Integration of CSS, Sustainability and Value Engineering Processes

Focus Area

Context Sensitive Solutions


Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process







Research Idea Scope

TERI Database Administrator Notes: Not recommended at present time by 2009 Subcommittee on Cultural Resources.
Posted by TERI Administrator 6/12/07:

Comment: The concept of examining the integration of Value Engineering and CSS processes makes sense. The research could be expanded to include sustainability. Value Engineering – a multi-disciplinary process to develop alternative solutions and foster creativity, CSS – understanding community/ stakeholder values and balancing these values with practical design alternatives, and sustainability – looking at more than the capital cost of project all work together. Ontario is working on combining these processes. We are use Value Analysis workshops and project specific performance measures to understand stakeholder values. We are using sustainability as a performance measure. We are planning on using the Value Analysis workshop as the “stakeholder” workshop for the CSS process.

Comment Submitted By
Name: Stephen Holmes

Agency/Organization: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

TERI Administrator Note (June 2007): Related Research
TRB 86th Annual Meeting Presentation, Integrating Value Engineering and Context-Sensitive Solutions: Case of St. Clair Avenue West Transit Improvement Project (2007)

Context-Sensitive Design (CSD) or the broader term of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) are increasingly being used by designers of transportation infrastructures to refer to a design process that strives to be more cognizant of its surrounding environment. Transportation infrastructures, especially in urban environments, are part of a much larger urban ecology that consists of a complex set of natural and man-made systems. As such, design guidelines that solely address engineering and safety considerations have proven themselves incapable to deliver street designs that respond to the functional requirements of the multitude of stakeholders within urban environments. Analyzing these requirements is a necessary first step for any successful CSD/CSS. In this regard, value engineering has been identified as a successful tool for product functional analysis. Several phases of value engineering overlap with the guiding principles of CSD/CSS. As such, this paper presents a value engineering framework that can be utilized for the analysis of functional requirements of urban streets within a CSD/CSS approach. In order to place the proposed framework into context, a major transit improvement project in the City of Toronto was studied. Seven of the main design elements were analyzed against the primary and secondary objectives identified by the value engineering process. Almost all objectives were attained by the selected design elements. The proposed framework and analysis of case study show that the value engineering methodology can be efficiently utilized within a CSD/CSS approach of urban street design.

Suggested By

Scott Bradley, TRB CSS Taskforce Minnesota DOT