Fall
2008 President's Message

Value Engineering

With the skyrocketing cost of construction materials, including fuel and asphalt, value engineering has reached a higher commitment and a new level of opportunity. Value Engineering (VE) is defi ned as delivering more value without increasing the cost to the client. VE is not a fancy term for “shortcuts,” because shortcuts only decrease the value to the client or compromise the environment, safety or functionality. VE also extends far beyond the “let’s save money” discussion.

At the core of VE is providing the client and end-user with a successful project, from every possible angle. As a conscientious contractor, Brubacher Excavating uses great energy to make certain all parties see the “big picture” of any project.

VE can include one or more focuses:
  • Safety: Decreasing the risk to which employees are exposed.
  • Long-Term Maintenance Costs: Using fusion-pipe that won’t crack or break, or incorporating low-mow or no-mow grass into the project, which also has environmental benefits.
  • Environmental Impact: Using porous pavement and concrete that reduces run-off, increases groundwater recharge, and decreases slipping hazards from surface water freezing in the
    winter months.
  • Aesthetics & Function: Making the project more visually appealing when completed.

Most VE practices benefit at least two of these areas, if not all.

Integrating VE Into Entire Project

VE is a process, not an event.Too many times VE is viewed as an event that is done once during the design and bidding state of a project, and this simply isn’t the best practice. The greatest benefits of VE start at the design and engineering phase of a project and continue throughout the entire project.

VE is a partnership between the owner, engineer, inspecting authorities, general contractor and key contractors involved in the project. Partnering with key contractors, like Brubacher Excavating, will help identify value-adds early in the process. Furthermore, partnerships ensure that sequencing of a project’s site work makes sense from a construction and efficiency standpoint, while protecting the environment.

VE is creative and fun. Construction is governed by rigid laws and regulations, and VE provides a creative and collaborative way to work within those boundaries.

VE takes additional time and patience, but when successfully integrated into a project, we all gain the satisfaction of developing something valuable for our customers, and ultimately the end user.