Opinion

‘Value engineering should not be a pure cost-cutting exercise’

London high-rise buildings (Image: Dreamstime/Luke Sanderson)

To state the obvious, value engineering should mean obtaining the best long-term benefit for the client, be they corporate or domestic. Too often it is engineering the price down to the client’s budget.

We do need to ensure it contains full consideration of what we used to call cost in use, or lifetime costing.

John Lyons

As a clerk of works, I always question why something has been value engineered, always downwards.

If it has been designed by a competent person, then please get another ‘competent’ person look at it, not someone who just wants to see a better end figure.

You accepted the price in the first place – make savings by being better!

Duncan Haxton

I believe that value engineering has a role to play in construction. However, it should be performed as a full design team exercise, and not as a pure cost-cutting exercise.

The client is entitled to see value for money in the project while at the same time few individual building professionals have all the answers.

By coming together as a design team, the real value (or negative value) of a design solution is exposed and alternatives considered, all to the overall improvement of the project.

George Tipping

Value engineering that does not sustain or even improve function and performance is by definition NOT value engineering!

Chris Soffe


While it is good for labour costs to rise, let’s hope this is for the long term and for the betterment of construction. This rise could encourage more youths to start a career in construction.

We need to commence a drive to upskill the youths for the future, and this should be our vision. We are facing a shortage of skilled labour and this is one of many factors driving cost especially for small firms.

Projects are taking longer to complete due to the workforce turnover. Small firms either pay higher wages or risk losing skilled labour. This means small firms have to face the client requesting more monies or hike the price for new projects.

With both material price rises and labour cost rises, construction needs a new narrative and direction. This will take a collective approach. But we need it fast.

Balfour Burrell


I think you will find dehydration will kill everything – it’s not rocket science. They fail to mention how you’re supposed to dehydrate something that’s in your garden and will be hydrated every time it rains.

Paul Triggs

I would probably place on a tarp and cover if inclement weather should arrive.

Mary Dahlheimer


Excellent idea from the BAM and AKT Productions team, thank you. Something we all need to get behind and promote. It has the potential to be a great tool in helping to create a suicide-safer construction industry.

Carl Wales

Long overdue. Construction can be a high-pressure brutal work environment, giving rise to many mental health issues. I have been there for 35 years, and it’s hard to know where to start.

Terry Madill

Part of the problem has always been main contractors’ buyers placing subcontract orders at the very last minute. This continues despite the shortages of materials and causes delays that are wholly avoidable if orders are placed earlier.

David Betts


The cost to supply power is a consideration that doesn’t seem to be talked about much. Where is the electricity going to come from? What safety measures will be in place in the event of a power cut?

What about the weather – for example. extreme heat in the summer, extreme winter weather, and especially wind?

There is a lot of research required and now is the time to start. The diesel engine’s days are numbered. We must move on.

Sean Morgan

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Comments

  1. Duncan Haxton has been mistakenly credited with my previous comment on Value Engineering. However, the main issue is my comment remains valid. I would like to add that by a full design team value engineering exercise it also brings out conflicts between various design team discipline solutions and by so doing not only capital costs but costs in use are both considered to justify the best overall solution for the Client’s investment.

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