Location

New York, New York

Session Start Date

4-13-2004

Session End Date

4-17-2004

Abstract

“Value Engineering” is a frequently found clause in Construction contracts in the USA, allowing contractor-initiated design changes. Misleading is the interpretation of “value engineering” to imply cost savings shared with the owner, and its implementation during construction, is problematic. It is not surprising that such a clause would simply be ignored because it involves changes in design, often major changes in very short time; and change is feared and vehemently resisted by all parties, owner, designer, and contractor. The problem may lie in the divergence and separation of the designer/engineer and builder/contractor; their priorities and incentives are very different. The engineer spends years, even decades, in design and prepares contract documents often without a deep-seated understanding of construction methods, including geotechnical construction. Even worse, given extensive computational advancements, the designer submits exaggerated code-based designs with excessive safety factors. As for the contractor, he often builds without full appreciation of design principles or regard for design engineers. Owner budget and schedule constraints (not commensurate with his demands) and the ever-increasing litigious climate have exacerbated the situation. Adverse and hostile relationship between the various groups is often the norm with extended disputes and claims, not to mention the costs these entail. Redesign to apply a new technology or optimization of an inferior design just before construction becomes unthinkable. Four case histories are presented.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Fifth Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

4-13-2004

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2004 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 13th, 12:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

“Value Engineering…?” – Changes During Construction

New York, New York

“Value Engineering” is a frequently found clause in Construction contracts in the USA, allowing contractor-initiated design changes. Misleading is the interpretation of “value engineering” to imply cost savings shared with the owner, and its implementation during construction, is problematic. It is not surprising that such a clause would simply be ignored because it involves changes in design, often major changes in very short time; and change is feared and vehemently resisted by all parties, owner, designer, and contractor. The problem may lie in the divergence and separation of the designer/engineer and builder/contractor; their priorities and incentives are very different. The engineer spends years, even decades, in design and prepares contract documents often without a deep-seated understanding of construction methods, including geotechnical construction. Even worse, given extensive computational advancements, the designer submits exaggerated code-based designs with excessive safety factors. As for the contractor, he often builds without full appreciation of design principles or regard for design engineers. Owner budget and schedule constraints (not commensurate with his demands) and the ever-increasing litigious climate have exacerbated the situation. Adverse and hostile relationship between the various groups is often the norm with extended disputes and claims, not to mention the costs these entail. Redesign to apply a new technology or optimization of an inferior design just before construction becomes unthinkable. Four case histories are presented.