U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), through the National Highway Institute (NHI), and in cooperation with the Office of Infrastructure, offers a Value Engineering (VE) workshop to be sponsored by State highway agencies.


The course is directed to highway agency personnel. The practice of VE maybe accomplished at any organizational level, but management support is essential for maximum effectiveness. A class mix of management, administrative, and engineering disciplines, and representatives of all functional areas from planning through design, construction, and operations is desirable.

To encourage management participation and support, the first half-day of the 32-hour course provides a good overview of the VE process. Participation by the chief executive and other top management officials of the agency in this portion of the course is encouraged. These officials should also be present at the closing session to see and hear the results of the team efforts during the week.

Course Description

This 32-hour course consists of the study of actual highway projects by 5- to 7-person teams with the objective of cost reduction and product improvement (operation, energy, safety, maintainability, etc.) through value analysis. The host agency, therefore, should identify at least one project per study team for analysis and be prepared to provide a preliminary package of plans, specifications, estimates, and previous design studies for each project for the course. The optimum time for a VE study during preconstruction occurs between 30-75 percent completion of the design.

The course includes 12 hours of lecture and class discussion, 20 hours of workshop time in a team environment, and 6-8 hours of home study and reading. Principal work activities would be:

  • Selection of high cost areas of poor value from within the overall study project.
  • Identification of required functions so that unnecessary or redundant, but costly, functions can be eliminated.
  • Through creative speculation, develop a broad list of alternatives to satisfy the required functions.
  • Evaluation of alternatives to identify the most cost-effective approach.
  • Further development of the best alternatives.
  • Presentation of these alternatives to class participants and management.

Course Objectives

The overall objective of this course is to familiarize the participants with the systematic VE approach to problem solving. Upon completion of the course, each participant should be able to:

  1. Understand the difference between VE and other cost reduction or problem solving techniques.
  2. Apply VE techniques individually.
  3. Serve on a team conducting a VE study.
  4. Make significant contributions to the conduct of an agency's VE or cost management program.

Number of Participants

Maximum of 40 participants.


Information about the cost of sponsoring this course is available at the NHI web site. Travel and per diem for participates must be funded by their own agencies. The sponsoring agency is responsible for furnishing a meeting room (equipped with a telephone), providing visual-aid equipment, inviting participates, and taking care of other housekeeping duties. The Federal-Aid highway Act of 1987 established the eligibility of NHI course cost for reimbursement from the one-fourth of 1 percent Federal-aid apportionment for education and training (E&T) provided to each State highway agency.

Course Requests

Federal and State agencies may sponsor the course. Presentations will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. State highway agencies desiring to host presentations should submit requests to the National Highway Institute on Form FHWA 1530 through the local FHWA division office. Local agencies are requested to submit requests through the State highway agency.

Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000