Construction Services & Value Engineering
For a modest consulting fee, ELEMENT can help you optimize your projects’ value at any stage.
And if we can assist in the fabrication or supply of any materials, we will gladly credit any fees back to you!
We are focused on creating a win-win situation to ensure your project moves forward.
Maximizing a projects’ worth while minimizing the social, environmental and financial price paid.
Where Do We Start?
To comprehensively address the true cost of a project we need to identify those amounts of human and environmental capital that must be expended in the process.
This requires a holistic approach that goes beyond the traditional limited view of material and labor costs. It must encompass everything from a raw materials’ origins, through building usage and social impact, to long term benefits for the owner and end of life considerations such as repurposing a structure and recycling materials.
How Do We Optimize?
- By understanding that the total cost of a scope of work is often more than just the cost of materials and fabrication.
- By working closely with the design and construction teams.
- And by following a process that has as its primary input, the design intent and as a constraining output, the total final cost.
What We Do
We take a comprehensive approach by building a matrix bounded by three key parameters:
- The Design Intent
- The Budget
- The Schedule
Into this matrix, all possible viable material options and fabrication methodologies are entered along with all other activities that have a direct or indirect cost impact. These added inputs are not just limited to materials and labor, they include delivery methods, supply chain constraints, warranty and maintenance requirements, engineering design, finishing options, alternate sequencing of events, assembly of components either on site or in the shop, packaging costs, freight costs, inputs from surrounding trades both before and after installation, installation costs and durations, … and so on.
Good information from the design and construction teams is important to the success of this process. We ask many questions, the answers to which will inform and direct the process toward a solution acceptable to everyone.
ELEMENT can assist in a consultative role as an unbiased independent third party … or we would be happy to participate as a team member.
Either way, our input can help keep your budget under control.
Examples of how we’ve helped in the past …
When a specified material cost is high,…. use a different material!
National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Original request was for solid bronze facade panels.
- ELEMENT proposed cast aluminum panels at one tenth the cost of bronze.
- ELEMENT developed a custom paint finish to mimic the appearance of bronze.
- Project saved in excess of $15 million!
When raw material costs are high….. reduce the amount of material!
University of California San Diego
San Diego, California
- Exterior shading system designed in a heavy gauge material.
- Shading fins were at risk of being deleted due to cost.
- ELEMENT re-engineered a design in thinner material.
- Total system cost was reduced by approx 50%!
When labor costs are high,…. minimize labor!
San Francisco Public Safety Building
San Francisco, California
- Exterior zinc shading slats were very heavy to handle during fabrication.
- 15,000 components were required; adding considerable labor costs.
- ELEMENT designed components that could be produced robotically.
- Labor costs were halved! Final cost was competitive with offshore suppliers!
When transportation costs are high,….. reduce freight costs!
Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Shading system occupied triple the volume of the curtain wall system increasing freight costs.
- ELEMENT designed fins to collapse to 1/8th of their expanded volume.
- Reduction in shipping volume saved over 53 full dedicated trucks to site!
- Cost and environmental impact was reduced substantially.