If you had to define it as one word, you may boil it down to “efficiency.” That would be one word, but it wouldn’t be right. The basic misconception of value engineering is that the term simply means to take a set of parameters, none of which will change, and do the best design based on those static parameters.
In other words, value engineering is believed to be engineering at its best.
Again, not right.
Value engineering and basic engineering have one major difference: the flexibility or inflexibility of the parameters. In engineering, the parameters don’t change. In value engineering, it’s all about the change.
Value engineering, quite simply, is tweaking the scope to find a better value.
The point is, value engineering provides the best value to the customer, if that customer is willing to be flexible on their parameters. We aren’t talking about anything that changes the main points of the job. Value engineering, for example, may tweak the paint formulation, the column depth restriction, bay spacing, deflection criteria or bracing locations and type. These are shifts in the scope, not overhauls, that allow the client to have their needs met, while getting the very best price.
My point: Whatever your need is, if you are willing to consider a slight scope tweak, then value engineering is for you. Let the dog wag the tail like it’s supposed to, not the other way around.