MEP in Construction – Role and Strategies for Better Building

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MEP

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing needs are key requirements for the energy efficiency of modern commercial construction. Since buildings are a major consumer of energy, MEP companies can make a huge difference to meet the efficiency expectations of lean construction. The Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) work is part of the implementation of high-rise construction work that often has problems in its completion due to factors or variables that influence each other.

So it is necessary to apply the Lean Construction method as an alternative to solving existing problems. The application of Lean Construction is able to reduce waste material in construction work including the work of MEP, which is able to minimize activities that do not produce value on the final results of construction work and reduce the residual material used.

Hence, the main role of an MEP company is to ensure that all of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are integrated seamlessly and efficiently into construction from the beginning.

MEP in Construction Projects

When we look at MEP participation in a project, it is often a major work, which is HVAC controlled by Mechanical and secondly goes by Electrical. MEP construction must be required for all types of commercial, residential and industrial purposes where services and facilities required.

MEP consists of:

  •         installing air conditioning systems
  •         water supply and drainage systems
  •         firefighting systems
  •         electrical power and lighting systems including transformer substations and emergency power generators
  •         fire protection and alarm systems
  •         voice and data systems
  •         security access and surveillance systems
  •         UPS
  •         public address systems
  •         Mast antenna TV system
  •         building management systems

Architectural and Civil construction give shape, structure, and aesthetics to a building but MEP or Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing bring facilities for life providing services. Hence MEP, now known as “Building Services and Facilities”.

MEP includes a package of mechanical and electrical services for a number of facilities ranging from residential to commercial buildings, namely processing industries, shopping malls, and housing compounds, including towers. These engineering solutions consist of installing air-conditioning systems, setting up power and lighting systems, water supply and drainage, fire- fighting systems, Building Management Systems, telephone and data systems.

Every construction project is unique and therefore its specification too. Here we can see different types of specifications for building construction projects that can be used after making modifications suitable to the specified project.

I – Mechanical Works in MEP for a Building Project

In MEP, major works are to be handled by Mechanical people because of HVAC or air conditioning system and that has piping work for cold and hot water, fabrication works for ducts, dampers and controllers, thermal/cold insulation works, and erection of machines like chiller unit, air handling units, grills, diffusers etc. Other important Mechanical works are Drinking water, Drainage and Sewerage systems. Other Mechanical works are Firefighting works that included piping, sprinklers, and Pumps.

II – Electric Works in MEP for a Building Project

Electric works mainly included Electrical Power and Lighting but others like Transformer substations, Emergency power, UPS/Central battery, Voice/Data communication, TV, Security systems like CCTV surveillance system, Access control System, Public address system, Building management system (BMS), Fire alarm system, aircraft warning lights, Traffic Barrier, Surge Protection system, and Lightning protection system.

III – Plumbing Works on MEP for a Building Project

A certified testing for automotive engines that clarifies the electrical, as well as plumbing setups, should be integrated into the building. A Hi-Tec and competent plumbing system design is required for the prevention of the issues of this aspect of building services planning with other aspects like electrical and mechanical.

A standard residential plumbing systems consist of water supply pumps and pipes, sewerage pipes, gas pipes, also rainwater harvesting pipes. The perfect and no lacking plumbing system installation is a major factor for the welfare and healthy living of the residents.

A bad plumbing installation will lead to severe health issues from growing fungi and bacteria in the leaking section causing an annoying foul smell. As a result, the fear regarding the longevity and survival span of a building along with uncertain health problems can severely arise as the time flies, the condition becomes more terrible and incurable.

4 Ways MEP Can Improve Building Sustainability

In this modern era’s construction projects, building services like MEP are the heartbeat of a sustainably constructed building with future security and safety of the human beings, also respecting the huge amount of their wages invested in owning their dream homes. Therefore, it becomes very important to integrate these MEP services in building services planning, together very proficiently, so that people are able to dwell inside with a view of residing there for a lifetime without facing troubles.

  1. Controlling Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Commercial structures are directly associated with greenhouse (GHG) emissions due to cooling, heating, lighting, and electricity. Even building materials, construction, and maintenance can cause CO2 emissions. Thankfully, opportunities for improved efficiency are plentiful – that’s where the role of an MEP company comes in. Regardless of whether you’re in the development stage or retrofitting a historical building, the best MEP companies can address any needs and requirements to make your building more energy-efficient.

