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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Design and Build to Budget First, Minimize Value Engineering Later

value engineering

The ultimate goal of almost every project is to keep costs as lean as possible while getting everything that’s needed, nothing less. This is easier said than done and usually can’t be achieved unless the owner has a clear vision of what they want and effectively communicates their specific requirements to the designer. It's a team effort that requires close, consistent collaboration, meetings at least once a week, adherence to a schedule, and accountability from both sides.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Projects often morph into something different. When the design becomes substantially complete and costs are applied, owners go into sticker shock when they see the price tag. They want to know why project costs are 10-15% higher than the original budget. The task now is to dive in and find ways to reduce costs, which can entail eliminating scope, finding comparable but less-expensive materials, and devising alternate (and sometimes inferior) ways of doing things.

This is value engineering, and for some, this process has a bad reputation. The problem is that clients often feel that in order to meet their budget, they’re forced to settle for something less. They expected “A”, but now they have to accept “B”. Or, if they’re completely set on “A”, deep cuts must be made in other areas. It’s an unwanted compromise and puts everyone in an uncomfortable situation.

We at Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services do our best to avoid this all-too-common scenario by working with owners and designers from the beginning whenever possible, providing input and budget pricing throughout the process to keep the project in line with the budget. Electrical, controls, and instrumentation are a significant part of any project and require close attention including continual pricing exercises. By following this course, value engineering will play a much smaller role in the end and decision-making crises and hard feelings among parties can be avoided.

About Omni

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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