May 2022
Where & Why Value Engineering Goes Wrong with Capital Projects

Value engineering (VE) as a technique was first developed in the U.S. during World War II to cope with the problems inherent with wartime shortages of key components. Since these shortages existed, innovative methods were required as a workaround to solve these problems. While the origins of VE were in U.S. manufacturing, the technique has spread to numerous other areas including retail, construction, and services sectors in the U.S. and throughout the world. VE has acquired other names including value analysis, value management, and value improving practices. Whatever the name, VE has been widely successful in improving value in a variety of areas. However there have been many other instances where VE has not been successful, or those invoking the VE name have incorrectly implemented the technique or do not really practice genuine VE. This has resulted in professionals, across a variety of sectors, viewing VE as only a simple cost reduction technique. Correctly applied, it is far more! This topic arose from the presenter’s extensive VE experience on teams related to capital projects and reflects years of discussions with practitioners in the construction industry. The material presented herein is the information thus obtained, which has been distilled into various categories related to capital construction projects.