Value of Early Engineering


Clients often question us about our unique approach to executing design/build projects. Specifically, they question the value of the preliminary design package (Design Basis Report) we create very early in the project, typically for a small fixed fee. It’s not that we’re adding extra cost to your project, or trying to differentiate ourselves in some artificial way from the competition. It actually comes from our understanding that a round of preliminary engineering makes everyone much happier in the long run.

By happier, I mean that SPEC and the client are on the same page from a much earlier point in the project. We, the engineering firm, have a better understanding of the client’s needs, and the client has a much better idea of what they’re getting at the end of the project. It’s really a win-win situation, and if you’ve executed any type of manufacturing or industrial process project, you can probably appreciate our approach.
Specifically, the Design Basis Report gives the client some very real benefits:
  • Ensures the client and SPEC are the same page for everything: project scope, deliverables, schedule, and budget (before the client has spent a lot of money having detailed engineering done).
  • Reduces permitting time because the preliminary design documents can be submitted early, as a preview, to the town (avoiding nasty surprises later on). It also lets potential permitting issues be worked out during detailed design, not after it’s already been completed.
  • Saves the client money because they know exactly what they’re getting early on, and they don’t have to waste money changing construction level drawings when they realize the scope isn’t what they wanted.
  • Potentially reduces the schedule by allowing the SPEC to identify and order long lead equipment, if the client agrees.

So the overall benefit of Design Basis Report is a better executed project. Clients find that it requires much less effort on their part to ensure that budget and schedule parameters are met, and the result is a successful project.


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SPEC Process Engineering & Construction