Building information modelling, or BIM as it is commonly known, is something that is easily dismissed as simply a new version of MEP modelling software with improved drawing extraction capabilities. The MEP design portion of the project actually entails a lot more than just the modelling phase. Because MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services) are the foundation of BIM, any thoughtful construction manager would be wise to produce MEP drawings from a genuine 3D model. This is the only method that can consistently handle clashes and the complexity of coordinating MEP with the project’s architectural and structural direction. 3D MEP Coordination and MEP Design are the terms used to describe this BIM Detailer
The actual MEP process entails more than just simulating the components that the various involved disciplines require. This is because in any situation with only moderate complexity, quality MEP Design Services, when properly implemented, can assure the client that the delivered drawings will be usable by the contractor without the need for pricey subsequent changes. These alterations frequently take place on a job site, usually as a result of readily apparent fabrication problems. Again, the only obvious solution in this case is a BIM strategy. However, putting MEP design requirements into practise is not always simple.
Various use case scenarios impose wildly different requirements, which are frequently imposed by local laws and regulations but are in any case consistent with best practises and intended to produce an efficient and ergonomic building. Specialists providing MEP Design Services will have the knowledge required to determine the sizing and distribution of MEP equipment as well as to ensure compliance with any regulations. What they can’t do is foresee exactly how everything will fit together, especially for a project that is at least moderately complex. The complexity of the project is influenced by both its size and its intended future use. MEP 3D modelling becomes essential at this point, and BIM modellers will enter the picture and start utilising the data the MEP design team has provided. Close collaboration between the two factions in this area would be highly advantageous. As the model develops, creative, more ergonomic, and/or frequently more practical solutions can emerge, saving the client money and accelerating construction by adjusting the design to account for the actual spatial constraints. Such restrictions may recommend moving piping or bundling HVAC equipment with other installations when shafts are oversized for any reason, among many other similar core design decisions. The most effective 3D MEP Coordination solution occasionally comes from close collaboration between the MEP Design Engineering team and the MEP 3D Modeling team.
Given the complexity of MEP and the extreme specialisation it requires, outsourcing is a useful tool for design experts and consultants, especially as collaboration in a BIM work environment becomes more and more frictionless. Market conditions that would allow an MEP design firm to invest in internal MEP modelling resources and, in some cases, even a sizable Design Engineering team are extremely rare. Even though looking abroad can result in significant cost savings, outsourcing in this situation becomes the norm and is frequently limited to a small local talent pool. Additionally, when looking locally, MEP BIM services and MEP design services end up getting a share of the outsourcing. Fragmentation could cost the managing party money and valuable time in this circumstance. It is obvious that the best course of action in this situation would be to employ a specialist who is skilled in both MEP Design Engineering and MEP 3D Modeling. This fills in any gaps between design and modelling and enables iterative problem-solving. Effective on-site MEP coordination will be made possible by the same iterative process. Working together, both departments are able to achieve all of the aforementioned benefits. Another set of benefits comes from outsourcing to a competent and complete service provider.
Finally, there are many options for outsourcing MEP services. Finding a reliable partner who will communicate clearly and work with the contractor in order to ensure a smooth implementation of one of the most important aspects of a project’s construction should always be balanced with the need to handle both MEP design and MEP BIM services.
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