The work of an engineer can be summed up in one short statement- finding innovative solutions to problems. By this definition, it is obvious that an engineer should always look for simple yet effective ways to resolve problems and not try to make the problems more complex than they already are. This is exactly what over engineering can do. Over engineering, in this context, refers to finding complex solution to problems when there are simpler solutions that would suffice to solve the same problem without as much fuss. To put it simply- when it comes to proper engineering, less is usually better and you should not strive to do more than what is absolutely necessary to solve a problem. So what are the dangers of over engineering? Below are some of the risks associated with over engineering and which you will want to avoid at all costs.
Increased project costs
One of the most obvious problems associated with over engineering is unjustified escalation in the costs of any given project. when you use oversized or unnecessary components you will obviously incur extra costs since they are more expensive than what you actually needed and this added expense inflates the costs of a project that might have cost much less and been just as effective. In addition to the cost of buying so much unnecessary materials, you are also going to need more manpower and time to properly install or use those materials and this will, in turn, lead to increased labor costs which only further increases the cost of the project.
When systems are designed to be more complex than they need to be then there is an increased risk of making mistakes and errors during installations. Complex systems create room for mistakes and this can be a real problem in the world of electrical, mechanical and plumbing engineering where even the smallest mistakes can lead to a repeat of the entire project from scratch.
Over engineering often brings with it a lot of performance issues that could have easily been avoided if the systems were simpler and less complicated. This is a very big problem when it comes to HVAC installations and it has been established that larger HVAC installations have more performance issues compared to smaller installations that can easily achieve the same results.
In closing, it is worth pointing out that over engineering is not always a problem all the time. There are times when it can actually be a good thing and a good example is in electrical installations. Oversized electrical circuits actually show better performance than smaller electrical circuits. However, the problem with such oversized circuits is that copper is expensive and you are going to have to use more of it which will only increase the costs of the project even further. In addition, creating such circuits takes time and manpower and that will translate into increased costs of labor over the long run.