The Stages of Value Engineering in Commercial Construction

Value engineering is a systematic process used to optimize costs while preserving or enhancing project quality and functionality for maximum value. In this guide, we outline the five stages of value engineering in commercial construction, providing a detailed overview of the entire process from start to finish.

Two value engineers look over plans for a commercial construction project.

Value Engineering in Commercial Construction

Value engineering in commercial construction is a strategic approach aimed at maximizing the quality and value of a project while optimizing costs. This strategy involves hands-on collaboration of all stakeholders, to ensure the ultimate success of the commercial build. While the specific roles may vary depending on the project structure, the following key stakeholders are commonly involved in the value engineering process:

Owner / Client

The owner or client will oversee all the major decision-making throughout the commercial construction project. Not only do they have a vested interest in optimizing the value of the project, but their input on goals, priorities, and expectations is essential for aligning the process of value engineering with the overall project vision.  

Commercial General Contractor

The commercial general contractor plays a crucial role in ensuring that the project is well-coordinated, meets quality standards, stays within budget, and is completed on schedule. They are responsible for executing plans, managing resources, and ensuring that the entire construction process stays on track without ever compromising on quality. 

Project Manager

The project manager oversees the entire project from start to finish and will be the owner’s main point of contact. They work closely with all the stakeholders to ensure a shared understanding of the project’s scope and effective communication from end to end.

Design Team

The Prisoner Wine Co. renovation and remodel completed by FDC in Sonoma County
The Prisoner Wine Co. renovation and remodel completed by FDC in Sonoma County

The design team is instrumental throughout the entire project, but especially in the pre-construction planning and value engineering process. They will generate alternative solutions, assess the impact of design changes, and collaborate with other stakeholders to refine plans while ensuring the project’s integrity never falters.  

Certified Value Specialists (CVS)

A dedicated value engineering specialist or consultant may be brought in to guide and facilitate the value engineering process. This individual or team provides valuable insights on how to decrease project costs without limiting function or quality.

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators contribute significantly during the pre-construction planning and value engineering process. They provide insights into the costs associated with various project components, conduct cost-benefit analyses, and help identify opportunities for cost savings without compromising quality. 

What Are the Stages of Value Engineering in Commercial Construction?

A close up of hands as a group of value engineers collaborate to plan for a commercial construction project.

Incorporating value engineering into the pre-construction planning phase of a project is essential for identifying cost savings opportunities before construction has even begun. This time-tested operational process is divided into five key stages: 

  • Data Collection 
  • Data Analysis 
  • Solution Development 
  • Collaborative Planning 
  • Implementation 

Every stage of the value engineering process plays an essential role in optimizing the quality and value of a commercial construction project. 

1. Data Collection 

The initial stage of the value engineering process involves gathering comprehensive data related to the commercial construction project. This includes information about materials, labor costs, design specifications, project timelines, and other relevant factors. 

This data collection will provide the foundation for informed decision-making. The accuracy of the data is vital for identifying opportunities for cost optimization and quality improvement in the subsequent stages.   

2. Data Analysis

After collecting all the data, a thorough cost-benefit analysis of all essential project components can begin. This analysis is crucial for pinpointing areas where cost savings can be achieved and lays the groundwork for informed decision-making moving forward.  

This will allow your commercial construction team to identify areas that offer opportunities for cost and quality improvement, as well as pinpoint any potential project delays or hold-ups.  

3. Solution Development

Value engineers shake hands over a table of construction plans after developing a solution.

The solution development phase is a critical step in the value engineering process as it transforms insights from the data analysis into actionable improvements. The goal is to establish alternatives or modifications to existing plans that maximize the budget and enhance the value of the project.  

This can include considering different materials or construction methods, alternative suppliers or scheduling approaches, and more. By exploring alternative solutions, stakeholders can select those that offer the best balance between cost optimization and quality improvement, to maximize the overall value of the project. 

4. Collaborative Planning

Once potential solutions have been identified, project stakeholders will collaborate to find the most effective way to implement them. The goal is to collectively refine and finalize the scope of the build, ensuring alignment with project objectives and fostering a shared understanding among team members. 

By actively involving diverse perspectives and expertise, this phase enhances the likelihood of successfully implementing value-enhancing changes in the commercial construction project. This also ensures that the chosen solutions not only optimize costs but also align with the project’s quality standards, functionality requirements, and overall goals. 

5. Implementation

MURRIETA’S WELL Winery General Contractor Project in Livermore, CA
Murrieta’s Well Winery General Contractor Project completed by FDC in Livermore, CA

The implementation phase of value engineering during a commercial construction project involves putting solutions and plans into action. Once the team has reached a consensus, the focus shifts to executing these changes in a systematic and coordinated manner.

Effective execution requires close coordination, communication, and a commitment to continued collaboration in managing resources, costs, and timelines.  

Maximize the Value of Your Commercial Construction Project

Value engineering is a systematic and interactive process for optimizing the quality and value of commercial construction projects. Through each stage, stakeholders work collaboratively to achieve a balance between cost optimization and quality improvement, ultimately delivering a project that maximizes value. 

At Facility Development Company (FDC), our team of experts understands the positive impact that value engineering can have on any commercial construction project. As an award-winning commercial contractor with decades of experience, we take pride in our ability to meet and exceed our client’s needs and expectations.  

Contact us online or give us a call at (707) 523-1722 to learn more about how we can bring your commercial construction project to life.