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PDT conducts first virtual VE study work session

Memphis District
Published May 29, 2020
Slope Flattening PDT members

IN THE PHOTO, top left clockwise, are PDT members Neal Newman, Milton Beverly, Tom Morgan, Jonathan Fili, and Jeremy Ruffell.

The Slope Flattening Project Delivery Team (PDT) recently conducted the first virtual value engineering (VE) study work session with team member Neal Newman, who happens to be one of only 12 certified value specialists in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

The purpose of this Slope Flattening Project is to flatten the slope of existing System 12, St. Francis Levee, below Huxtable Pumping Plant, which will increase stability at the levee toe. This work will reduce flood risk, flood damages, and flood protection costs resulting from flood events on the Mississippi River.

The VE study is a systematic approach to analyzing the functions of project systems, equipment, facilities, services and supplies to ensure they achieve their essential functions at the lowest lifecycle cost while meeting all performance, reliability, quality, and safety requirements.

The USACE Value Engineering Program has been a leader in applying the VE methodology to construction projects since 1964. The Corps has a long history of proven achievements in VE, realizing billions of dollars in cost avoidance and savings. 

It’s important to understand that VE is not merely cost-cutting (reducing costs by simply eliminating features) or cutting corners (reducing costs by substituting inferior quality). Nor is it a matter of accidently stumbling on a way to reduce costs. Rather, it’s a proven, systematic approach to increase project value by proactively searching for and analyzing opportunities through very open, short-term workshops, and to stretch precious resources by providing the required functionality, most amenities, and the highest quality project, at the lowest life cycle cost.

Through September 30, 2019, the Corps reported an investment of $9.5 million, applied the VE Screening Process to 831 projects, and had a return on investment (ROI) of nearly $60 “saved” to every $1 spent.

The Memphis District’s VE team consist of experts in VE facilitation in addition to the following distinct engineering fields: cost, civil, construction, electrical, geotechnical, hydraulic, mechanical, and structural. Our VE Team of experts are masters at systematically unearthing and spotting opportunities for cost avoidance and savings to increase a project’s ROI. Their goal is to create the greatest value possible for our customers.

Technical Manager, Senior Cost Engineer, and District Value Officer Neal Newman is a certified value specialist, which is the highest level of VE certification attainable through the Society of American Value Engineers International Certification Program. Certification attainment means he has expert-level experience and knowledge in the practice of value engineering methodology which helps ensure projects receive the highest level of VE analysis possible.

Members of the Slope Flattening PDT are Project Manager Milton Beverly; Civil Engineers Jonathon Fili, Jeff Glass, Shaheen Mokhtari, Tom Morgan, Jeremy Ruffell; and Cost Engineers Kevin Keller and Neal Newman.