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What is Value Engineering?


Value engineering is the process of comparing alternatives and their associated costs, and making choices to keep the project within budget, without sacrificing educational priorities. It is an exercise that all construction projects use and it is required by the MSBA for all projects no matter how the project cost estimate compares to the budget.

At each phase, an estimate is done based on the plan as it exists in that stage. This estimate is then compared to the budget. As the scope of the project becomes more clear, design details are more specific, fewer assumptions are made and the estimate becomes more accurate. So far in the project, two estimates have been performed – during the Feasibility Phase and during Schematic Design. At the end of Schematic Design the project budget was set, the Arlington voters approved the project and Arlington entered into an agreement with the MSBA.

Because the budget has now been set, if there are differences between a future estimate and the budget, then the Building Committee is charged with exploring how the project can be revised, ultimately creating a building plan that does line up with the budget. The next estimate performed is for the Detailed Design.

To be proactive, and enable the Building Committee to make the most thoughtful choices once the Detailed Design estimate was available, the Building Committee began the value engineering process early. During October and November 2019, each subcommittee evaluated potential alternatives and reported back to the full Building Committee. When the Detailed Design estimate was available, the Building Committee scheduled a series of meetings to discuss the estimate in detail and make value engineering decisions. Once the project scope and budget are aligned, the Design Development documents will be submitted to the MSBA.

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