When establishing a building site, challenges may come from many different directions. Investors can have their own needs and problems, architects and civil engineers can also face their own personal and professional challenges, Mechanical, electric and plumbing engineers are not exempted from this. This is why we have listed some of the most important challenges MEP engineers face so that you can have them in mind when looking for an MEP consultant.
Compatibility: software enters the market and almost immediately becomes obsolete, so MEP engineers have to move with the times and update their devices so as to use the adequate software for their job. New clients and other engineers are also in this race for the best tools, and it can cause their software to be incompatible with the one of the MEP. The best way to face this challenge is to stay in constant and fluent communication with the other members of the construction team so as to share platforms and pieces of advice on how to improve their interconnectivity.
Constant changes in project budgets: since now it is easier to explore many different options available for a project clients want to have them all explored and studied before making their final decision. BIM allows all the members of the building team to explore many options and their effects on the rest of the systems. These constant changes take more time during the design period and can also constantly modify budgets. Expert MEP consultant has to be very explicit when a final budget is elaborated, what this budget cover needs to be clear to the client and the other engineers working on the site.
Overlapping drafts: when several engineers work together each of them has his or her own layout of systems and devices. They have to get together and share their information to avoid clashing and overlapping their work with one of their colleagues. This is a challenge that is being overcome by the use of 3D models that integrate all those perspectives into one single model. The better the software, the more interactions it shows so that the experts will notice how, for instance, electrical devices interact with mechanical fixtures.
A new concept of simultaneous: experts can now work at the same time in an integrated 3D model, and this has many benefits. Although working at the same time can also mean that plans have to be kept short because the changes introduced by one of the participants of the project can change the walls, ceilings or rooms another participant was using to install his or her devices.
This can be solved or eased by celebrating internal and primary meeting where the basics of the building are set so as not to interrupt or hinder each other’s job.
Time-consuming design: with the use of new tools for MEP 3D design of buildings there is a lot of time and effort put in the first part of the process, the design stage. This time investment translates into less time for other stages of the project (since clients usually want to have their project built in the minimum possible period). It is important to set deadlines for each stage and avoid extending them just to please a few members of the team. The Saying is old but still valid, time is money, and time spent in the same stage of the project will not translate into more money.
Communication: when working with a big team, effective and fluid communication can also be a challenge for the MEP experts. Failure to solve these issues can result in project default or errors, which can be costly and time-consuming. Written communications where every part of the team agrees and signs may be necessary.
Geographical differences: in some cases, one part of the team will be working from a different location, maybe a different country. MEP engineers need to be sure that changes made by one group are updated in the 3D model so that the rest of the team is informed and acts accordingly.