Organizations can diminish the measure of carbon dioxide they emanate by utilizing effective HVAC frameworks, decreasing water usage, reducing construction materials and embracing dynamic building designs. And of course, the pinnacle standard in green building and energy efficiency is becoming LEED certified.

  1. Reducing Overall Energy Consumption

As reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the major areas of energy consumption in commercial buildings include heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) at 35% of total building energy; lighting at 11%; major appliances (water heating, refrigerators and freezers, dryers) at 18%, and the remaining 36% in other areas including electronics. Every case presents opportunities for an MEP company to improve the building performance through system components such as lighting device efficiencies as well as through building system controls such as day-lighting.

Through building energy modeling, KMB uses a virtual simulation of overall energy for existing buildings to identify areas of improvement and evaluate alternatives that will improve energy efficiency.

  1. Utilizing Sustainable Energy

Commercial buildings have large energy requirements which put a big strain on the power grid, especially during peak periods. Considering the end-goal is to decrease the measure of power a building generates, it’s necessary to explore commercial renewable energy sources. With solar energy usage, businesses and organizations generate an infinite resource that allows them to independently create their own energy.

No greenhouse gas emissions, just clean, cost-effective energy.

  1. Conserving Water Usage

Water conservation is essential in every part of the world, from dry desert locations to tropical regions. As the World Business Council for Sustainable Development puts it, water is cheap, scarce and wasted. Protecting the available water resources is a shared responsibility. Considering that leakage accounts for a large part of water wastage, water efficiency can be improved with simple strategies, such as touch-free faucets and low-flow toilets, before implementing more complex solutions, such as grey water frameworks.

Steps to Eliminate the Negative Effects of MEP in a Building

 

  1. Designing for Efficiency 

Prioritizing the MEP design early in the construction process is the best way to optimize the building’s performance for the life of the facility. Balancing the cost of these essential systems along with the needs to control overall construction budgets requires a broad depth of experience.

For example, when master planning a facility it pays to design forward-looking models using Building Information Model (BIM) software that allows for integrated, flexible and most importantly upgradable MEP frameworks.  This ensures the systems of a building built today are prepared for the advancements in efficiency and sustainability of tomorrow.

Sometimes, no matter how well you designed the MEP of your project, there will need to be changes as construction is carried on. It is important to convey these changes to the crew members on the site right away to avoid costly and negative-impacting effects of MEP done wrong. This is why it’s advantageous to have a construction job management software like Pro Crew Schedule in your business.

  1. Optimizing for Performance 

Considering sustainable systems, materials, and operations is paramount to gaining optimal performance from your building’s MEP systems. Some considerations to incorporate into your design are:

  •         indoor air quality
  •         building envelope
  •         water conservation
  •         green building systems
  •         LEED certification.

For example, Energy modeling can be a very worthwhile exercise. A building energy model identifies opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of building systems, and will consider the needs and behaviors of the occupants. Simple recommended measures may include motion-activated lighting, or automated heating and cooling systems.

  1. Upgrading for Improvement 

As buildings age and systems reach the end of their useful life, they must be upgraded or replaced with efficient solutions to ensure the ongoing energy efficiency of an asset. Engaging an MEP consultant can prove a valuable tool for those who own or operate aging facilities, to identify measures to prepare for long-term operation and opportunities to take advantage of available rebates and incentives that reward energy efficiency.

For example, updating leaky pipes, replacing heating and cooling systems, or even something as simple as using efficient light bulbs not only lowers operating costs, but can also lower water and/or energy usage enough to make the building eligible for rebates or obtain recognition such as LEED.

Conclusion

MEP can be easy. With proper planning and strategy, an effective MEP design is a primary building block for efficiently planning, managing and operating a facility. With MEP systems comprising a significant portion of the operational costs of most buildings, poorly operating equipment can create substantial inefficiencies and unnecessary costs for building owners and tenants.  Proactively addressing these inefficiencies at the design stage, or by commissioning an MEP inspection of existing buildings, is a critical step in optimal property management.

Manage your MEP works better in any construction project you take with the help of a reliable construction job management software where Pro Crew Schedule is one of the best. Get a demo today.

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