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Section 6: Value Engineering

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A Value Engineering (VE) study may be used to assess a project's overall effectiveness or how well the project meets identified needs. Value Engineering is another tool that may be used in alternative selection. Study findings may show that redesign of an alternative is needed, in which case schematics may require revisions.

VE may be viewed as a multi-peer review of project recommendations. VE is designed to gather expertise and experience of individuals to produce the most effective solution to the transportation need.

This section discusses the following s, listed in approximate chronological order.

2700. Conduct Value Engineering (VE) study

2710. Revise design based on Value Engineering Study findings

2460. Update cost estimates

2690. Update project scope

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2700: Conduct Value Engineering (VE) study

Description. A Value Engineering (VE) study covers a broader area than a life-cycle cost analysis. VE studies must include the following phases:

  • information gathering (may be done prior to the actual study)
  • investigation
  • speculation
  • evaluation
  • development
  • presentation
  • final report (after actual study)
  • recommendation approval/rejection process (after final report receipt) using Executive Decision Summary Form.

A VE study is a good opportunity for a multidisciplinary team to evaluate the safety, right of way, economic, environmental and operational benefits of alternative designs.

Pertinent Project Types.

  • A VE study is required for all projects on the NHS receiving Federal Assistance with an estimated cost of $50 million or more.
  • A VE study is required for all bridge projects on the NHS receiving Federal Assistance with an estimated cost of $40 million or more.
  • If a VE study is done for a corridor covering several projects, then separate VE studies for each project are optional - regardless of individual construction project cost.
  • A VE Study is not required on design-build projects. If the Project Manager chooses to conduct a study, this should be performed prior to the release of the Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • No exceptions to federal VE requirement will be granted by FHWA.

Responsible Parties. Project manager


  • Contact the Design Division VE Coordinator for current VE requirements and processes.
  • Conduct pre-study conference call with VE facilitator and Design Division.
  • Identify team members and the team leader.
  • Schedule study and collect resources.
  • Conduct the VE study, coordinate report preparation, and make recommendations to the district.
  • District Engineer or District Executive Decision Team determines which recommendations to implement.
  • Executive Decision Summary Form should be completed by district and sent to Design Division and FHWA.

Helpful Suggestions.

  • Consider a VE study when cost is approximately $10 million less than required threshold to account for project scope creep in the estimate.
  • A VE study should be performed on high-cost and/or complex projects.
  • If the team leader is a TxDOT employee, provide sufficient uninterrupted time for the leader to prepare for the VE study and to coordinate production of the final report.
  • Consider inviting representatives from local public agencies, utilities, commercial interests, and special event facilities to participate in VE studies on projects in highly urbanized areas that will impact these stakeholders.
  • Consider any environmental commitments that will be required to obtain environmental clearance of the project.

Critical Sequencing.

  • Perform the study after a schematic is available so the study can focus on practical design alternatives and so enough resource information has been generated during preliminary design.
  • Reevaluate project scope and cost as it nears construction letting to determine if a VE study would be required or beneficial.

Authority Requirements.

Resource Material.

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2710: Revise design based on Value Engineering Study findings

Description. Depending on results of the Value Engineering Study (see 2700: Conduct Value Engineering (VE) study), the project's design may need to be modified. Corresponding schematic revisions may be needed as well.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects for which VE studies lead to design changes

Responsible Party. Project manager

Sub-tasks. Make necessary design changes to implement VE recommendations selected by the District Engineer or the Executive Decision Committee for implementation.

Document design changes resulting from VE recommendations on Executive Summary Form.

Helpful Suggestions. Sometimes recommendations seem viable at first, but result in offsetting disadvantages when studied in detail and should be re-examined before implementation.

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