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Value Engineering for Sustainability in Oman's Construction Industry

The Need for Value Engineering in Oman's Construction Industry


The Oman based construction industry has witnessed remarkable growth in the recent past. This growth was possible due to oil reserves, which have uninterruptedly sponsored construction-based development projects. Being a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the concept of value engineering (VE) is well learned and accepted in Oman. Value engineering has been attributed to the elevated value management practices by GCC based practitioners, the concept which was initially coined by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) (Al-Saleh & Taleb, 2010). However, sustainability and growth are yet to be achieved and can be possible by combining certain value engineering features into the processes and activities. The challenges focus on value generation circle around cost and functions; therefore, limiting costs and uplifting functions would be a more suitable sustainability model. Oman based corporations in the construction industry have been undertaking value engineering to increase output while restraining the associated costs. Such an initiative could tremendously increase value. Besides, value engineering applications should expand to the planning stage, and the parameters required must be ensured before executing the planned design. The process flow diagram constituted by SAVE International can be seen in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows that VE cost is high in the planning stage and reduces as the project proceeds. 

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The assumption is that value engineering will cut down production costs alongside effective, efficient engineering interventions' performance. Such a practice would elevate the quality of functions while reducing the associated costs. The GCC countries have been
historically relying on fossil fuel with little focus on sustainability (Al-Saleh & Taleb, 2010). Oman's engineering sector has mostly ignored concerns relating to water, health, construction materials, energy, and other safety measures. Such vulnerabilities rightfully regard the Oman construction sector to remain less sustainable in the future.

Value engineering has been practiced in the GCC with different terminology – value management. Scholars have already noticed the need for value management to make the GCCmanagement, explicitly focuses on cost reduction and resource-saving. Emphasize is not merely on cost reduction; instead, the process must not compromise quality (Cooper, 2017). Therefore, value engineering decreases construction and maintenance costs and increases quality through changes made in the design. This manuscript focuses on value engineering, specifically how the Omani-based construction industry may be made more sustainable through value engineering. 
states more sustainable. Value engineering is an essential aspect of the whole value engineering. 


This study primarily stands upon secondary data sources collected from published research papers, books, and websites. The related literature was noted to center on sustainability and Oman based construction industry. The literature review spans through 2010 – 2019 to enhance the understanding of the construction industry behavior in Oman. Data collection was made possible with the help of Google Scholar to extract potential knowledge sources published during the two decades. To gather relevant sources, authors used keywords such as "value engineering for sustainability," "Oman construction industry," "value engineering parameters," and several others. Manuscripts focusing on sustainability in the Oman based construction industry were of primary emphasis. Besides, value management is closely themed to value engineering in the GCC context, focusing on productivity enhancement.

Authors targeted internally recognized journals published in the English language through the keywords mentioned earlier. The keywords were helpful to gather a database relating to value engineering and sustainability but in general perspective. Hence, the authors narrowed down their scope to further streamline then to the context of the construction industry in Oman. The authors fixed the number of literature to 25 published sources, which were more concentrated. Authors cross-examined to ensure their purpose and objectives match the article's objective.

These articles focused on value engineering, sustainability, and construction in Oman. Besides, additional focus was given to the processes and systems usually practiced in Oman, which would provide a framework for generating relations between the factors under study. The literature review process consisted of five steps to extract more sense-making and valuable results. Authors started with formulating research questions, fixing the study's context, selecting and reviewing the literature, analyzing and synthesizing conclusions, and finally reporting the study. This study contributes to sustainability literature through value engineering. 

The review of selected literature delivered the following research questions.
• Why is value engineering critical for the construction industry in Oman?
• How can value engineering achieve sustainability for Oman based engineering frameworks?
• What is the relationship between sustainability and value engineering?
• What are obstacles that impede the implication of value engineering in the Oman based construction industry?
• What factors may facilitate the faster incorporation of value engineering in the Oman based construction industry?

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