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Commonly Used Terms in Value Engineering


Associate Value Specialist (AVS)

AVS is a recognition designed for individuals who are new to the value methodology. An AVS is encouraged to progress to VMP or CVS certification.


Certified Value Specialist (CVS)

CVS is the highest level of certification attainable through SAVE International. The designation is reserved for Value specialists and Value Program Managers who have demonstrated expert level experience and knowledge in the practice of the value methodology.


The expenditure of resources needed to produce a product, service, or process.

Cost, Life Cycle

The sum of all development acquisition, production or construction, operation, maintenance, use, and disposal costs for a product or project over a specified period of time.

Cost Model

A financial representation such as a spreadsheet, chart, and/or diagram used to illustrate the total cost of families of systems, components, or parts within a total complex product, system, structure, or facility.



The original intent or purpose that a product, service, or process is expected to perform. It is expressed in a two-word active verb/measurable noun structure.

Function Analysis System Technique (FAST)

A graphical representation of the dependent relationships between functions within a project.
(a.) Classical FAST Model: A function displaying the interrelationship of functions to each other in a “how-why” logic. This was developed by Charles Bytheway.
Body of Knowledge- SAVE International Value Standard, 2007 edition 29.
(b.) Hierarchy Function Model: A vertical “hierarchical” chart of functions. This places the basic function at the top. The function of each major system is placed beneath the basic function. The functions that support each of these functions are then placed on the next row. This process is continued until the team feels the level of detail is sufficient for the intent of the study.
(c.) Technical FAST Model: A variation to the Classical FAST that adds “all the time” functions, “one-time” functions, and “same time ” or “caused by” functions.
(d.) Customer-Oriented FAST Model: This variation of the FAST diagram was developed to better reflect that it is the customer that determines value in the function analysis process. Customer-oriented FAST adds the supporting functions: attract users, satisfy users, assure dependability, and assure convenience. The project functions that support these customer functions are determined by using the how-why logic.

Function Analysis

The process of defining, classifying, and evaluating functions.

Function, Basic

The specific purpose(s) for which a product, facility, or service exists and conveys a sense of ‘need’. In ‘continuous innovation’ projects the basic function must always exist, although methods or designs to achieve it may vary. In ‘discontinuous innovation’ projects, which seek to create new industries, the existence and persistence of the basic function is itself the focus of the challenge.

Function Cost

The expenditure of resources to perform the function.

Function, Higher Order

The specific goals (needs) for which the basic function(s) exists.

Function, Lower Order (ASSUMED or CAUSATIVE)

The function that is selected to initiate the project and is outside the study scope.

Function, Secondary

A function that supports the basic function and results from the specific design approach to achieve the basic function.
Body of Knowledge- SAVE International Value Standard, 2007 edition 30

Function, Sell

A function that provides a subjective expression of something that is to be achieved. In Function Analysis, sell functions are qualitative and are described using a passive verb and a non-measurable noun. Sell functions are also sometimes referred to as “aesthetic” functions.

Function, Work

A function that provides an objective expression of something that is to be accomplished. In Function Analysis, work functions are quantitative and are described using an active verb and a measurable noun. Work functions are also sometimes referred to as “use” functions.

Function Worth

The lowest overall cost to perform a function without regard to criteria or codes.


Job Plan

A sequential approach for conducting a value study, consisting of steps or phases used to manage the focus of a team’s thinking so that they innovate collectively rather than as uncoordinated individuals.



The capacity of a product to fulfill its intended function. Factors such as reliability, maintainability, quality, and appearance are some examples.


A temporary endeavor was undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. For the purpose of Value Studies, a project is the subject of the study. It may be a physical product such as a manufactured item, or a structure, system, procedure, or an organization.


A sequence of activities that delivers a product or project.


Save International Certified Professional

For the purpose of a Value Study, the Job Plan shall be facilitated by a Certified Value Specialist (CVS), or a Value Methodology Practitioner (VMP) working under the supervision of a CVS. SAVE International Certification requirements are identified by the SAVE International Certification Board, which maintains a list of currently certified individuals.


The portion of the overall project that is selected for the value study. The analysis accepts everything within the defined scope in order to focus attention on the functions within those limits.



An expression of the relationship between function and resources where the function is measured by the performance requirements of the customer and resources are measured in materials, labor, price, time, etc. required to accomplish that function.
Body of Knowledge- SAVE International Value Standard, 2007 edition 31

Value Analysis

The application of value methodology to an existing project, product, or service to achieve value improvement.

Value Analyst

See “Value Professional”.

Value Engineer

See “Value Professional”.

Value Engineering

The application of a value methodology to a planned or conceptual project or service to achieve value improvement.

Value Index

A ratio that expresses function cost ÷ function worth. This ratio is used to determine the opportunity for value improvement, which is usually identified in the Function Analysis Phase.

Value Management

The application of value methodology by an organization to achieve strategic value improvement.

Value Methodology

A systematic process used by a multidisciplinary team to improve the value of projects through the analysis of functions. See Value Engineering, Value Analysis, and Value Management.

Value Methodology Alternative (or Alternatives)

An alternative or alternatives prepared by the value study team and presented to management to provide financial and/or performance improvements and which is within acceptable terms and conditions of the Value Study.

Value Methodology Practitioner (VMP)

VMP recognizes individuals with basic value training and some experience in the application of the methodology. Value methodology practitioners participate in or lead Value Studies.

Value Professional

One who applies the value methodology principles to study and search for value improvement. Synonymous with value analyst, value engineer, value practitioner, or value specialist.

Value Practioner

See “Value Professional”.

Value Study

The application of a value methodology by SAVE International certified professionals using the Value Job Plan.


We certainly know what we do!

At AORBIS, we are a team of consultants and product specialists with broad work experience and expertise in the A/E/C industry which allows us to take a value-driven approach to every project. Established in the year 2018, we provide building products, materials, and services to our clients based in the United States.

The Lawrence D. Miles Foundation
The College of Fellows of the Society of American Value Engineers (SAVE), now SAVE International
SAVE International
“Standard Practice for Performing Value Analysis (VA)” of Buildings, 2007