Value Engineer on a construction site with cranes.

What Is Value Engineering In Construction

When it comes to construction, one of the key considerations is cost. To ensure that projects are completed within budget, many builders are turning to value engineering.

In this article, we explore what is value engineering in construction and explore the benefits of this approach to construction projects.

Essentially, it is the process of taking a critical look at a construction project and finding ways to minimise costs while still meeting the necessary requirements. This can involve everything from material selection to design modifications to changes in the building lifecycle.

Ultimately, the goal of value engineering is to maximise cost savings while still delivering a high-quality project. Whether you are a builder or simply interested in the construction industry, understanding value engineering is the key to a successful project.

Three engineers looking over plans to add value engineering in construction projects.

The 6 Key Steps of Value Engineering

Value engineering is a systematic and organised approach that can be used by your project team to improve the value of your construction project.

Whether working on the largest construction projects in the world, or something on a smaller scale, value engineering is invaluable.

It is a process that analyses designed building features, systems, equipment and material selections for the purpose of achieving essential functions at the lowest life cycle cost.

There are six steps in the value engineering process that enable teams to identify and implement the most effective ideas.

Information Gathering

The information gathering stage of value engineering involves a project management team collecting and analysing relevant data and information about the project’s requirements, objectives, constraints and existing design.

This stage typically includes reviewing project documents, conducting site visits, interviewing stakeholders and studying available resources.

The information gathered during this stage provides a comprehensive understanding of the project’s scope, challenges and opportunities.

Creative Phase

During the creative phase, a team of professionals, including architects, engineers, contractors and stakeholders, collaborate to generate innovative ideas and alternative solutions that can optimise the value of the project.

This phase involves brainstorming sessions, analysis of existing design elements and exploration of various possibilities to achieve the project’s objectives more efficiently.

The team will identify any potential cost-saving opportunities, streamlined processes, how functionality can be enhanced, the improvement of sustainability and then eliminate unnecessary elements without compromising quality.

This phase is crucial as it encourages creativity, fosters collaboration and ensures that the desired outcomes are achieved while maximising value for the client. It allows for the identification of cost-effective alternatives, reduces risks and promotes overall project success.

Evaluation Phase

During the evaluation phase, project stakeholders review and analyse the proposed changes in thorough detail. They will consider factors like structural integrity, construction methodologies, material costs, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements and project timelines.

This assessment helps determine the viability and value that the proposed modifications can bring to the overall project. The evaluation phase is necessary to ensure that the proposed design changes or alternative solutions align with the project’s goals and objectives.

By conducting a thorough evaluation, teams can then make informed decisions and optimise the value and performance of the construction project.

Development Phase

The development phase of value engineering  is a critical stage that involves the creation and refinement of innovative design concepts and cost-effective solutions.

During this particular phase, teams collaborate to brainstorm, analyse, and develop alternative approaches to achieve project goals while increasing the value added.

By exploring different design options, materials, construction methods and systems, the development phase seeks to identify opportunities for cost savings, improved efficiency, enhanced functionality and reduced risks.

Presentation Stage

The presentation stage explores all the findings and recommendations generated during the value engineering process are presented to stakeholders, including project owners, designers, contractors and other key decision-makers.

This stage involves effectively communicating the proposed value engineering solutions through comprehensive presentations, reports and visual aids. The presentation highlights the identified opportunities for value improvement, cost reduction and enhanced project performance.

It also provides a platform for stakeholders to understand and evaluate the proposed changes, their potential benefits and any associated risks before implementation.

The presentation stage is an important part of the value engineering workflow as it allows stakeholders to assess the feasibility, impact and value of the proposed recommendations, leading to informed choices and ultimately improving the project’s overall success.

Implementation Stage

All the recommendations that were developed during the previous stages will be implemented by your project team.

This stage involves developing a plan for implementing the recommendations, identifying the resources needed to implement the plan and finally, executing the plan. During the implementation stage, it is important to monitor progress and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that the project stays on track.

Overall, the value engineering process is a structured and collaborative approach that enables organisations to achieve tangible benefits from construction projects in terms of efficiency, quality and cost-effectiveness.

Engineers working on a construction project.

The Benefits of Value Engineering in Construction

Value engineering provides a range of significant benefits when implemented in construction projects. By incorporating this approach, you can expect enhanced project outcomes and improved efficiency.

