The process for acquiring federal facilities is guided by a variety of laws, executive orders, policies, and regulations. This guidance is generally intended to provide for an open, competitive process, to achieve best value or lowest cost, and to meet a variety of social and economic objectives. Because this guidance has been developed from a number of sources to meet a wide range of goals, conflicts among competing objectives can arise during the acquisition process, leading to tradeoffs that can compromise the design and consequently the energy and environmental performance of federal facilities.
In the late 1990s several of the sponsor agencies of the Federal Facilities Council began developing and implementing initiatives and policies related to sustainable development. Guidance related to life-cycle costing and value engineering was recognized as being supportive of sustainable development, in particular when used in the conceptual planning and design phases of acquisition, where decisions are made that substantially effect the ultimate performance of a building over its life cycle. However, specific concerns were raised that when federal agencies apply value engineering in the final stages of design or during construction in response to cost overruns, design features that support sustainable development may be eliminated.
The primary objective of this study, therefore, was to develop a framework to show how federal agencies can use value engineering and life-cycle costing to support sustainable development for federal facilities and meet the objectives of Executive Order 13123.