What Exactly is Value Engineering?


A concept initially developed by the American engineer Lawrence Miles during World War II to overcome the issue of limited supplies during a wartime economy, it is a methodology aimed at improving the function and quality of products or projects while minimising costs.

The process begins with the identification of key elements, followed by analysing their functions, developing alternative solutions, assessing these alternatives, allocating costs, and refining the most promising solutions.

Value engineering in construction considers factors like material availability, construction methods, transportation, site limitations, planning, organization, costs, and profits. Benefits include reduced life cycle costs, improved quality, and minimised environmental impacts.

Key principles or "results accelerators" include avoiding generalities, obtaining all available costs, using information from the best source, being creative, overcoming roadblocks, employing industry experts, pricing key tolerances, using standard products, paying for expert advice, and utilising specialist processes.

Imagine a proactive and ongoing process that constantly seeks better ways to build without compromising functionality or performance. That's the essence of value engineering. It's not simply about taking shortcuts; it's about finding the perfect balance between cost, performance, and long-term value throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.

One area where value engineering can be particularly effective is in the selection of HVAC systems. While traditional metal ventilation has been the go-to choice in the past, textile ductwork has emerged as a cost-effective and efficient alternative that perfectly aligns with the principles of value engineering. Here's why:

  1. Labour Efficiency and Modular Design: Textile ducts have a modular design similar to building blocks like Lego. This simplifies installation, reduces labour requirements, and eliminates the need for various lifting equipment often necessary with heavier metal duct systems. This results in faster assembly time, lower labour costs, and a more streamlined construction process.

  2. Weight Considerations and Structural Savings: Textile ducts are significantly lighter than their metal counterparts. This means easier handling during installation and even reduces the need for additional structural support in the building. As a result, it can lead to cost savings during construction and sometimes even free up valuable space within the roof structure.

  3. Overall Cost Efficiency: When comparing textile ductwork systems to traditional metal double-wall systems, the former can be 30-50% more cost-effective. This includes savings in labour costs, simplified assembly, and reduced structural demands.

Embracing textile ventilation with the goal of value engineering presents a compelling proposition. Not only does it unlock significant cost savings through faster installation, lighter weight, and reduced structural demands, but it also paves the way for a more streamlined and agile construction process.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you build smarter instead of harder.