What are the essential functions that the project must accomplish? What design options could improve the value of the project while achieving these functions? What does a team of experts recommend be modified in the design? What are the cost and schedule of impacts of these changes? Value engineering addresses these questions by assembling a multi-discipline team of experts led by a facilitator that work together in a multi-day workshop to brainstorm and evaluate potential project improvements. Smith Culp Consulting’s approach to the conduct of VE studies is based upon 35 years of experience in conducting VE studies on a diverse array of projects. We have found that the greatest opportunity for cost savings from VE typically occurs at two points of design completion: 10-15% and 50-60%. VE team members are carefully selected so that the mix of their expertise addresses the project specifics. Using a nationwide network of experts established over the years, only highly qualified personnel who are familiar with VE techniques and the various aspects of designing, building, and operating similar projects are selected for the VE team. Team members are selected who have not been previously involved in any aspect of the project so that they bring a fresh perspective. Our approach incorporates innovative application of proven engineering techniques, development of new solutions to technical problems, consideration of construction issues, simplification of operating requirements to optimize annual costs, and recommendations of realistic ideas to reduce costs and/or improve value. We do not believe in presenting ideas that we would not implement, or that represent change for change’s sake.
Our effective, focused approach enables us to submit the draft VE report to our client at the conclusion of the VE workshop. This enables the client and designer to immediately begin evaluation of the VE recommendations rather than waiting 2-3 weeks for submittal of the VE report.
Our approach is based upon a solid foundation of experience gained from conducting VE studies on more than 30 projects throughout the United States ranging in size from $3 million to $600 million. A few examples illustrate the diversity of this VE experience:
- Several wastewater treatment projects for the Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia including the Atlantic ($93 million project), Army Base ($128 million project) and Virginia Initiative ($81 million project) plants.
- New 290 mgd water filtration plant, New York City.
- $173 million project involving two water treatment plants, Sacramento, CA.
- $61 million hydropower generating station on a wastewater line, Las Vegas, NV.
- $300 million highway project, Boulder City, NV
- $130 million wastewater treatment project, Spokane County, WA.
- $43 million wastewater treatment project, Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency, CA.
- $20 million water reclamation plant, South Orange County Water Authority, CA.
- $13 million wastewater treatment project, Kodiak, AK
- $20 million wastewater treatment project, Mankato, MN.
- $27 million wastewater treatment project, Cowlitz Sewer Operating Board, WA.