Frustrated with VE?
As a designer, it is your responsibility to ensure the lighting is the best it can be. You put a lot of effort into researching the optimal products to achieve your goals only to have your design undermined by someone in the VE process who has no idea what your goals were in the first place. Frustrating!
LDS has three ideas to help you maintain the integrity of the design you worked so hard to create:
- Add a “Why” column to your fixture schedule to explain the key drivers of the lighting specification. While not necessary for every fixture, it gives you an opportunity to express early in the process the non-negotiable parts of your specification. By notating the thought behind the design, you might also open the door for intelligent VE–wouldn’t that be great! If other players in the supply chain do attempt to VE your selected products, explaining the decision upfront may keep unacceptable substitutions from being priced and suggested. Examples of “why” a selection was made could be:
- CRI of 90 is necessary to support strict corporate goals regarding brand appearance
- Microbial paint surface on fixture is required by building standards
- Fixture is selected specifically to integrate into custom ceiling system
- Fixture was specifically selected by owner and is not negotiable
- Proactively communicate with your distributor to understand fixture pricing before the plans are sent out for bid. Then, seek out and have at the ready lesser offerings that you could propose if the project is over budget. If you can’t have exactly what you want, suggesting fixtures you could “settle for” puts you in a much better position than waiting and having to try to vanquish an unacceptable product brought to the table based on cost alone. It also shows commitment to the project and makes you a more valuable member of the project team.
- Include LDS in your specification. Register your project with us and indicate on the plans that the fixture package is to be purchased through Lighting Design Solutions who will provide project pricing and delivery information. LDS will help track your project from the very start, assist with all submittals, support your installing contractor, track deliveries, apply for available rebates, and (most importantly) prevent any VE options being proposed without your direct approval and involvement. You get the support and products you need to make your lighting design masterpiece a reality, every time.
Contact Lighting Design Solutions if you would like spec language or other assistance in applying these steps to your next project. Then, take VE off of your frustration list forever!