Loughborough University
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Solving design problems to add value

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conference contribution
posted on 2009-07-24, 08:34 authored by Simon Austin, Derek ThomsonDerek Thomson
Value management is well established in construction to structure early project briefing and to agree satisficing project values and objectives among project stakeholders. Current practice concentrates on the consideration of value during project definition. This paper proposes Integral Value Engineering as a design management practice that considers value in design throughout project resolution and delivery. An expansion of value management principles is proposed to include the adoption of a problem-solving approach and value-adding tools. These can help assemble value-adding frameworks in which design activity is more explicitly focused on project values. The use of problem solving frameworks to relate design method and outcome to project values is described and the notion of documenting these relationships to create a value-adding audit trail introduced. Integral Value Engineering is defined as the consideration of value when solving design problems, irrespective of the project stage in which they occur or their technical nature. The adaptability of the problem solving approach is discussed, together with its ability to accommodate the extensive variability in problem scope and concurrency in construction projects. The role of individual design engineers as practitioners of Integral Value Engineering is also described; this focuses on collaborative forums to incorporate the expertise of specialised suppliers. A web-based Value-Adding Toolbox is described to disseminate value-adding tool descriptions, methods and examples within a single organisation or managed value chain. The paper concludes that, for integral value engineering to be effective, suitable metrics must be identified to monitor the extent to which technical design solutions satisfy overall project values. This would allow responsive mechanisms to be defined so that design development can be managed throughout project duration to ensure that the satisficing values initially defined by value management at project outset will be delivered.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


AUSTIN, S.A. and THOMSON, D.S., 2001. Solving design problems to add value. IN: Proceedings of W096 - Architectural Management, Value through Design Conference, 14-15 September, University of Reading, UK. CIB Publication 280. Rotterdam : CIB, pp.1-8




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