Information on the Use of Value Engineering in Federal Design and Construction

GGD-85-44: Published: Apr 5, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the potential impact of the increased use of value engineering in federal construction.

GAO found that the agencies that use the concept of value engineering could realize more savings if its use was increased or if it was applied earlier in the design process. Value engineering is a systematic process for evaluating a project's proposed design and construction methods to identify ways to achieve the lowest possible life-cycle cost without impairing the project's functional requirements. When properly applied, value engineering can result in increases in construction costs, but can reduce costs over the life of the project. The President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, the Grace Commission, looked at value engineering efforts in federal agencies and found that it was not being used to the fullest extent possible. GAO supports the use of the concept, but because it must be understood and applied properly to be effective, GAO believes that agencies should proceed carefully when using value engineering.

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