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Cost Control

Slow Down & Take the Holistic Route

After decades of research, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman determined that people make most decisions after thinking fast, a process governed chiefly by instinct or habit or both.  Slow thinking, in contrast, may yield better decisions.  Slow thinking, as Kahneman defines it, requires stepping back, looking at the big picture, and acknowledging biases. Kahneman’s research aligns with my own experience as an architectural engineer.  When we work too quickly, we think fast, and this can work to our detriment.  An example of fast thinking in our business is to look at first costs rather than value.  For the most... Read More

Keeping the Value in Value Engineering

We haven’t found a project with an unlimited budget yet! As Architects, Engineers, Designers, Owners, or Contractors, your projects are undoubtedly also controlled by the almighty dollar; and as such, you’ve probably been through the value engineering (VE) process at least a time or two. Though it may be called by other names and sometimes the process itself may vary, the concept is straightforward – reduce a project’s construction costs to meet the project’s budget. Once in “VE mode”, the design team must work collectively to compile a list of finishes, systems, materials, etc. that can be modified, substituted, or... Read More