Value Engineering without Compromising Design Intent

The term value engineering (VE) is commonplace in the real-estate and construction industry. It refers to a systematic and organized approach for providing all necessary functions of a project at the lowest possible cost.  Through a group investigation, options for cost reduction without compromising performance, quality, safety or design intent are researched and explored.


The term ‘value engineering’ often causes stress and discomfort with a project team as everyone wants the best possible delivery. However, Watchdog approaches value engineering in a proactive way in order to mitigate the need for major design and construction changes down the road.


On a particular project for a healthcare client, value engineering practices were so productive, that at the end of the project, the contractor returned $1 million to the client. Our value engineering approach was extremely proactive and collaborative. All members of the project team (architect, engineering team, and general contractor) were involved in value engineering from early on in the project design phase. Our value engineering exercises were successful in saving the client money without reducing the scope of work and while meeting all of the architectural criteria. Additionally, because of this proactive and collaborative approach, we were able to maintain the project schedule, inclusive of major revisions and additions to the scope of work.


In this instance, as is the case with many of our projects, value engineering benefited the client in a major way. Rather than removing scope or changing materials or finishes, value engineering enhanced the efficiency with which the project was completed. The return on the time and effort invested by the team was very much worth the effort put forth.

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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