Filipino innovates, promotes value engineering

Published by rudy Date posted on April 11, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Value engineering is often defined as the formal or informal attempt to assure highest value by delivering all required functions of a certain product, project, or process at the lowest overall cost.

And who would not love practicing value engineering, especially with today’s rising price of construction materials, increasing labor cost s well as the need to have the structure finished the soonest time possible.

Here in the Philippines, this concept has several proponents, one of whom is civil and geodetic engineer, Bow Moreno of Bow C. Moreno Construction (, who is in fact been practicing value engineering for more than 20 years.

Moreno developed a system called built to order web or BOW building system, which is basically utilizing steel system made of angular bars transformed into “built up steel columns and beams” with an equal strength of I-beam but lesser in cost.

Sorting out

“I was able to develop the BOW building system in my quest to sort out prices of construction materials in various combinations and assessing their total optimum value to a homeowner building his or her own house at the least possible time and cost,” the engineer explained.

Moreno has succeeded in designing a system that can build and finish a 72-square-meter, 24 foot-high, two-story townhouse with spacious attic in just 12 days and for only less than P680,000.

“In fact, a client was able to save at least P1 million for his two- story residence at Mission Hills in Antipolo City while another saved at least P2 million for a two-story residential house with basement at Ayala Alabang Village. On a much bigger project, another client was able to save at least P5 million for a five-story hotel building while another is set to get savings of P3 million for a multi-story project
located in Subic.


Moreno also reported delivering 10 townhouses within 120 days (or 12 days per unit) for the GMA-7 Employees Multipurpose Cooperative whose housing project, which is just the first batch of the envisioned 250 units in and around Metro Manila.

“I was able to get the nod of my clients because my BOW building system offered the highest value for their money,” Moreno explained.

He added that the system uses readily available lightweight materials with strength equivalent to or more than the conventional ones.

“These materials include 3 x 3-inch angular bars welded together and joined by round steel bars to form 3 x 6-inch channels that serve as columns and beams. These are easily and swiftly assembled to constitute the skeletal frame of the house,” he said.

Moreno explained further that concrete mix is then poured onto the channels and the flooring of the first and second floors, with rough finish for the first for ceramic tiling and straight finish for the second for vinyl (thus, eliminating the need for topping).

Afterward, the concrete framework is then clad with MX panels— consisting of corrugated styrofoam boards sandwiched by an interconnected pair of galvanized wire mesh—which are plastered with cement using pressurized bucket spray for strong, efficient bonding.

“Soon, the roof is installed on steel purlins and the gutter on HardiFlex Senepa fascia board; thus, leaving only the stairs, partitions and ceiling still unfinished,” he said.

Conventional way

The stairs as well as the toilet and bathroom are done the conventional way, but for the partitions, Moreno said he uses HardiFlex fiber cement boards while HardiFlex Lite fiber cement board for the ceiling.

“These materials are durable and almost maintenance-free, simple and quick to install, and resistant to damage from impact, fire, termites, water and severe weather conditions, while providing heat insulation to the house. And unlike all other locally produced fiber cement boards, HardiFlex does not contain carcinogenic chrysotile asbestos fiber or asbestos that can endanger the health of the workers and the household,” Moreno explained.

He said he discourage using wood, gypsum, or strongboards for the system explaining that they are easily damaged by the elements if not insects.

“I believe with my BOW building system, I may be able to help more clients save money, enjoy high-quality structures, delivered at a much shorter time,” Moreno assured.

How to save on construction costs

Bow C. Moreno Construction’s built-to-order web (BOW) building system is about building structures done in a much faster, stronger and economical ways.

Engineer Bow Moreno suggests the following:

• Use steel for columns, beams and rafters as it will reduce the size of foundations by at least 30 percent because steel framing system reduces the total weight of a building by at least 40 percent. Moreno explained that the lighter the building the smaller the foundation and the smaller the  foundation the lesser the cost.

• In structural steel framing using the BOW building system, the form works and scaffolding which usually use plywood and coco lumber will be dramatically reduced by at least 80 percent compared with the conventional system.

• The BOW building system is faster to implement thereby reducing the cost of labor. Construction time is also reduced by at least 35 percent, which means the homeowner gets to move in much earlier or if it is a commercial building, the owner could recoup the investment much earlier.

• The BOW building system no longer uses expensive bolts and base plates on concrete pedestals.

• With the BOW building system, the depth of beams and sizes of steel columns are reduced dramatically, thus will make a structure spacious and beautiful. – Charles E. Buban, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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