I-25 Frontage RoadWhen is a VE study required?
The CDOT/FHWA Stewardship Agreement requires VE studies for projects with estimated total cost of $40 million or more. Total project cost includes all phases of a project, including environmental, design, right of way, utilities, and construction. VE analyses are not required on design-build projects.

Are there other situations when a VE Study can be beneficial?

Because of the nature of working on a project, designers and other project personnel get focused on their work. A Value Engineering Study provides the design team with a “fresh” look at the project by a group of experienced professionals not involved in the proje ct. This “focused brainstorming session” often times gleans many benefits to the project that are not limited to cost savings. This can include items such as:

  • Reduced construction time
  • Reduced impact to businesses and adjacent land owners
  • Reduced environmental impact

If a project has any of the following elements, a VE study should be considered:

  • Major Structures,
  • Complex design or construction,
  • Challenging constraints and/or difficult technical issues,
  • External influences and unique or complicated functional requirements,
  • Potential to improve the projects’ performance or quality,
  • Competing community and stakeholder objectives,
  • Potential alternative solutions that impact scope and cost,
  • New alignment or bypass sections,
  • Capacity improvements that widen existing highways,
  • An Interchange,
  • Extensive or expensive environmental or geotechnical requirements,
  • Materials that are difficult to acquire or have special requirements,
  • Inferior material sources,
  • New/reconstruction projects, and
  • Major traffic control requirements or multiple construction phases.

What are the benefits of a VE study?

A team of experts not involved in the project will conduct a review and make recommendations that benefit the project by:

  • Reducing costs
  • Improving the value and quality of the project
  • Reducing construction time and traffic impacts
  • Reducing environmental impacts
  • Improving safety during construction

When is the best time to conduct a VE study?

A VE study should be done as early as possible in the development of a project, preferably before the completion of preliminary design and at a minimum, prior to completing final design. The option to conduct a VE study should be discussed at the Scoping, FIR, and FOR meetings, and the decision should be documented in the meeting minutes. Four windows of opportunity are:

  1. Planning Phase: A VE study should be discussed once a preferred alternative has been identified during the NEPA phase.
  2. Post Scoping Meeting: A VE study should be discussed at the scoping meeting and the decision should be documented in the scoping meeting minutes. The best time to consider alternatives to design solutions is soon after the scoping meeting when preliminary engineering information is available. At this point, the study can also provide an opportunity for building consensus among stakeholders.
  3. Pre-Final Inspection Review (FIR): Although major design decisions have been made at this point and the design team has initiated the development of plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E), there is still opportunity to review technical aspects of design elements.
  4. Pre-Final Office Review (FOR): With most of the important project decisions made at this point, the VE analysis should focus on constructability, construction sequencing, staging, traffic control, and significant design issues