Construction Today - May 2017 - 11
Sixty percent of cost-saving
measures can be found
before ground is broken.
small changes can
« » Seemingly
help save clients even millions
Substituting aluminum that appears to
be wood, veneered/laminated wood or
even foam can bring down the cost without changing the end user's experience.
Generally, higher quality finishes
should be used below the 10-foot mark,
while faux or lower quality versions of
the same material can be used above it.
If it's going to be out of a person's line of
vision, it's an opportunity for savings.
Just make sure not to skimp in high-visibility areas.
* Lower Ceiling Heights - While high
ceilings can be an attractive architectural
feature, removing even just a few inches
from the floor-to-ceiling height can
result in significant savings if you can
reduce a building below the "high-rise"
required threshold. This minimal change
isn't noticeable to the consumer, and allows the overall budget to be reduced or
re-allocated to high priority amenities.
In addition to requiring more materials, buildings that are above the highrise designation come with added costs
that are related to fire, life and safety
codes for emergency access, automatic
sprinkler systems, alarm and communications, elevator safety, smoke detection,
seismic regulations, backup power,
helicopter landing areas and more. These
can vary by state, region and city, but
regardless of the area, the reduction of the building height can
save major costs.
* Pre-Fabrication - Pre-fabricating components of a structure,
with only the final assembly happening on-site, standardizes
the production process, reduces potential complications that
come with building on-site, saves time, minimizes waste and
often results in lower costs due to economies of scale.
Building and assembling components in a warehouse or factory with more space and a wider variety of tools and machinery
is preferable when considering the many limitations that construction sites have. It also reduces the number of deliveries that
need to be coordinated at the construction site, and generally
makes the logistics of a project much simpler.
* Monitor Commodities - Construction managers should
constantly be monitoring the price of relevant commodities
to ensure they are using the most cost-efficient material at the
time of construction. By substituting for aluminum wire when
copper prices are high or using steel when concrete is costly, you
can display your value and expertise to clients and save them
This is one area where construction managers need to be
especially nimble. Commodity prices are quick to change and
may not stay consistent from the time project plans are finalized
to when construction begins. If the cost of granite skyrockets as
soon as you break ground on an office project, it may be best to
recommend a change to quartz.
These seemingly small changes can save clients hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars without affecting the integrity of the
final product or necessitating a cut in amenities. Whether the overall
budget is decreased or the project scope is expanded because of the
additional capital, making just a few of these adjustments can be
extremely valuable for owners.
the Greater Los Angeles
region at C.W. Driver
Companies, a premier
builder providing general
contracting, construction management and
to the Western United
States since 1919. With
20 years of experience,
Ruig works with project
owners and architects
to oversee construction
projects from preconstruction and planning
phases to final project
delivery. He can be
reached at pruig@
cwdriver.com or (949)
MAY 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM