Value management underpins public sector architecture


Public sector clients have certainly felt the pinch lately, with material shortages, supply chain disruption and labour cost pressures having a significant impact on construction projects, which has created a renewed focus on value management.

This article shares our recent experience working on a state school project in Regional Queensland.

The term ‘value management’ has a particular meaning in architecture, referring to the process through which a building’s cost effectiveness is enhanced through the design stage. It can also refer to the cost engineering of a project, which is usually achieved through the design development stage with the input of a contractor or quantity surveyor.

Balancing cost effectiveness with design and aesthetic priorities is paramount for every project. Ideally, at the end of the design process, the cost to build has been carefully considered in line with the design requirements and aesthetic qualities of a project.

In our experience, it can be beneficial to involve either construction expertise from contractors and or quantity surveyors early in the design development stage to assist with cost control. Presently it is these bodies that are first to realise the significant price rise notifications.

Ultimately, this helps reduce the possibility of cost blow outs and ensures a cost-managed outcome during the design and documentation phase, which can then be monitored against budget constraints throughout the construction program.

Case in point

JMc Architects recently completed a schematic design for the extension of a hall for a state school in Regional Queensland.

Value management played a significant role from the outset in the design and documentation process of the hall project.

We identified numerous ways to incorporate and enhance existing structures while delivering a range of new spaces and facilities. The overall outcome was that we were able to make more of what they already had, and therefore eliminated a range of site preparation costs that were no longer required.

When it came to construction materials, we research options to ensure local suppliers are selected and cost efficiency is a priority, without compromising on durability, aesthetics and climate resilience. Buying locally can eliminate the high cost of freight and the wait time that can impact labour costs as workflows are rescheduled to accommodate delays.

It is this high level of insight, experience and construction knowledge that underpins value management in design. It is central to what we do and the quality outcomes we achieve for all our clients, including those in the public sector.

We believe our approach to value management is a key reason why we are the recipients of major industry awards and why we enjoy a very positive reputation as quality architects with a specialised interest in education and public sector projects. It also contributes to job satisfaction as we help our clients to find the way forward in what can be a complex building environment.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our team today.

By Julianne Field, Director, FRAIA, BOAQ No. 2965

JMc Architects is an award-winning architectural firm known for collaborating with luxury high-end residential private clients, government departments, large institutions and construction companies to create innovative and sustainable building designs that enhance quality of life and contribute positively to communities.