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Selecting an appropriate alternative for a major infrastructure project with regard to value engineering approach

Ehsan Mousakhani (The Department of Urban and Architecture, The Municipality of Karaj, Karaj, Iran)
Mohammadreza Yavarkhani (Taaghafrand Company, Tehran, Iran)
Soheyla Sohrabi (The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Road construction projects are one of the strategic industries in each country and their construction and development requires spending huge funds. Regarding the increased demand and resource constraints; a technique which reduces costs by maintaining and improving the functioning is of great importance for the authorities of each country. Value engineering is a comprehensive and coherent means based on innovation and team work which, in addition to maintaining the quality and improving the project function, reduces its cost and is not limited to the design and construction phase; however, it includes exploitation and maintenance as well. This study aims to present a practical model for the implementation and application of value engineering process in a construction project located in a special region (in terms of tourism, positioning in an economic growth path, and the East-West strategic axis of the region). In this regard, after reviewing the advisor's design, considering the interests of the project stakeholders, reviewing design criteria and assessment methods and with the use of value engineering techniques, a new option was presented which led to a significant reduction in costs and time and an increase of quality, safety, and environmental factors. Finally, including initial costs, repair, maintenance, income and expenses, the relative value index of this option, compared to the advisor's option, increased from 0.9 to 3.5. Based on the increased need for development of roads in the country, exploiting this model in similar projects can significantly improve the project value and the effectiveness of investments.

Design/methodology/approach

This research project was selected with regard to the extremely high credit of the project and its potential in terms of Value Engineering implementation. In this study, technical and financial information were first collected after forming a value engineering team including a value engineering expert who was responsible for coordinating the work, some representatives of the employer, designer, executor, and budget estimator. In functional analysis phase with the use of FAST graph, advantageous, costly, and risky functions were identified. In the creativity phase, ideas related to selected functions were created and investigated and developed in the evaluation phase. Finally, calculating the value index, two variants with higher value index than the baseline plan, were proposed and implemented.

Findings

Since the determining criteria of designing and implementation of road construction projects including increased safety, reduced travel time, user satisfaction, ease of implementation, cost of construction and maintenance and so on are almost similar in most projects, using this study results and implementing its practical framework in other construction projects can be beneficial. These parameters lead to an increase in quality, value, and safety of the project. With regard to done steps and resulted incomes, this essay can be known as a practical and theoretical model to promote the value of crucial projects especially in developing countries.

Research limitations/implications

Sanandaj-Hamedan road with the length 176km connects central provinces of Iran. This study is regarding the first part of this route. Based on the specific topography of the region and the existing road limitations, selecting a good variance with all the features of an ideal road from geometric, economic, and safety aspects is a difficult task.

Originality/value

Employers and project sponsors are always looking for products with greater value and lower cost; therefore, present a practical model for the implementation and application of value engineering process in a construction project and providing a similar work experience can encourage the use of value engineering techniques and significantly improve the project value and the effectiveness of investments.

Keywords

Citation

Mousakhani, E., Yavarkhani, M. and Sohrabi, S. (2017), "Selecting an appropriate alternative for a major infrastructure project with regard to value engineering approach", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 15 No. 03, pp. 395-416. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-12-2015-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited