural capacity of a floor can be increased by including additional floor joists and reducing the spacing between them, and the initial additional cost may be minimal for a substantial gain in flexibility. (Storage uses may also bring other requirements that should be considered in making the decision.)

Conversely, another common use change is the conversion of storage spaces to non-storage spaces like offices that need ventilation that is not common for storage spaces. In that case, the question to consider is how the design can accommodate a future change from storage space to a ventilated office space.)

Posted in Project Administration, Project Management

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