Let’s explore the main benefits you should be aware of when looking to use value engineering for your projects:

    • It offers a solution to helping you save money by reducing costs without sacrificing on quality, safety or functionality.
    • It enhances project efficiency and performance by identifying alternative solutions that improve functionality, durability, and sustainability.
    • It encourages innovative thinking and problem-solving, leading to optimised designs and construction methods.
    • Helps you to identify potential problems within your project early on in the design phase of a project. In reducing project risks by identifying and addressing potential design flaws, constructability issues and schedule constraints, time and money will be
      saved in the long run.
    • Value engineering enhances stakeholder satisfaction by aligning project outcomes with their expectations and priorities for the project. It ensures that the project will provide the best possible value within budgetary constraints.

What Is A Value Engineer?

A value engineer is a professional who specialises in the practice of value engineering within construction projects.

Their role involves analysing and evaluating various aspects of a
project to identify opportunities for cost reduction, performance enhancement and overall value optimisation.

Value engineers possess expertise in construction methods, materials, design principles, and project management. They actively collaborate with stakeholders, architects, engineers and contractors to assess project requirements, analyse alternatives and propose practical
solutions that align with project objectives.

They are a crucial member of the construction and design team as they help ensure that resources are utilised efficiently, costs are minimised, and project outcomes are optimised.

Their expertise and systematic approach contribute to the successful delivery of projects that meet quality standards, adhere to budget constraints and satisfy the expectations of all stakeholders involved.

What Skills Are Required For Value Engineering?

Value engineering requires specific skills to help identify opportunities for improvement and generate value-driven solutions.

A combination of analytical, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and project management skills is essential for value engineers to excel in the field of construction value engineering.

  • Strong analytical skills are crucial to assess project data, specifications, and design elements, enabling value engineers to identify areas for optimisation. They need to have a keen eye for detail and the ability to analyse complex information comprehensively.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential to evaluate alternatives, anticipate potential risks, and propose innovative solutions that enhance project value. Value engineers should be able to think creatively, challenge assumptions and identify practical alternatives.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills are vital for effectively interacting with stakeholders, multidisciplinary teams and project participants. They must be able to present findings, recommendations and trade-offs clearly and persuasively.
  • Project management skills are valuable for value engineers as they often work within budgetary constraints and time-sensitive environments. They need to understand project objectives, prioritise tasks and manage resources effectively to achieve successful outcomes.
Engineers discussing a project on site.

Examples of Value Engineering In Construction

One excellent and very relevant example of value engineering used in the construction industry is the implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.

BIM is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or infrastructure project. BIM software, such as REBIM® allows users to view virtual 3D models that encompass architectural, structural and mechanical systems, as well as cost and scheduling data.

By using REBIM®, value engineers can easily analyse and optimise various aspects of a project, leading to significant cost and time savings.

For example, during the design phase, the virtual model enables the identification of clashes or conflicts between different systems, such as plumbing and electrical, which can be resolved before construction begins.

This proactive approach avoids time spent on making changes, reduces material waste and helps to minimise the risk of costly on-site modifications.

BIM allows for accurate quantity takeoffs and cost estimation, facilitating better decision-making and cost control throughout the project lifecycle.

Ultimately, the implementation of BIM technology exemplifies the application of value engineering principles by enhancing collaboration, reducing risks, and maximising project value in the construction industry.

Our recent article that explains what BIM is, the different BIM levels and highlights how the software can enhance the value of your projects.

Find out just how BIM aids the construction sector by taking a look at our nuclear decommissioning at Sellafield case study. We explore how BIM was successfully used in the operations and maintenance phase.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, there are many advantages to using value engineering throughout the construction process.

The use of this methodology can lead to reduced construction costs, shorter project timelines and higher quality results. It also promotes collaboration among project stakeholders, leading to more efficient decision-making and problem-solving.

One of the main advantages is value engineering helps identify potential risks and provides opportunities for innovation and sustainability. Therefore, incorporating value engineering into the construction process is a wise investment that can result in significant long-term savings and improved project outcomes.

Take advantage of this valuable approach to maximise the success of your next construction project.

Book a demo to experience how REBIM®, the security minded construction management tool can help your team deliver.

    First Name


    Email address

    Telephone number (optional)

    Company (optional)


    How many users are required?