The bottom line. That is an unavoidable, monolithic reality of the construction industry. However, a formulaic “race to the bottom” can have dramatically negative effects on the true cost of a project.

On this episode of the Engineering Value podcast, Steve Edwards, Director of National Accounts and Special Projects with Draper, sat down with Sean Heath to discuss the ways in which a formulaic approach is only as good as the latest data entered into that formula.

Simply putting numbers into a pre-formulated spreadsheet is a common mistake, according to Edwards.

“That tells them that component X, maybe it’s the flooring, is going to be 6%, and the furnishings are going to be 1 & 1/2 %, and that’s instantly now set the budget without any actual regard for what the functionality of anything’s supposed to be,” he said.

Something as simple as a clear discussion about fabric choice can generate immense savings, Edwards explained.

“You could maybe drive the cost up on a hospital project up by 30-40% just in your fabric selection, and the owner has no idea that they’re paying that premium, and they really have no interest in paying that premium,” he said. “So, a simple change in that fabric spec can really save a lot of money.”

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