Building owners, specifiers, and contractors are constantly struggling to find a balance between economical engineering and optimal performance. Unfortunately, this often means making a choice between saving money and optimizing performance as everyone involved strives to do what’s best for the customer while providing a robust system with reliable longevity. The drawback to this strategy is that it often results in “value engineering.”
Value engineering can be a costly mistake when done improperly. I have written previously about why value engineering doesn’t work for mechanical insulation, and for the most part it is still true. The goal of value engineering is to achieve the lowest possible lifecycle cost while still staying consistent with the performance and safety requirements of the project. However, when mechanical insulation is value engineered, the original goals are not able to be met.
In his article on the Johns Manville mechanical insulation blog, Mechanical Insulation Project Manager Lance Bonin provides practical examples of how misconceptions about value engineering, and the idea that one product can be interchanged with another, can result in not only decreased system performance, but significant energy loss—and, by extension, money loss.