For those seeking cost savings in their office buildout or renovation, value engineering is a valuable option.

AQUILA’s experienced project managers excel at establishing realistic budgets from the start. However, when adjustments are required, value engineering serves as an effective technique to reduce project expenses.

Read Next: How Long Does It Take to Build Out or Renovate Office Space?

This article provides:

  • An introduction to value engineering
  • Strategies for utilizing value engineering to achieve cost savings in your office build-out project
  • Insights into potential challenges associated with value engineering


How to Use Value Engineering

During the budgeting process, your project manager carefully considers potential cost factors and incorporates a contingency allowance to mitigate unforeseen expenses. However, if the original budget proves inadequate, value engineering can be explored as a viable solution.

Implementing value engineering involves a collaborative discussion with your project manager to assess the original budget. Together, you will identify unnecessary or underestimated elements. Subsequently, the project manager will devise an efficient plan to incorporate these changes while minimizing project delays.

Read Next: What Is the Office Build-Out Process?

In a scenario where project funds become limited midway through your project, it becomes crucial to reassess priorities. For instance, if the initial vision included private offices, new carpet, and floor-to-ceiling windows, but budget constraints arise, the project manager will assist in determining which elements can be scaled back or removed while identifying feasible alternatives. This approach ensures that project expenses align with the available budget without compromising its overall success.


Real-World Examples of Value Engineering

To demonstrate the practical application of value engineering, consider these examples showcasing simple methods to optimize an office build-out project:

AQUILA Lobby | Value Engineering Tip

AQUILA’s own glass-wall conference room takes advantage of this value engineering hack.

Scale Back an All-Glass Conference Room

A cost-saving approach to value engineering glass-walled conference rooms is to reconsider the joining method for the glass panels. While butt-glazed glass is commonly specified, opting for raco-framed glass can result in significant savings, often exceeding 50% of the cost. This alternative approach allows for both cost efficiency and adherence to the trend of glass-walled conference rooms.

AQUILA Work room | Plastic Laminate Countertops | value engineering

AQUILA used plastic laminate countertops in our workroom and solid surface countertops in our client-facing spaces such as our kitchen and conference rooms.

Switch to Plastic Laminate Countertops

An effective value engineering strategy for cost savings in your office build-out involves selecting more economical finishes for your millwork.

Instead of opting for solid surface countertops, consider plastic laminate alternatives that offer a similar appearance. This switch can result in significant cost savings. To maintain the desired aesthetic in public areas, reserve the use of plastic laminate for back-of-house spaces like employee coffee bars and workrooms. This approach allows you to achieve cost efficiency without compromising the overall design of your office.

Spec Suite at The Campus at Arboretum in Austin, TX | value engineering

Because flooring is such a big expense, you can often save money by comparing similar specs and manufacturers.

Choose a Less Expensive Carpet

An effective cost-saving measure is to revise the carpet specification during your office build-out. Many commercial carpet manufacturers offer similar products in various colors and patterns, with varying price points.

By exploring alternative options, you can often find a carpet that closely matches your desired style but at a significantly lower cost. Saving just $5 to $10 per square yard on carpet installation can result in substantial savings, potentially amounting to thousands of dollars for your project’s overall budget.

Read Now: 4 Tips to Save Money on Your Office Build-Out

Issues with Value Engineering

Value engineering can pose challenges when changes are required late in the project timeline. If construction materials have already been ordered, design drawings finalized, and the deadline is looming, implementing value engineering can incur expenses rather than generate savings. Redrawing plans and returning items can be costly, necessitating a consideration of these additional expenses when evaluating the feasibility of value engineering.

Moreover, it is essential to acknowledge that the final outcome may deviate from the initial vision. While this may not be a significant concern, it remains an important factor to contemplate when choosing between value engineering and securing additional funding for the project.


Need a Project Manager to Help You With Value Engineering?

We trust that this article has provided valuable insights into leveraging value engineering for cost savings in your office build-out. Given the complexities involved in managing project alterations, we strongly recommend engaging the expertise of a skilled project manager to navigate the process effectively.

Read Now: Cost to Hire a Project Manager for an Office Build-Out or Renovation

To learn everything you need to know about your office build-out read our Ultimate Guide to Building Out Office Space.

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If you would like to discuss ways to save money on your office build-out or would like to learn more about the project budgeting process, schedule a consultation with our project management team today.

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Dustin Hogzett | Commercial Project Management in Austin, Texas | AQUILA Commercial

Dustin Hogzett

As a project manager with AQUILA, Dustin leads and manages fast-track and task-critical design and construction projects.

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