Standard Active Last Updated: Oct 07, 2020
ASTM E1699-14(2020)

Standard Practice for Performing Value Engineering (VE)/Value Analysis (VA) of Projects, Products and Processes

Significance and Use

5.1 Use of this practice may increase performance in one or more areas including: cost control; resource allocation; schedule management; quality control; risk management; or safety. Perform VE/VA as early as possible in the life cycle of the focus of study, and anytime conditions change, to allow greatest flexibility and effectiveness of any recommended changes. However, VE/VA may be performed at any time during the planning, design, and implementation phases of a project, product, or process.

5.2 Most effective applications of VE/VA are early in the design phase. Changes or redirection in the design can be accommodated without extensive redesign at this point, thereby saving the owner/user/stakeholder's time and money.

5.3 Projects Related to the Construction of Buildings and Other Engineered Systems: 

5.3.1 During the earliest stages of design, refer to VE/VA as value planning. Use the procedure to analyze predesign documents, for example, program documents and space planning documents. At the predesign stage, perform VE/VA to define the project's functions, and to achieve consensus on the project's direction and approach by the project team, for example, the owner, the design professional,5 the user, and the construction manager. By participating in this early VE/VA exercise, members of the project team communicate their needs to the other team members and identify those needs in the common language of functions. By expressing the project in these terms early in the design process, the project team minimizes miscommunication and redesign, which are costly in both labor expenditures and schedule delays.

5.3.2 Also perform VE/VA during schematic design (up to 15 % design completion), design development (up to 45 % design completion), and construction documents (up to 100 % design completion). Conduct VE/VA studies at several stages of design completion to define or confirm project functions, to verify technical and management approaches, to analyze selection of equipment and materials, and to assess the project's economics and technical feasibility. Perform VE/VA studies concurrently with the user/owner's design review schedules to maintain the project schedule. Through the schematic design and design development stages, the VE/VA team analyzes the drawings and specifications from each technical discipline. During the construction documents stage, the VE/VA team analyzes the design drawings and specifications, as well as the details, and equipment selection, which are more clearly defined at this later stage.

5.3.3 A VE/VA study performed at a 90 to 100 % design completion stage, just prior to bidding, concentrates on economics and technical feasibility. Consider methods of construction, phasing of construction, and procurement. The goals at this stage of design are to minimize construction costs and the potential for claims; analyze management and administration; satisfy stakeholder needs; and review the design, equipment, and materials used.

5.3.4 During construction, analyze value analysis change proposals (VACP)/value engineering change proposals (VECP) of the contractor.6 VACPs/VECPs reduce the cost or duration of construction or present alternative methods of construction, without reducing performance or acceptance. To encourage the contractor to propose worthwhile VACPs/VECPs, the owner and the contractor share the resultant savings when permitted by contract.

5.4 Products: 

5.4.1 Perform VE/VA during concept development to provide a mechanism to analyze the essential attributes and develop possible alternatives to offer the best value. Evaluate technical requirements of each alternative to determine effects on total performance and costs. Identify areas of high cost/high-cost sensitivity and examine associated requirements in relation to its contribution to effectiveness. Utilize VE/VA to constructively challenge the stated needs and recommend alternatives and ensure that user requirements are well founded.

5.4.2 Perform VE/VA during preliminary design to analyze the relevance of each requirement and the specifications derived from it. Critically examine the cost consequences of requirements and specifications to determine whether the resultant cost is comparable to the worth gained. Further analyze high-cost, low performance or high risk functions and the identification of alternative ways of improving value.

5.4.3 Perform VE/VA during detail design to identify individual high-cost, low performance, or high risk areas to facilitate early detection of unnecessary costs in time to take corrective action. Establish maintenance plans to ensure that the design process incorporates logistic requirements and cost considerations, including reliability, maintainability, spares, and obsolescence. Analyze how suppliers can help reduce costs. Look for opportunities to simplify the design for operational use—make the product easier to operate and maintain.

5.4.4 Perform VE/VA during production to develop alternative designs to meet functional needs. Apply VE/VA to evaluate and improve manufacturing processes, methods, and materials. Leverage opportunities for VE/VA when: recent developments indicate a potential opportunity for performance improvement or cost reduction, or both; the future use of the product depends on significant reduction in production costs; and new manufacturing technology or new materials become available.

5.4.5 Perform VE/VA during operations to study the operation, maintenance, and other logistics functions.

5.4.6 Encourage the contractor to propose worthwhile VACPs/VECPs that satisfy owner needs, where the owner and the contractor share the resultant savings when permitted by contract.

5.5 Processes: 

5.5.1 Perform VE/VA during process design to analyze the value of each requirement and the process steps derived from it. Critically examine the cost consequences of requirements to determine whether the resultant cost is comparable to the performance gained. Further analyze high-cost functions and the identification of alternative ways of achieving the same result with greater value (better performance, lower cost, or both).

5.5.2 Perform VE/VA during process implementation. VE/VA challenges the need for data collection and test and use cases. VE/VA supports the testing process by challenging the amount of fidelity needed and determining cost effective ways of conducting tests. Look for opportunities to simplify the process design for operational use.

5.5.3 Perform VE/VA during process operations. Apply VE/VA to evaluate and improve process flow, increase process throughput, and eliminate process bottlenecks. Leverage opportunities for VE/VA when: recent organizational changes indicate a potential opportunity for value improvement; initial incentives for process improvement or reduced cost, or both are no longer applicable; and new technology to improve productivity become available.

5.5.4 Encourage the contractor to propose worthwhile VACPs/VECPs that satisfy owner needs, where the owner and the contractor share the resultant savings when permitted by contract.

5.6 The number and timing of VE/VA studies varies for every focus of study. The owner/user/stakeholder, the design professional, and the value methodology expert determine the best approach jointly. A complex or expensive focus of study, or a design that will be used repeatedly, warrants a minimum of two VE/VA studies, performed before the design is developed and during design development.


1.1 This practice covers a procedure for defining and satisfying the functions of a project, product, or process (hereafter referred to as focus of study). Projects include construction of commercial and residential buildings and other engineered systems.2 Products include components, systems and equipment.3 Processes include procurement, materials management, work flow, fabrication and assembly, quality control, and services.

1.2 A multidisciplinary team uses the procedure to convert stakeholder constraints, needs, and desires into descriptions of functions and then relates these functions to resources.

1.3 Examples of costs are all relevant costs over a designated study period, including the costs of obtaining funds, designing, purchasing/leasing, constructing/manufacturing/installing, operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing and disposing of the particular focus of study. While not the only criteria, cost is an important basis for comparison in a VE/VA study. Therefore, accurate and comprehensive cost data is an important element of the analysis.

1.4 This is a procedure to develop alternatives that meet the functions of the focus of study. Estimate the costs for each alternative. Provide the owner/user/stakeholder with specific, technically accurate alternatives which can be implemented. The owner/user/stakeholder selects the alternative(s) that best satisfies their constraints, needs and desires.

1.5 Apply this practice to an entire focus of study, or to any subsystem/element thereof. The user/owner/stakeholder can utilize the VE/VA procedure to select the element or scope of the study.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.11
Developed by Subcommittee: E06.81
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/E1699-14R20
ICS Code: 91.040.01