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Value Engineering in Construction

Value engineering allows construction firms to find alternatives that are cost-effective and improve the overall quality of the project. This process can save projects from unavoidable delays and keep them on schedule.

However, a myopic approach to cost reduction may not be in the long-term best interest of the client. To get the most out of value engineering, it must be incorporated from the start of the project.


Unlike cost-cutting, value engineering does not sacrifice quality or function. Instead, it seeks to improve the project through a variety of means, including reducing labor and material costs and improving productivity. It also promotes sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives that reduce long-term operating costs.

Ideally, value engineering should begin early in the design phase of your project, before a significant amount of work has been invested. This helps to prevent costly redesigns that can cause delays, budget overruns, and lost opportunities.

During the VE process, experts assess the project’s intended function and determine which aspects of the design can be reduced without compromising the overall quality of the construction. They use creative brainstorming to identify alternative solutions and then evaluate them for feasibility, cost impact, and benefits. They also consider the longevity of the commercial building to ensure that the project’s budget is not compromised by short-term savings.


After months of working with designers and architects, you’ve drawn up the perfect building plan to fit your company’s needs. Then, when it comes time to request bids, the cost of implementing this plan is far higher than you expected. That’s where value engineering (VE) comes in. VE has received a bad rap in recent years as a process that cuts costs and quality, but it can actually be used to improve project efficiency and reduce costs.

During the VE process, experts gather accurate measurements, drawings, sketches, research reports, and other information to create an extensive list of possible solutions. During the brainstorming phase, quantity is prioritized over quality, and ideas are evaluated against specific criteria to determine the best options for cost savings. This includes analyzing potential materials, construction methods, transportation costs, and long-term development costs. It is also a good idea to use a common data environment to make sure everyone has access to the same information.


In the face of shortages of tried-and-true materials and frenzied market movements, construction professionals are challenged to keep their projects on time and on budget. Value engineering is a great tool for finding solutions to these issues and increasing project efficiency.

The first step in the process involves information gathering. This includes reviewing project documents, conducting site visits and interviewing stakeholders to understand the project scope and requirements. Then, experts brainstorm creative ideas to reduce costs without compromising quality standards. Each idea is then evaluated and analysed to determine its viability.

The second phase is developing plans to implement the changes. This includes creating a risk-mitigation strategy and identifying potential sources of cost savings. It also involves preparing a report and making a presentation to stakeholders and decision-makers. To make the best use of this process, architects, engineers and contractors should have access to accurate and detailed construction costs data. This is especially important for value engineering, where a more thorough analysis of potential alternatives is needed.


In construction, reliability is essential to a project’s success. This means that contractors must be able to accurately measure concrete and other materials on the job site without having to manually calculate. This is done with value engineering software, which allows them to measure and estimate concrete quantities in a matter of seconds.

Despite its often misunderstood reputation as a cost-cutting tool, the true purpose of value engineering is to create quality buildings at an affordable price. The key to achieving this goal is by working with the design team to establish what constitutes optimum value for both initial and long-term investment.

The best time to apply value engineering is during the planning and design stages of a building project. This is when the impact on costs will be lowest and changes can be made quickly and efficiently. This also helps avoid costly change orders later in the project.


Value engineering is a flexible approach to construction that allows teams to explore alternative design options, materials, and systems without compromising quality. It aims to optimise functionality, reduce cost and speed up project delivery. It also helps identify areas where a project can be improved, such as by identifying opportunities for streamlining construction processes.

The first step in the value engineering process is to gather accurate cost information. This includes reviewing documents, site visits and interviewing stakeholders. It also involves gathering accurate measurements, sketches and research reports. This information is vital for ensuring that the alternative solutions are viable and will not disrupt the project’s timeline.

It is important to use value engineering before the construction starts, as this can prevent cost overruns and delays. It can also help you stay within budget and meet your construction schedules. Additionally, this method can help you avoid last-minute changes to your plans, which will result in costly change orders and rework.


Many people mistakenly associate value engineering with cost cutting. However, true VE is about optimizing solutions with the project’s defined goals in mind, reducing client risk and improving building efficiencies. Incorporating VE requires an extensive process that involves creative brainstorming and teamwork. Viable VE proposals must reduce costs without compromising function and quality, and must be considered from a life cycle perspective.

To achieve this, you need accurate construction cost data that identifies the true unit costs of materials and equipment. While historical pricing may provide a rough estimate, it’s essential to get a detailed breakdown of the individual cost of the items you’re evaluating. Gordian’s construction cost database provides this level of detail, enabling you to assess the viability of VE alternatives. Moreover, implementing labor-efficient materials and utilizing time-saving construction techniques can help save on site work costs and allow you to turn over the facility sooner.