The term value engineering refers to a systematic and organized approach for providing all necessary functions of a project at the lowest possible cost. Project teams review options to reduce costs without compromising performance, quality, safety or design intent. The goal of value engineering is to ensure that the client receives full value for every dollar spent on the project.

Potential value engineering opportunities can include cost saving alternatives in equipment, facilities, systems, or materials used in the project. After review, project managers may suggest solutions that reduce construction costs, reduce lead times, keep the project under budget, and provide insight on potential problems that may occur in the future.

When our team was engaged with the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, we lead intense value engineering sessions with PRMH executive team members, architects, engineers, and contractors. Initially, the first design concept exceeded budget expectations. However, after reviewing drawings and determining alternate building methods to decrease costs, our team determined a maximum building height with enough floors to meet the program goals, but low enough to avoid using expensive construction cranes. This helped bring the project closer to PRMH’s budget.

On the West Coast, our team provided value engineering sessions when we were engaged with Honey in their new headquarters interior renovation and fit out. The skeleton of the building was seismically retrofitted to adhere to current code standards, but these upgrades had the potential to impact the construction schedule and the ability to delay obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. Through performing intensive value engineering exercises, we were able to reduce the project cost by $2 million without compromising scope or design intent.

If you would like to learn more about how our team could assist your next project, visit Our People, Our Projects.


Watchdog is an independent owner's representative and project management firm that provides customized and consultative real estate services. With oversight of the budget and schedule, Watchdog participates in every step of the project ensuring quality is met and your interests are being represented.


Owner’s Representation, Master Planning and Programing, Site Selection/Analysis, Budget/Schedule Administration, Project Coordination, Work Letter Analysis, Closeout Management, Vendor Procurement, Contract Negotiations/Admin, Capital Budget Planning, Process Management, Construction Admin, Multi-site Rollout Management