Just the Facts… about VE

VMS Certified Value Specialists Mark Watson and Greg Brink were presenters at Association of General Contractors Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) 2014 Estimating Academy in Kansas City, Missouri in February. The CLC provides an open forum to foster a strong network among construction peers, educating others, and developing members to become future leaders in the construction industry. They annually host an Estimating Academy in conjunction with the Heartland Chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) which is hosted by The Builder’s Association.

Mark and Greg’s presentation focused on changing the construction industry’s preconceived, and sometimes misguided, ideas about the Value Methodology. VM, often called Value Engineering, has been widely (and often rightfully) considered the means reduce project costs, especially in the local construction industry over the past few years. Many times, unfortunately, this has been synonymous with project “cheapening” through scope reductions, material substitutions, or other forms of cost cutting. However, when applied and executed properly, the VE tools and techniques utilized by VMS can be highly effective for balancing user/owner requirements with ever-decreasing project budgets, all the while aiding a growing number of stakeholders in making sound, value-based decisions. Additionally, VMS has made a number of enhancements to the core VM principles, including techniques to analyze and quantify performance and cost and schedule uncertainty. These techniques, when combined with traditional techniques of Financial Modeling and Analysis (including initial and life-cycle cost estimating) and Schedule Analysis, provide a proven means for improving projects, products, and services by focusing on total value optimization.

Their presentation was well received by those in attendance, including the local construction contractor market such as employees of JE Dunn Construction, Turner Construction, and Rand Construction, but also included representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and design firms of U.S. Engineering and Burns and McDonnell.