Application of Value Engineering in Construction Projects: An Overview

Application of Value Engineering in Construction Projects: An Overview

May 12, 2022

Commercial Construction

Application of Value Engineering in Construction Projects: An Overview

Value engineering (VE) in construction is an analytical specification of the most efficient way to fulfill project goals. VE should always incorporate cost estimates to facilitate an independent audit of the entire construction project. By reviewing a project within a value engineering workshop, it's possible to deliver the best project outcomes in the most cost-effective way possible.

As the investor or project owner, you shouldn't view value engineering as just a cost-cutting measure. Instead, approach it as a deliberate, clear, and detailed set of strict procedures developed to optimize the initial and long-term value of your investment. A multi-disciplinary team with extensive experience will collectively investigate all aspects of the project to derive maximum value and economic benefit.

Objectives of Value Engineering in Construction

VE has multiple potential applications throughout the project. Construction teams should implement it with these two primary objectives:

  • Provide the best possible value
  • Minimize costs with respect to resources, schedules, and budgets, without compromising on the project's intended value and goals

However, value engineering provides the best value possible when adopted pre-construction. It shouldn't be a last-resort fallback for a team coming up short of the project's original goals, design, resources, scope, or budget.


Uses of Value Engineering in Three Key Project Phases

A three-stage value engineering methodology is necessary to generate maximum value for the initial and long-term investment. The key stages are:

  1. Planning phase

    Incorporating VE in the planning and analysis phase of a construction project allows for the early identification of potential bottlenecks and improvement areas. By involving a multidisciplinary team at this point, each party can voice their concerns and contribute strategic ideas. This would allow optimization of key project components including materials, timelines, and resources. Without interrupting the schedule, teams can reduce project time and costs and make feasible changes to achieve project goals in the most effective way possible.

  2. Design phase

    Schematic design is generally the next stage to apply value engineering after planning (it's a regulatory requirement in most states). This stage allows the project's designers and the client to review the suggested schematics together. They'll scrutinize the design with respect to project objectives, budget estimates, and the schedule. At this phase, VE enables the team to align the design with optimizing value for the construction project.

  3. Methodology and approach

    The construction team should have a value engineering workshop during the third phase. Here are the 6 main steps for the multidisciplinary workshop:

    1. Information phase: The information-gathering phase allows all parties to fully understand the project.
    2. Function analysis phase: This phase allows teams to clarify the project's functional goals/components/features.
    3. Creative phase: At this stage, team members brainstorm and generate ideas for the best way to meet overall project goals.
    4. Evaluation phase: Here, participants assess input from various VE workshop participants and highlight suggestions that provide the best value and results for the project.
    5. Development phase: Participants review the ideas, pinpoint the best alternatives, and narrow them down to workable solutions for achieving the highest possible investment value.
    6. Presentation phase: The team hands over the VE report to all project stakeholders, such as the owner, users, and contractors.

Value engineering is key to ensuring that your construction project succeeds. It can help identify potential barriers and stressors, while bringing in new designs and materials to the project, limiting risks, and lowering the cost of completion. At Parkwest General Contractors, we can make VE integral to your independent review process to ensure better outcomes for your construction project. Contact Nikki Fox at ParkWest General Contractors at nikki@parkwestgc.com today to get started!5 HOTEL RENOVATION TIPS TO KEEP THE COSTS DOWN