MEP services, which is the area of expertise used to integrate the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services into a building is conducted at the start of a building’s design. During the design phase is the best time to ensure that the MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) infrastructure is not going to infringe on any of the other systems inherent in a building’s construction, such as the architectural and structural framework.
In a world of over-budget projects, lowering productivity, and overdue delivery dates builders are still demanding that construction projects meet their deadlines, and are delivered within budget while still maintaining quality. MEP service providers, in an effort to supply what the market demands have incorporated BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology into their process systems. BIM is an information technology capable of creating a detailed digital representation of a building project. This technology allows them to streamline the design and construction phase of a building in an effort to curb the impact of rising costs and tight deadlines.
As with any design the process of integrating the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services into a building will go through a series of preliminary stages. In the first instance the MEP services provider will analyze and evaluate the 2D architectural and structural plans of a building’s design in great detail. Once they are satisfied that all design guidelines have been met they will then go about creating a digital 3D model of the project.
The 3D model has a number of benefits including the visualization of elevations and cross sections, and the capability to create a complete walkthrough for the client to visualize and provide input should they need to do so. Any structural and architectural limitations placed on the MEP services are clearly visible in the model, which allows for easy detection of any spatial issues – something that is difficult in traditional 2D drawings.
The BIM model can fully visualize the layout of all the MEP infrastructure including the HVAC systems, pipes, and electrical layout. Conflicting systems are detected early and as a result can be rectified before the design gets on site.
Using MEP services in conjunction with BIM modeling allows for faster development of a project, prevents communication breakdown between clients and providers, and goes a long way to eliminating the vast majority of site based delays common in most building projects. This all adds up to a project delivered on budget, on time, and with all quality guidelines met.