Driving compliance and reducing risk with value engineering

Driving compliance and reducing risk with value engineering

Value engineering has become an integral part of the delivery process for most construction projects, as design teams leverage their expertise to deliver the best possible outcome for the client within their available budget. The challenge is that the true size of the budget and the non-negotiable requirements for the project are often unknowns for the design team at the beginning of many projects, which can sometimes lead to unnecessary layers of additional revisions, contributing to both the cost and time taken.

At BES, our goal is to strip out as much revision and unnecessary delay from projects as possible by becoming involved in the design process very early. We offer best value when we work with clients at concept stage ensuring we fully explore their mission critical requirements, the commercial drivers for the project and the budget available. When we are involved from this stage, there is less risk of redesign to achieve compliance, saving both time and cost on the project.

Compromise and Compliance
We understand that compromises may be needed to deliver the right facilities within the budget and the required time frame. Our approach, however, is to ensure we apply potential compromise only where it is acceptable for the client and achievable within the design scope, in order to provide a right first time solution. It’s all about asking the right questions, and our experienced team has the knowledge to do that. As a result, we can reduce the need for value engineering where we lead the design from RIBA stage II, while still offering best value. 

By understanding non-negotiable hard lines when it comes to specification, quality, programme and budget, we can tailor the design around the right outcome from the outset, avoiding the need for costly and time-consuming layers of value engineering. It’s a methodology we have formalised, using a scoring matrix to qualify the level of quality and reliability required for every aspect of the project. This ensures that criteria are agreed and measureable against the user requirement specification, the final design and ultimately the completed project.

Collaboration & Choice
Of course, this client-centred approach does not preclude a consultative design process that offers the client choice. End user engagement and optioneering are always part of the design phase, and the more we understand in order to develop design alternatives that meet the brief, the more we can offer the client a genuine choice of options that deliver their mission critical criteria. For example, we need to understand the client’s regulatory compliance requirements, which may be greater than the baseline needed for the specific process or type of facility, to ensure design choices don’t deliver cost savings at the expense of increased risk.

By working in partnership with clients who trust us to understand their requirements and to offer them the right balance of cost management, quality, compliance and de-risking, we have overcome the need for value engineering on many projects. But we operate in the real world, and it’s not always possible to avoid revisions to the original design. We may need to develop a concept that’s already been designed by others, there may be unforeseen reasons to revise the specification or the budget, or there may be a drive to anticipate future compliance or lifecycle costs. 
Whatever the reasons, pragmatism is central to the way we approach the design process, regardless of the stage at which we become involved. The multi-disciplinary expertise within our team means we are often able to achieve both cost savings and quality improvements. 

Our approach is to get fresh eyes on the project, involve our construction teams to ensure we capitalise on any opportunities for buildability improvements, and ensure we balance cost savings against risk factors such as programme length and safety.
The cost savings and additional benefits we have achieved for clients in this way have often been considerable. For example, the decision to relocate plant from an existing high level roof to a new build extension on a recent pharmaceutical sector project delivered a £1million cost saving, while reducing risk and providing operational benefits for the client.

Exceptional Outcomes
Fundamentally, our goal is to reduce risk and deliver the right level of quality, functionality and compliance for the client in the most cost effective and time efficient way possible. Whether that’s through early engagement and optioneering, or through value engineering, we have the expertise and collaborative approach to achieve industry-leading outcomes.

Our Clients

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