Are you falling victim to Value Engineering? [BLOG]

Are you falling victim to Value Engineering? [BLOG]

A blog written by Commulite...

Many of us know the extent that ‘Value Engineering’ occurs but all too often it goes under the radar, leading to ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ on the clients’ part. This is something that needs to be addressed and eradicated if we want to avoid another tragedy like Grenfell.

The Grenfell inquiry has exposed the sharp practices adopted by contractors and manufacturers to increase profits without considering duty of care, moral obligation, and basic honesty.

As a specialist designer and manufacturer of Communal and Emergency lighting systems, we are still shocked by the comments made to us regarding our designs.

Recent comments we’ve received include the following...

“We do not care about the efficacy of the system as no one will check it anyway”

“We do not need emergency lighting in our blocks as it is not a requirement and people can use a torch”

“We do not need escape routes for roof plant rooms as no one goes up there at night”

We hear these kinds of comments time and time again.

‘Value engineering’ can sometimes be driven by the contractors attempting to increase their own profits by buying cheaper, instead of buying better value for the Client.

Whole life best value is of little interest to some contractors who gain no benefit from best value over the life of some products and systems. Ultimately the Client pays the price both in terms of long term cost saving and quality of build.

Design and build creates many headaches for the Client who has no longer got any technical expertise ‘in house’, and instead has to engage with what they believe to be technical specialist to act on their behalf.

So what has changed since Grenfell and how does it affect you?

Following the Grenfell tragedy, there have been some important changes to the regulations and recommendations regarding the safety aspects of residential housing.

We now have the Building Safety Bill which not only addresses areas of safety, but also sets out to restore the trust of the idents by demonstrating why their buildings are safe, and to be seen to be safe.

The new recommendations of BS8629 provide guidance on installing manual evacuation alerts to ensure the fire brigade have a reliable system for a controlled evacuation of a building based on separate zones, preventing panic and giving safe control of exit routes and staircases.

Unfortunately, there are still many parties that remain ignorant of the latest requirements and even previous requirements such as BS5266.

Now clients need to nominate ‘Responsible Persons' for ensuring that landlords remain compliant in many areas of safety, but the broad spectrum of disciplines required makes this a difficult post to fill.

What can you do?

In the first instance you must nominate your responsible person with great care and ensure that they possess the necessary competencies. This must be based on qualifications and experience.

Make sure that life saving systems are selected on guaranteed performance and third party accreditations.

Never accept ‘value engineering’ where the results are money saving rather than absolute best whole life value.

Talk to the specialists who will give honest best advice regarding your projects, and who will assist you in avoiding a public enquiry.

Obviously this will not always be easy but remember that ‘easy’ is an easy route to disaster.

Choosing to install Commulite systems is a decision you can make in complete confidence.

Commulite systems have been designed to supersede all requirements, ensuring absolute compliance now, whilst also future proofing your investment against any legislation upgrades. Commulite systems put the safety of your residents first, because what is the point of emergency systems otherwise?

But we understand the demands clients face, so we made sure our system also gives you:
• The best lifetime value
• Quickest payback on investment
• Best energy savings (with zero emission and cost an available option)
• Guaranteed compliance at all times

Commulite are experts in the required standards and are happy to offer free help and advice.
To find out more about how we can help you stay compliant call us on 01277 600 300

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Commulite Limited

Commulite Limited

Over the past 10 years Commulite has developed innovative systems to improve the living environments of residents in social housing as well as giving significant benefits to landlords of social housing, including care homes, halls of residence, tower...
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