How to Get Real Value from Your Building Construction Manager


For most architects and Owners, “value engineering” is the exercise performed when the bids for a building construction project come in above the stated budget. The contractor begins to remove or replace tasks from the subcontractors’ scope of work and negotiates with the designer and suppliers for less expensive materials. This often cheapens the design and may result in more savings than needed to meet the budget. It’s an opportunity for an unscrupulous contractor to pocket part of the difference and still look good to the Owner by returning some savings to the project budget. Value engineering, as practiced by many, brings very little real value to your building project.

RA-LIN follows a process we have branded Value Management. It is based on complete transaction transparency. Very soon after establishing the project organization team, a cost management plan, including all cost components of your job, is prepared and reviewed with you and the design team. All future estimates are presented in a detailed, line-item format which allows our team to track price variances in the different components of the project. These different components are compared to the control budget created in the cost management plan. This Value Management system provides the information necessary to understand which parts of the project are demanding premium dollars.

This approach allows the project team to utilize RA-LIN’s cost expertise to analyze all components and systems within the project. Value Management seeks to accomplish these goals:

  1. To enhance the quality of design without increasing costs
  2. To maintain the required levels of building and system performance
  3. To qualify all architectural and engineering designs on a cost-versus-performance basis

Value Management requires a systematic, formal effort directed at isolating and eliminating unnecessary costs. To achieve this, RA-LIN examines the following items during the design phase.

               – Selection of materials, building systems, and equipment

               – Time requirements for procurement, installation, and construction completion

               – Recommendations on the feasibility of construction systems

               – Availability of materials and labor

               – Alternate designs or materials

               – Lifecycle cost vs. original cost

The Value Management process begins early, is ongoing, and is accomplished concurrently with the design process. Systems related to work that is normally subcontracted are analyzed through consultation with knowledgeable subcontractors. The quality of the project is enhanced immeasurably when an experienced contractor with accurate, up-to-date information and cost data has input into the building design. RA-LIN will bring this kind of input to your commercial, institutional, or industrial building projects. We have been improving our craft for forty-three years and have, quite frankly, become very good at it. You can believe it.