What is the role of MEP in Construction?

Consulting with MEP engineers from the beginning of a project’s life cycle allows those specialists to guide the project through the design, administration, and post-occupancy survey aspects of the construction process. MEP engineers are responsible for overseeing and/or executing essential processes. Mechanical engineering services can include HVAC machinery and ducts, pumps and plant designs, radiant heating and cooling, and more. Electrical engineers will focus on power distribution, lighting design, generators, emergency systems, and general power management and efficiency. Plumbing engineers specialize in designing effective fluid systems: potable water, sewage, waste water, collection tanks, stormwater management, etc.

Often construction projects will require integrated MEP services where the three fields overlap in their design and implementation. An increasingly popular service that incorporates all aspects of MEP engineering is building automation. These centralized hardware and software networks control HVAC, security, fire alarms, indoor and outdoor lighting as well as many other operations critical for building performance. That’s why it’s critical to integrate MEP engineers in the initial stages of a construction project. This helps reduce delays, confusion, revisions, and redrafting.

When a single firm handles all three components, the project is streamlined. Partnering with an integrated MEP engineering firm provides your project with the cultivated expertise that can help reduce your overhead while making the most efficient use of your resources. Rather than dealing with time-consuming responsibilities managing all three components, you tap an expert to coordinate all three in a synchronized process.

MEP Engineers Provide Value At Every Stage Of Construction

From schematic design to administration to the post-occupancy survey, MEP engineers play an important role in construction projects. Your MEP engineer will help you maximize your capital investments by offering a comprehensive suite of services including building evaluation, system diagnostics, feasibility studies, and lease consultation services.

They will collaborate with architects, building owners, and other contractors as early as the initial planning and survey stages. After evaluating the site for potential damage and risks, a preliminary design will be developed and refined in tandem with the architect’s plans. MEP engineers can also coordinate with pre-construction and project management teams to ensure the most efficient execution of all services. Your engineer will conduct a Constructability Review to ensure all drawings and specifications are accurate, safe, and in line with the building owner’s vision.

The MEP Quality Plan drawn up will serve as a working framework throughout the actual construction process. It will include project goals, policies, insurance details, quality procedures, management structures, personnel responsibilities and objectives, quality system review processes, instructions on documentation control, health and safety information, and final testing and handover information. Before construction begins MEP engineers can also be involved in product/technology selection, estimating, and bidding.

An organized MEP engineer will manage the following construction documents:

  • Detailed drawings and diagrams of all floor plans, elevations,and sections.
  • Technical specifications on the systems to be installed.
  • List of materials and products required.
  • Overview of the execution methods for the materials, products, and systems.

As the building undergoes construction or renovation, an MEP engineer will often assist in construction administration, ensuring the project is remaining on schedule and under budget, and providing progress reports.

The Future Of MEP Engineering

The onset of green construction practices and the evolution of digital engineering technology has created new possibilities for MEP engineers. As more construction projects turn their focus to sustainability, construction processes and architectural trends are evolving with this in mind. Traditional engineering fields such as civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical have expanded to include specialized subsets like environmental, aerospace, computer systems design, and geotechnical engineering.

Seasoned MEP engineers can now optimize systems and procedures in a way that leads to environmentally-conscious structures. They conserve water during the construction process. They optimize HVAC systems to remove harmful airborne pathogens.  They use cost-effective materials as a way to maximize building and equipment sustainability for a longer period of time after completion.

Selecting a Qualified MEP Engineering Firm

REX Engineering Group leverages years of expertise as a multi-disciplinary firm with decades of combined structural and mechanical engineering experience. With our recent merger in 2018, REX Engineering Group united the industry-leading mechanical engineering expertise of Innovative Engineering Group of California, and the diverse structural engineering legacy of Chicago and Detroit-based Ntrive to offer the multi-disciplinary engineering services and high performance our building partners require.

Our engineers combine innovative technology with solid, reliable practices. The result? Secure, aesthetic buildings that fit the vision of the building owner and stay within budget. 

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