U.S. Courts Design Guide
construction prospectus is submitted to Congress for authorization and appropriation
of construction funds. If appropriations are lower than requested or construction bids
higher than estimated, the courts, GSA, and consultants may have to modify the
facility program and redesign the project to meet the appropriated budget.
Once a construction prospectus is funded, a contract is awarded for project
construction. The contract might specify that the construction contractor identify
opportunities for cost savings. The courts must be aware of the functional and cost
impact of changes made during construction.
Value Engineering and Life-Cycle Costing
Value engineering is a method of calculating the value received for the dollars spent
over the lifetime of a building, with the emphasis placed on obtaining the maximum
life-cycle value. These calculations must include the cost of construction, operation,
and repair of the facility, and the efficient delivery of services. If value engineering is
not applied until the later stages of design or after the design is completed, it may
cause an examination of alternative design solutions; the substitution of materials,
value may result in increased initial construction costs in exchange for decreased
operation costs over the useful life of the building system. Value engineering must not
be a vehicle for reducing the initial construction cost of the building. The construction
cost per square foot is not the only measure of value when considering the efficiency
of the total facility. The life-cycle cost of a building will reflect the efficiency of a
building long after it is built and occupied.
Life-cycle cost analysis usually addresses the trade-offs between initial cost and the
10- to 20-year payback period, or the expected life of a building component. Because
the useful life of a federal courthouse can range from 50 to 100 years, persons
conducting life-cycle cost analysis must consider the following:
The payback period for each building component must take into account the
useful life of a federal courthouse.