BIG PICTURE THINKING. PRACTICAL APPROACH. SUSTAINABLE DESIGN.
Using the above framework as our guide to achieve sustainable energy efficiencies that minimize the carbon footprint on the environment, save money, and increase asset values for our clients, Elara is well-positioned to deliver its expertise and innovative designs through the value-added project approach and methodology described below.
Value-Based Equipment Selection
The process to evaluate and select major equipment during the schematic engineering design phase that represents the best value to building ownership and truly “fits” a building’s specific needs is known as value-based equipment selection.
Elara’s Long History Using Value-Based Equipment Selection. Since Elara’s inception in 2001 and well before that for its Principal founders, Elara has emphasized proactive planning and within that approach, Value-Based Equipment Selection methodologies. Although Value-Based Equipment Selection has recently received greater interest, it is nothing new to Elara as it has always been fully embraced and integrated in how we collaborate with our clients.
Benefits of Value-Based Equipment Selection. Within traditional project approaches, waiting until the construction bidding phase to select major equipment may (1) limit options due to delivery lead-time constraints, (2) create additional complexity to the review of benefits and drawbacks among numerous manufacturers in context of a system design that is nearly final, and (3) require extensive consideration of impacts that equipment selections may have that result in additional cost and/or complexity beyond the equipment itself. For example, a “packaged” air handling unit (AHU) may be less in material cost, but may require a crane or helicopter to lift it to its final location, whereas a “knock-down” AHU that can be taken apart may be greater in material cost, but will avoid the secondary cost and disruption of a crane or helicopter lift. Thus, the knock-down AHU may, in fact, represent the more cost effective and less risky option.
As a project moves further though its design phases and decision points, these and many other opportunities for cost reduction, greater energy efficiency, lower associated maintenance and operating costs, and enhanced occupant comfort become more and more limited. This is why preplanning using Value-Based Equipment Selection during the engineering design phase provides the greatest opportunity for a successful project and this is why Elara has employed Value-Base Equipment Selection for decades.
Additional information and recommended tips for Value-Based Equipment Selection can be found in the following article: Planning for MEP Infrastructure Projects in High-Rise Buildings.