Brewing up creativity and cost savings for the new NBWA headquarters

Bob Pizzano

When clients dream big, it gives their contractors plenty of room to help them create something unique. When those big dreams don’t align with firm budgets, however, Pizzano does whatever it takes to tackle the challenge of finding alternative solutions that can meet the client’s vision and overall budget. These challenges prove that value engineering isn’t about making cuts – it’s about being creative.

The Washington Business Journal recently published an article, excerpted below, emphasizing the significance of value engineering in construction projects. The article highlights a notable example, the National Beer Wholesalers Association's (NBWA) headquarters project in Old Town Alexandria.

NBWA represents America’s 3,000 independent beer and beverage distributors across the country. These distributors carry everything from well-known domestic beers to startup brands and imported beers from across the globe. After twenty-two years in their original space, it was time to expand to a newly relocated headquarters in Old Town Alexandria.

The mission: 12,000 square feet, brewing together function and inspiration into one seamless space.

The setback: Their vision for an open space with an upscale yet industrial vibe was projected to go almost 20% over budget. So, the Pizzano team got to work with NBWA and the design team at HGA on a game plan to give NBWA the space they deserved at a cost they could live with.

“We met with several contractors, and Pizzano immediately understood our vision and what we wanted.” said Kimberly McKinnish, NBWA’s chief operating officer. “As a third-generation business, the Pizzano culture and passion for their business parallels our members’ businesses with a beer distributor vibe. The entire team focused on the value engineering process, which allowed us to bring to life our vision within budget. And their follow-through, and attention to detail, has continued through the entire process.”

Looks matter; NBWA’s design reflected a style they knew would feel like a second home to their staff and guests. The team got started on figuring out how to make that happen.

The best way to go forward, sometimes, is to go backward. The team pored over the original design and material estimates to see what alternatives could work. Specified as a prefabricated system, the ceiling was a huge line item on the budget. The Pizzano team looked at the specified system and determined they could replicate the look and performance by manufacturing the ceiling themselves. By doing so, they were able to save over $70,000 on that line item.

Similar swaps for the flooring and glass used within the space were made – two modifications that can significantly impact the budget at scale.

All totaled, these creative modifications brought the costs down by over $300,000 – back within budget. The team delivered NBWA precisely what they had envisioned – a space everyone could be proud of: an inviting reception area with welcoming seating for meetings or social events flanked by a featured bottle wall and a keg wall – both handcrafted by the in-house Pizzano team –setting the tone for the rest of the building.

The NBWA's new headquarters includes a keg wall hand-crafted by the Pizzano team.
“The design details and custom materials reflect a hospitality-driven experience that deepens NBWA’s connection to their distributors and provides a rich environment for their work and advocacy,” said Bruno Grinwis, Principal at HGA, who designed the space that Pizzano crafted.

With its handcrafted features, modern amenities and welcoming atmosphere, NBWA's new headquarters is a testament to the power of collaborative value engineering and the transformative capabilities of dedicated construction and design teams. It symbolizes the harmonious fusion of innovation within budgetary constraints, showcasing how creative thinking can triumph over financial challenges in the world of construction.

Read the full article.