An efficient MEP system ensures a smoother lifecycle of the facility that it is a part of. Further, it ensures a reduced impact of the building on the environment. In the building design process hierarchy, it comes in after architectural and structural components of the design are completed. And it makes for one of the most complicated systems to design and draft.
Most of all, an efficient MEP system impacts the building’s usability.
MEP Consultants and MEP Engineers across the world have long since adopted a CAD workflow for their drawing and drafting requirements. But as the architecture, engineering, & construction industry adopts BIM processes for design, construction, and post-construction operations & management of the facility, the function of drawing and drafting complex MEP systems is also changing.
A typical MEP coordination process depends on the systems being designed first and the service routes determined. The systems are then overlaid to be checked for conflicts between service and service, and service and structure. This can be understood as one of the main reasons why MEP Systems are considered to be among the most complex within the AEC industry to design and draft.
As technology progressed, 2D made way for 3D and models took over traditional drawings and drafts. But the great problem with technology is that it gets filtered and stays accessible only to the upper echelons – the white collared workforce who sits in offices and designs buildings. The constructors working on a site hardly have access to or familiarity with models and they have 2D drafts firmly entrenched in their workflow.
When it comes to the construction workers that the MEP Consultant has to deal with on-site, who are better used to a clear set of instructions and conveyed via a clear set of MEP drawings and drafts.
Disruptive building design, construction, and maintenance workflows and processes such as BIM still have some way to go when it comes to communicating with the construction workforce such as MEP contractors and subcontractors who will actually fabricate and install the services on site.
So, while intelligent models contain all the relevant information about a construction project, and evolve over the lifetime of the project, they are still used to extract construction documentation and drawings when it comes to specialty services like Mechanical, Electrical (HVAC), Plumbing, and Firefighting.