US Army Corps of Engineers
Alaska District

Frequently Used Terms

1391 Preparation Planning Charrette
During this workshop also known as a "Programming Charrette", the draft DD Form 1391 is developed. This includes the complete definition of a project scope and analyzing the mission requirements and customer preferences, while balancing these against allowance and programming criteria. The charrette captures information to complete the front page, Tabs A through J (except Tab B), and facility requirements sketches for the DD Form 1391.

3086 Charrette
During this workshop, the customer’s functional requirements are defined and the scope, cost and schedule are validated. Before the charrette, the team prepares a preliminary design and cost estimate for use during the charrette. The charrette process is based on the information phase, the first step of the value engineering methodology, and typically includes an outbrief on the final day.

The outcomes of this workshop are used to validate or update the DD Form 1391 and prepare the ENG Form 3086 submission. This is used to satisfy the Code 3 design directive. The 3086 Charrette does not meet the requirement for a value engineering study.

Baseline Design and Cost Estimate
A design and cost estimate is prepared prior to the value based design charrette. It is approximately at the 15 percent stage for design-bid-build or includes preliminary technical requirements for design-build. It also includes enough detail to easily and quickly adjust during the first two days of the charrette. It reflects all the requirements in the DD Form 1391 and information gathered from the subject matter experts prior to the charrette. The designers present the baseline design during the first day of the charrette and subject matter experts confirm whether or not their needs were captured. The design and cost estimate is adjusted based on this input and the functional requirements of the customer. The baseline is finalized and agreed upon by the team early on the second day of the charrette before brainstorming creative ideas.

Charrette
Charrettes are intensive onsite work sessions typically facilitated by a value specialist using one or more of the value engineering methodologies. The work sessions include maximum customer interaction and provide instant feedback. They are used to identify requirements, solve problems and promote team building and partnership. These work sessions are typically used to validate costs, perform value engineering studies and develop master planning, programming documents, concept designs and cost estimates. Charrettes have a typical duration of three to five days.

The term charrette comes from the French word for a small-wheeled cart. The usage comes from the days of the Beaux Arts, a Parisian architectural school. When the students’ work was due, a cart came through the students’ communities to collect the drawings and take them back to school to be judged. Students then were often unfinished. So they got on the cart to finish their designs. They were “on charrette”. To this day, architects working long hours say they are “on charrette” (from Air Force Project Management Manual, 1994).

Design Directives
Design directives authorize various stages of project design, indicate project scope and cost, and provide special instructions for the design of the project. The design execution process is managed, in part, by using design codes. Since design funds are centrally managed, only USACE Headquarters Directorate of Military Programs has the authority to issue a design code to the appropriate USACE major support command or district.

Master Planning Charrette
During this workshop, a list of projects is developed with complete definition of project scope, analyzing the customer’s mission requirements and customer preferences, while balancing these against Army allowance and programming criteria. The workshop captures the associated costs and requirement dates for each of the projects. The list of projects is also prioritized during the charrette.

Pre-Charrette Meeting
This meeting is used to prepare the team for the charrette. The meeting can include reviewing programming documents, a site visit, gathering information from the subject matter experts, reviewing lessons learned, reviewing schedule, and even presenting conceptual designs for input. Typically, pre-charrette meetings are performed for value based design charrettes.

Programming Charrette
During this workshop, the project scope is defined and the mission requirements and customer preferences are analyzed, while balancing these against allowance and programming criteria. This typically produces the information used in the DD Form 1391.

Value-Based Design Charrettes
During this workshop, an optimized design is developed meeting the customer’s functional requirements while meeting the scope, cost and schedule limitations. The five basic value engineering methodology steps are used to obtain this optimized design. In preparation for the charrette, the team prepares a baseline design and cost estimate.

This charrette is also used to validate or update the DD Form 1391 and prepare the ENG Form 3086 submission.

Value Engineering Change Proposal
A Value Engineering Change Proposal (VECP) is a change proposal submitted to the government by the contractor in accordance with FAR 52.248-3, Value Engineering –Construction. In order for the change proposal to qualify as a VECP, it must require a change to the contract and result in a reduction of contract price or estimated cost without impairing the essential function and characteristics. For a more detailed description of a VECP, refer to FAR 52.248-3, Value Engineering-Construction.

Value Engineering Methodology
A function-oriented, systematic team approach to balance performance and cost. There are five basic value methodology steps to include information, speculation, analysis, development and presentation.

Value Engineering Study
This is the study where the value engineering methodologies are actually applied to a project. The results of the study are documented in a report. A value engineering study is required for procurement acquisitions that are federally funded and managed by the Corps of Engineers with a total project cost greater than $1 million ($2 million for construction projects) regardless of the number of phases to accomplish the project. Waivers may be pursued.

The main purpose of a value engineering study is not to reduce the cost of a project. This is a common misconception. Value engineering studies may or may not reduce cost. In fact, it may increase the cost of the project. The intent of a VE study is to identify the functional requirements of the customer. Items that do not meet the functional requirements are removed from the project. The funds associated with these items can then be “reinvested” into the project to add items that do meet the customer’s functional requirements. Of course, we consider the scope, schedule and funding (including legal documents, regulations, etc.) when we perform the value engineering studies.