Value engineering (VE) has been defined by various researchers, for example Connaughton and Green (1996) defined it as “a systematic approach to delivering the required functions at lowest cost without detriment to quality, performance and reliability” and Kelly and Male (1993) defined VE as ''The process of identifying and eliminating unnecessary cost during design and construction stages''
Going back to the history of VE, In1947 VE methodology was initially implemented as “value analysis” by Lawrence Delos Miles in order to make grounding material to increase product value. It was used to indicate to the study of the product during the design stage (WCL, 2014) and “uses a value equation that says value is equal to function divided by cost” (Elayache, 2010). This equation calculates the functionality of the project in relation to the total cost of the project (all construction cost plus running cost)
In any project, including civil, implementing VE may result in higher functionality or cost cutting. However, it is important to say that VE is not “cost cutting approach” (PM, 2012).
Figure 1 shows the process of VE which goes through seven stages (Nolan, 2014). Conducting such workshops needs more planning and involvement of stakeholders and team members to build a good understanding of VE and its main objectives (Mukhhopadhyaya, 2009). Then all brainstormed thoughts will be captured, and screened out and reviewed to make them clear and concise. These captured Ideas are analysed and evaluated to generate theoretical and applicable proposals. The selected views are developed and embedded in the project to be implemented and optimised for better improvement.
2. VE Advantage:
One of the main advantages of VE is that building an approved and confident work environment in which all parties and project team members are engaged in the project and working as the owner from initial stage of civil engineering projects. Also, VE is more focusing on value improvement and not just savings of cost. Additionally, Value engineering enhances the client’s satisfaction by knowing their exact needs and expectation (DBIA, 2010).Moreover, it strengths the collaboration between the client and the contractors therefore the contractor will participate by been proactive in any likelihood of risk by giving advice to mitigate risks.
Often, creativity phase plays critical role in providing good opportunity to familiarize the client with the team work. Moreover, they share potential ideas and proposals to reduce cost; without affecting quality or functionality negatively. Accordingly, there will be a base of ranked and classified ideas and views. As a result, the work plan and solution will be approved by all parties and giving different plan options for any future changes. Also, such interaction between the client and contractors, facilitate the possibility of change if the functionality of the project was to change.