M.E.P. Coordination Challenges

M.E.P. Coordination Challenges





M.E.P. Coordination Challenges

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing, MEP, represents the active systems in a building that are served with various activities such as supplying electricity, water, air conditioning and communication equipment. These systems allow functions and processes to be undertaken within a building. Currently, MEP has advanced from the traditional systems such electricity, plumbing and mechanical parts only. More requirements, which call for specialty, such as internet connections, fire detection controls and datacom, are needed depending on the function of the building. Therefore, several specialty companies are consulted when it comes to their installation. This presents the first challenge, which is coordinating all the trades.

Coordinating MEP systems in construction has for sometime been a challenge to builders. MEP involves location of equipment and course-plotting ventilation, air-conditioning systems, drainage and water pipes, fire systems and electrical channels, in the best possible way, to satisfy different needs of each building. For quite sometime, MEP coordination has centered on sequential comparison of drawings from various trades, where each of the companies involved send in a representative. The representatives are required to work as a team to ensure no functional interferences between the MEP systems can occur. Coordination between the different trades is quite consuming and at the same time expensive, which raises the main challenge. Additionally, this makes it hard to estimate the costs of the whole projects, as well as scheduling.

However, recent changes have seen ease of MEP coordination. With the main challenge being integration of all the systems efficiently, advanced computer technology has improved to allow use of three-dimensional designs. This technique makes use of 3-D computer software that can show how the whole project will look upon completion. One such software application is the BIM, which involves creation of 3-D intelligent data that can be shared among all the contractors involved. It enables the parties involved to have a visual image of the entire project in a 3 dimensional image. It also allows easy cost and scheduling estimates.

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