Service Beyond Buildings: Value Engineering

Katie Gall on March 18, 2021

Projects at Yaeger Architecture often include the Value Engineering process. On large federally funded projects, VE is built into the design schedule. Yaeger also provides Subject Matter Experts (SME) as 3rd Party Independent Reviewers for Value Engineering workshops conducted to validate and strengthen projects designed by other teams.

Matt Turner (Vice President), Aaron Rumple (Director of Design), Rob Fish (Project Manager/ Senior Project Architect), and Ben Powell (Senior Project Architect) have all been Subject Matter Experts as part of Value Engineering teams with Strategic Value Solutions (SVS). SVS facilitates the workshop, and our architect joins a team of reviewers which typically includes a Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Structural Engineer, Constructability Expert, and Cost Estimator. The team assembles for a one-week period to conduct a Value Engineering charrette and formulate a VE report for the project. The VE Process strengthens the project by:

  • Validating key decisions
  • Keeping within budget
  • Reducing operation and maintenance activities and their costs
  • Improving performance, function, and quality
  • Resolving process, operational, design, and/or construction problems
  • Ensuring that client needs are given top priority throughout the process
  • Improving return on investment

The following is a typical schedule for a one-week VE charrette:

  • Monday Morning: Kick-off meeting in the morning involving all stakeholders including the client, users, and original design team. Original design team presents the project with a detailed overview of program and design criteria.
  • Monday Afternoon: VE team begins to analyze the project to understand the design and functionality of the building(s).
  • Tuesday: VE team reviews the Design Analysis and drawings and brainstorms ideas and develops suggestions to stretch the limit of design and test ideas.
  • Wednesday: At the mid-point of the charrette, the VE team votes on the ideas to present back to the Project Delivery Team.
  • Thursday: Develop the value alternatives and apply cost estimates to those ideas.
  • Friday: Each of the reviewers presents 3-4 alternatives to the project delivery team and field questions.
  • Post Charrette – VE Facilitators draft the VE report over a 2-week period.

Strategic Value Solutions, Inc. is a value consulting firm dedicated to providing value improvement services such as value engineering, value analysis, value planning, value management, value engineering training, and more. Their primary focus is on large infrastructure related programs with complex and interesting projects.

SVS is one of the most experienced and recognized value consulting firms in the industry in the application of the value methodology to infrastructure projects. As an example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) selected SVS to lead multiple value study workshops to plan the transformation of their project delivery system, for some $40 billion in infrastructure construction projects, from the traditional design-bid-build approach to a performance-based design-build process. Additionally, they co-authored the value engineering standard incorporated into the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) Manual of Practice. 

SVS is currently teamed with Yaeger Architecture on AE Service contracts with the USACE Kansas City, Omaha, and Seattle Districts. Similarly, Yaeger supports SVS on the VE Teams and workshops nationwide.

Yaeger Project Manager and Senior Project Architect, Rob Fish, recently worked with SVS on a two-week VE study of two Hangars. One was an aircraft maintenance hangar in Florida, and one was an aircraft maintenance hangar in Massachusetts. The VE team was able to generate ideas to bring the over-budget hangars within budget.