MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing), the sector which most of the people are not aware, refers to the aspects of building design and construction. MEP design is important for planning, quality and quantity estimation, and operating and maintaining the facilities.
MEP engineers are unique in the way they perform the work, applying the principles of engineering, being specific and precise, not just assuming things but actually working on them, thus differentiating them from normal trade.
MEP is an acronym that stands for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering. These three technical disciplines encompass the systems that make building interiors suitable for human occupancy. MEP installations are addressed together due to the high degree of interaction between them, and also to avoid conflicts in equipment locations – a common problem when electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems are designed in isolation.
Working with qualified MEP engineering companies brings many advantages: installation costs are reduced by optimizing material requirements while achieving high performance and code compliance, where building ownership costs are very high and construction codes are very demandingMechanical Engineering being the oldest and broadest branches of Engineering, of course, termed as “Mother of Engineering,” gives a huge scope for MEP sector.
It deals with a subset called HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning). It involves the key areas of heating, cooling, ventilation, and exhaustion in the mechanical planning of the building. However, mechanical engineers have to work closely with electrical engineers and plumbing systems for the proper construction of a building.
The electrical component of MEP deals with power distribution to a building. The plumbing part of MEP deals with water supply, sanitation/sewerage, and sometimes rainwater harvesting systems. The electrical and plumbing components see that they do not fall in the way of each other.
It is quite evident from the above description that all three components of MEP are interconnected with each other and serve the most essential components of a building, like housing, water supply, electrical supply, sanitation, and urban mobility.
CURRENT PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY DEVELOPERS
The immediate question that would arise to our minds is, how this work can be accomplished, with the obvious answer being “Skilled Manpower.
When designing building systems, an integrated MEP engineering approach yields better results than specifying each building system in isolation. Interactions between building systems can be especially difficult to coordinate when the design process is isolated, and equipment location conflicts are very likely.
Today most all builders don’t follow IS codes and specifications. The main design is the safety of the Building which includes firefighting, fire alarm, ventilation system and lifts. The major safety issue is fire due to short circuits. Using nonstandard wires, not designing considering short circuit current levels which lead to melting wires due to heating.
BEST PRACTICES TO FOLLOW TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY
The guidelines of NBC 2016 are to follow strictly. It should not be only followed to get government approval for a building. If modern MEP design software is used, the value of the 3D model produced during the design phase goes beyond the construction process. The model can be conserved as a reference for maintenance activities and can be updated along with the building during a major renovation.
In general, a building with an MEP engineering model is easier to manage and service than another building where only conventional construction plans are available.
Every owner should be provided with complete drawings of electrical, and plumbing drawings, HVAC, firefighting, fire alarm and specification, make of the material, and test certificates with warranty/guarantee which none of the builders provides.