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The True Value of Value Engineering

The Ministry of Transportation was recently honored with an Award of Recognition from the Canadian Society for Value Analysis (CSVA) for its active and successful Value Engineering (VE) program. MTO was granted the award for its leadership role in the use of VE in transportation, for its open sharing of VE knowledge with government agencies and municipal governments, and for its active participation in the CSVA.

Carl Hennum, Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations, accepted the award on November 5, 2003 at a CSVA function in Markham, Ontario. Consultants, representatives from the aeronautical, automotive and construction industries, and ministry staff attended the event.

"MTO is proud of its VE program," said Hennum. "Our program has improved and added value to over 50 ministries projects and saved more than $100 million dollars. Over 300 ministry staff have completed a 5-day VE training course and now have the tools to apply Value Engineering to their work. MTO is applying VE to more than just highway projects. Our standards and policies are being improved through the use of VE. VE also supports the introduction of new ideas and innovation, and innovation is a key direction for the Ministry."

The CSVA mission is to promote the application of Value Methodologies for the benefit of governments, industry, practitioners and society. Since the formation of the society in Quebec in 1993, the society and the use of Value Methodologies have spread across Canada. The Ministry has joined with the CSVA in promoting Value Methodologies in Ontario. Through continuing partnerships with the CSVA and municipalities, MTO is expanding both the knowledge and practice of Value Engineering locally, nationally and internationally.

Value Engineering (also known as Value Analysis, Value Methodology, or Value Management) is a systematic and function based process to improving the value of products, projects, or processes. VE uses combination of creative and analytical techniques to identify alternative ways to achieve the desired outcome of a project. A VE study involves a team of people following a structured process that helps team members communicate, understand different perspectives, innovate, and analyze.

The Value Engineering process was formally applied to an MTO project for the first time in 1995, to Northern Region's design of two segments of the Highway 69 expansion. In January 1996, as part of the Ministry's Engineering and Construction Review initiative, MTO established a Value Engineering Task Force, composed of representatives from MTO, the Consulting Engineers of Ontario CEO) and the Ontario Road Builders Association (ORBA). The task force investigated several initiatives identified as having potential to reduce project costs. It also coordinated Value Engineering Training for contractors, consultants and MTO staff. With the support and advice of American transportation agencies and the Value Engineering community, MTO launched a successful VE program in 1998.

A full-time coordinator in the Highway Design Office supports the VE program, and part-time coordinators in the Regional offices deliver the results. The effectiveness of the VE process was proven in 1998 with the rehabilitation of the Garden City Skyway bridge deck in St. Catharines. This study combined VE and explicit highway safety analysis; this led to the development of an efficient means of traffic control during construction, aggressive rehabilitation strategies, and cost-efficient risk management strategies. Recent studies have produced changes to the interchange configuration at the QEW and Bronte Road (see Road Talk, June 2003), reduced costs for relocating a water conduit at the QEW Red Hill Creek pumping station, improved safety at a rural intersection north of Lindsay and improved operational performance for proposed truck inspection stations.

MTO's Value Specialists Barry Buffington, NW Region Stephen Holmes, Hwy Design Office David Kerr, E region Ted Lane, Hwy Planning and Design Mike Pearsall, NE Region Dennis Regan, SW Region Dan Remollino, Central Region Jim Connell, Safely Design Engineer Dan Preley, NW Region Lola Vaz, Central Region

The Ontario transportation community now benefits from a mature VE program. The Ministry is recognized as a VE leader in transportation in North America and has championed the explicit consideration of highway safety in VE studies. Seven ministry staff has earned certification as Certified or Associate Value Specialists, and Ontario consultants are exporting VE services to other jurisdictions worldwide. Ontario's construction industry has supported VE and saved money for MTO through their contribution of numerous costs saving Value Engineering Change Proposals.

The CSVA award is a testament to the Ministry's determination to improve the overall value of its projects and to enhance the design, construction and efficiency of its operations.

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