THE CONCEPT OF VALUE ENGINEERING
In General, value engineering is a systematic search for less costly alternatives to a proposed or the accepted way of doing things. Specifically, it is a process for evaluating the functions of systems, equipment, facilities, services, and supplies for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest life-cycle cost, consistent with required performance, reliability, quality and safety.
For example, a value engineering study could include that a different, initially more expensive heating system would be less costly over the life of system because it was more energy efficient than a proposed system with a lower acquisition cost.
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GAO has done considerable work on value engineering since the 1970's and recognizes the concept as a proven cost saving technique. As early as 1974, after reviewing value engineering activities at 10 federal construction agencies, GAO recommended that all federal Construction agencies adopt value engineering programs.