Original Article by: BSB Design

Managing cost without reducing consumer appeal is a balancing act. If you can do it effectively, it’s a sure way to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s market. Finding the perfect balance requires a strategic, holistic approach to reviewing and revising your plan portfolio. This means moving beyond “value engineering” to a performance-based mindset.

The performance mindset targets three key areas: Cost vs. value, consumer demand, and measurable metrics to determine effectiveness – or ineffectiveness – of floor plans. A focus on these three areas can guide product development toward higher levels of cost efficiency and lasting marketability.

Consider using a three-tiered strategy to identify and address potential performance improvements at the plan level and across your entire portfolio.

1. Performance Engineering
2. Pre-2020 Plan Purge
3. Performing Asset Analysis


Focusing on plan efficiency and lifestyle at the design stage creates greater opportunities for success in the field. The best floor plans help reduce unnecessary materials and labor expense while maintaining – and even enhancing – lifestyle features that improve marketability. Perfecting the balance between reducing costs and increasing value requires a non-traditional approach.

The term “engineering” gets a bad rap among architects who often see designs stripped down to the bare minimum in the interest of cost management. Waiting to “engineer” a plan until post-bid is bound to set up this scenario time and again. Instead, plan designs should address cost from the outset. When buildability, efficiency and consumer appeal are fully baked into the program, there’s no need to slice and dice plans and features to reach the target price per square foot.

Performance engineering targets the ideal balance between cost reduction and consumer appeal. It is most effective when used during the conceptual and schematic design phases, not after.