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Value Engineering

Value Engineering (VE) in its original context is not a bad thing – it is a process conducted by engineers, contractors, building owners and others in the construction industry to optimize the resources (money, time, materials) available, without compromising the quality of the building.

Unfortunately, it has become a cost-cutting practice that can compromise the building and sometimes results in higher costs for the owner. This is especially true when it comes to substituting plastic for cast iron. In fact, a recent study of plumbing engineers found that 61% of VE requests they received were not in the client’s best interest.

There are solid reasons that an engineer specifies a product as the most suitable material for an application, and those reasons should be strongly considered during the value engineering process. To help in the decision-making process, here are a few resources that can help you decide whether to use cast iron or plastic pipe and fittings. These tools can also be used to help protect engineer’s specifications.

Value Engineering Considerations (Brochure with Checklist!)
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Article Reprint – Value Engineering Has Gone Too Far

Sound Design in Drain, Waste and Vent Lines [172k pdf]

Cast Iron Brochure
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New Survey Finds That Value Engineering Is on the Rise Despite Negative Outcomes

Value Engineering Checklist [465k pdf]

Article Reprint: Navigating the PVC Value-Engineering Proposal
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Article Reprint: PVC or Cast Iron Soil Pipe for Commercial Underground Drainage?

Help Avoid Value Engineering Problems and Litigation [167k pdf]

Value Engineering: Avoid Litigation by Choosing Right Material for Right Job

University Sues Endowment Re: Plumbing Issue

Value Engineering Survey Results

Whitepaper: Navigating the PVC VE Proposal  [98k pdf]


If the cast iron pipe in plumbing engineer's specs were only a suggestion, they'd be called suggestifications. [153k pdf]

Suggestifications - a vague description or loose assessment of what a job may or may not need. [109k pdf]

They call it value engineering for a reason. You're losing value.

Other Value Engineering Articles

Oklahoma State University stadium lawsuit gets settled

Winnipeg Airport plan grounded - Leaky pipe, suit over costs put opening on hold

Case Studies

Case Study: Oklahoma State University (OSU) Plubming System Failure [472k pdf]

Case Study: Gillespie County Jail [1579k pdf]

Case Study: Commercial Kitchens [1558k pdf]

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